How to Begin the Job Hunt if You Are Graduating

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Students throwing caps in the air at graduation

With only one semester left, college seniors, it’s time to start thinking of the big question, “What comes next?” For the majority of us graduating, that means starting our first real job hunt. Whether you’re a total newbie with no experience or you’re looking to transition to a six-figure career, here’s what you need to do when you’re searching for the perfect post-graduation position.

Consult Your Career Services Office

Most colleges have some career services offerings out there, and you may be surprised at what they can offer you! To start with, they can help you narrow down your job search and find the niche you’re made to be in. Then, they can help tailor your applications so that you stand out. And when you’re given a position, they’ll be there to do mock practices or offer feedback. And, believe it or not, a great career office will even help you negotiate your first salary!

a monthly planner

Set Up a Calendar

Another fun fact about the career services office is that they often hold events just for upperclassman on the job hunt. It may span from low-key, one-on-one meetings with hiring managers to large-scale job fairs that attract hundreds of businesses. If your college doesn’t offer these, check your community or look at professional trade organizations for similar events.

Update and Edit Your Materials

Your resume is the most important weapon in your job application arsenal. It should be continuously updated and crafted to meet your industry’s standards. You’ll also want to do make sure your reference list is current and that everyone you may use is aware your name is going out there. Finally, practice writing out a cover letter that is both interesting and easy to tailor to the job you’re applying for. When you’re done with the first draft, edit and edit again until it’s perfect.

a professional business card

Stock Up on Thank You Notes and Business Cards

It’s the little things that matter when you are putting yourself out there. While email thank you notes are sufficient, you may also want to bring out an old-school technique of a handwritten card sent to your interviewer. Business cards have the same effect, especially if you’ve got them ready to go at a networking event. The bonus is that both thank you and business cards are cheap, easy to make, and always handy — even after you’ve landed your big break.

Tailor Your Interview Suit

The perfect look is essential. That means everything you wear to your interview needs to be made for you. This is the one area where we don’t recommend skimping on price. Grab the best looking suit in neutral colors and have it professionally tailored so that it fits your body like it was made for you. Add shined shoes, toned down makeup, and thoughtful accessories, and you’ve got a complete look that’s ready to wow your interviewers.

Your final semester is an important one. It’s time to reflect and to look ahead. When you’re ready to rock your job search, getting your affairs in order is a must. From creating an eye-catching resume to settling on your professional look, you can get ahead by starting now.

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Katherine Carpenter

Katherine Carpenter

Hi I'm Katherine! I love DIY projects, especially ones that I can use to make my dorm room pop! My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip, especially when it's on a cone. I love hanging out with my sorority sisters and giving back to the community. Always remember to live, laugh and love!