Attention College Seniors
Our phone began to ring a lot in August and we started working with a number of college students who had graduated in May and were still not in their first professional position. Like you, they ran the gamet from college seniors who had a strong record of achievement to students who had, for a variety of reasons, struggled in college. One thing that united them is they did not have a plan when they graduated. They left school and came home at loose ends without a clear picture of what they wanted or how to get it. This is at the heart of what separates this group of clients from the college seniors we worked with who graduated with jobs or had one within 45 days of graduating.
It is just flat out harder when you get to September after graduating in May and you still don’t have a job. So start today so that you are prepared when you graduate! Take these five steps to get moving.
- Get clearer about what you want. You can have a couple of career areas you want to explore but start exploring them. Talk with professors, get into your career development center and start learning more about jobs you think you might be interested in. Some will fade away as you learn more about them and you will add others, but make this a priority.
- Pretty sure you know what you want to do? Terrific – then start talking with people and building a network. Find jobs that might work for you in companies or organizations you could be interested in. Start talking with people about your interests and see if they have contacts in those fields who you can speak with for informational interviews. Welcome those questions about “what you want to do after graduation”. Practice telling people what you are thinking about. Practice asking for contacts.
- Get a strong resume together that represents your accomplishments and experience and then create a LinkedIn page. Get connections on LinkedIn.
- Learn about interviewing. Practice. Most career centers will videotape you doing a mock interview and give you feedback. We are all pretty lousy at interviewing when we are starting out but this is a skill that gets much better with a little practice. Read about behavioral interviewing – it is a best practice and if you master this you will do well in pretty much any interview
- Finish strong. No matter what your GPA is today – a strong finish makes a good story even if it only moves the GPA needle a small amount. By senior year much of your coursework is in your major and/or minor and it is always a plus to be able to talk in interviews about how you dug in and finished strong.
If you are working on these issues and not feeling like you are making enough progress, or you could use some support – feel free to contact us for a free 30 minute consultation.