It’s senior year, and autumn is in the air. You’re ready to have fun with your friends and live it up your senior year, but there’s one thing constantly nagging at the back of your mind. What’s that? Oh yeah, your job search. While it may feel like several of your friends already have their post-grad jobs lined up from their summer internships, that’s not the case with the majority. So, when your friends and family start asking what your plans are, your response is usually a little something like this:
No matter how much ‘experience’ you have gained from internships, student organizations, and more, you feel unprepared for the real world. It seems no one is hiring entry-level positions, and even if they are, you wonder if you’re even worthy enough to apply.
When you do decide to apply, half of the jobs require someone with more experience than what you have to offer. You’re getting tired of rejection and weary of applying for more jobs. You’re already mentally preparing to be unemployed for the rest of your life.
You feel like you’re running out of opportunities and have no idea where to go from here.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make your job search a more positive experience and streamline the process. Here’s what you can do:
No matter what device you use (planner, notebook, smart phone), it’s important to stay organized in your job search. Write application deadlines in a place where you’ll see them frequently and keep a list of all the places you want to apply to or have applied to. Have you applied? Interviewed? When will you hear back? Keeping track of these things will immediately make the job search feel like less of a mess.
Tailor your resumes and cover letters.
To maximize the effectiveness of your resumes and cover letters, make sure you’re tailoring them to each job description and company. Now that many companies have moved onto automated resume reviewing systems, they often search for several key words per resume to pass applicants resumes onto real human eyes. Keep crazy fonts and designs to a minimum, unless it’s specific for your major.
Practice interviewing, for no one in particular.
The more time you spend thinking of strong interviewing answers and examples, the less you’ll have to cram in the days before and the less likely you are to choke when the interview asks you about a specific experience. Do a peer mock interview to practice talking to another person once you’ve developed some concrete examples and answers in your head. Once you land an interview, all you have to do is research on the company! Stress=relieved.
Reach out to your contacts and USE LINKEDIN!
Okay, maybe don’t ask for special treatment. But for real, if you don’t have a LinkedIn, you SERIOUSLY need to get one. Use it to research employers, professionals doing what you want to be doing, and make some great connections (but don’t just randomly add people). Also, let family and friends know where you’re at in your job search. You’d be surprised by who knows who. 70% of jobs are landed through networking…just saying.
Set a deadline for yourself.
While several engineering jobs are filled early in the year, many smaller companies won’t hire until they have specific jobs open. Consider this when applying to jobs and set a realistic deadline for when your industry typically hires. But, it’s never too early to start preparing!
Remind yourself that you have time.
Take a deep breath, you’ve got this.
Take a break, and take care of yourself.
Don’t let your job search consume you. Hang out with your friends, call your mom, get adequate sleep, spend time doing your homework, and take care of your health. The happier and more well-rounded you are, the less stressful your job search will be. Just keep going and know that the job search takes time, patience and persistence.
Soon enough, this’ll be you.