Career Countdown for Seniors
Yes, seniors! This is it. Not long until graduation and your parents ask the inevitable question “What are you doing toward getting a job?” Even though you don’t want to think about it right now, time marches on and the job search needs to begin now. Fortunately for you, the Office of Career Services is here to help you with the process. So here is the calendar you need to be following to land that job in your career field by May.
September: Research the market
- Turn off Modern Family and try CNN in order to find out what’s going on in the business/career world.
- Hit your computer to investigate companies and organizations that intrigue you.
- Where do you want to live? How does the cost of living in South Bend compare with Seattle? Find out where you want to live and what you have to make to live there.
October: Perfect your résumé
- Check out our Information Packet stocked with tips and samples on our website.
- Never done a résumé? Just want to start one from scratch? Check out Optimal Resume on our home page.
November: Clean up your digital dirt
Most people think of Facebook as a fortress - you invite your friends into a highly protected environment where you can share anything you want and it will be secure. However, it is more like a front porch - you invite your friends up for a conversation, and you never know who might be walking by or sitting around the corner within earshot.
- Think twice before you post a revealing or disparaging photo of yourself on a social networking site.
- Watch what you say. A lewd or derogatory comment in a blog or comment section can be just as damaging as a photo.
- Look up old videos you may have posted on YouTube and take down any that could be offensive.
- Google yourself. See what the public might be reading about you.
- Change your email address if you have one that seems juvenile or unprofessional.
December: Network, network, network
- A network is your best job search tool. Make a list of everyone you know and make a monthly goal to contact 8-10 people to tell them about what you’re looking for.
- Be enthusiastic and don’t talk exclusively about yourself. When you ask your neighbor about his company and what he does there, you will get more valuable information than if you ask “Does your company have any openings in my field?”
- Set up a LinkedIn account: www.LinkedIn.com a social networking site connecting you with professionals in your industry. This can be invaluable in your job search.
January: Buy an interview suit
- If you haven’t already got that interview outfit hanging in your closet, the time has come!!! Everything is on sale after Christmas, so use that holiday cash, or better yet, get your family to invest in a good suit as a late Christmas present. Even if you think you’ll be in business casual for your job, you’ll still need a quality interview suit.
- Gentlemen! Wonder what is and what is not appropriate interview wear? WATCH Interview Dress for Men
- Ladies! It’s not always easy to know what to look for, so that you don’t feel like you’re wearing your mother’s clothes, because now you’re supposed to look ‘grown up’! WATCH Interview Dress for Women
February: Practice interviewing skills
- The person who gets the job is often not the best qualified, but is the best prepared for the interview. For a list of typical interview questions, come by our office, A316. Take advantage of any mock interview scenarios your professors provide for you. It may feel awkward, but it’s great practice. Would you hire you?
- Quintcareers.com had a great article from the perspective of new grads giving current seniors advice: “Practice greetings and firmness of handshakes, eye contact, appropriate attitude during interviewing (when to smile, when to be businesslike, etc.). Learn standard interview questions. All very important!”
March: Set up informational interviews
- Informational interviews expose you to the people in your career field who can help make you aware of potential jobs.
- The primary goal of an informational interview is to establish relationships with your (soon-to-be) professional peers.
- The secondary goal is to really find out about your chosen field and how to get into it.
- Don’t forget to send a handwritten thank you note!
April: Keep those applications flowing
- Apply for anything that looks marginally interesting. The likelihood of you landing that dream job, as your first position, is slim—especially in the current economy!
- Feel like you’re worth more than $28K a year because you have a BA? Of COURSE you’re worth more than $28K, but then so are all your fellow students whom are graduating with you!
- Take that entry level job, learn as much as you can, work hard and be grateful to find a position in this economy. Leverage this job as a base to build your credentials – with the right outlook and a great work ethic, you’ll advance. At the very least, you’ll be poised to find a more lucrative position when the economic climate turns around.
- Upload your completed résumé on Optimal Resume GPS and on our Online Job Board
May: Proudly accept your diploma and enter the world of work
We have given you a lot of ‘professional-career’ jargon, but please know that each step of the way needs to be bathed in prayer!
- Celebrate closed doors.
- Anticipate God’s provision.
- Give God thanks for what He is doing and is going to do – professionally, spiritually and personally.
Congratulations! All of your planning and persistence has paid off!