I’m graduating soon, what should I be doing to get a job?!

Many seniors visit our office before they graduate unsure of what to do. Common questions are “when should I start looking?” and “what should I do first?”  Sound familiar? Read on!

When should I start applying?

For most positions, companies will be hiring for someone to start work soon or immediately, so plan to start applying to positions when you’ll be available to work. Because the application review and interview process can take several weeks at most companies, plan to start applying about 2-3 months in advance of when you want to start working.

Caveat: some employers recruit students in the fall to start jobs and internships several months later, generally in June. These job postings are more commonly found in financial services and certain roles in some technology and engineering companies.

Timelines for programs like Peace Corps and AmeriCorps will also different. If you are interested in specific service programs, begin planning ahead for applications that may be due 4-8 months ahead of graduation.

What should I do first or now?

If you are still 3-6 months out from graduation, the main thing to be doing now is research: people research (networking) and employer research. This way you can be ready to go when you get closer to graduation. We find that networking usually helps the most for students in landing a job but it takes the longest to start seeing results. If you will be graduating in the next 1-3 months, map out a job search plan with top fields, employers, locations and roles. Continue to talk to professionals in the field and research organizations. Begin submitting applications to job postings!

What if I don’t know what I want to do yet?

Come talk to a career counselor! We would be happy to meet with you to brainstorm options on how to get started figuring out what you would like to do. Many graduating seniors who first visit us have little to no idea what they want to do next but through some exploration and conversations develop an action plan.

By Catherine Basl
Catherine Basl Career Counselor Catherine Basl