You’re in your senior college year and bound to graduate soon! Surely, you’re in a phase full of twists and turns. Aside from aiming for good grades, you’re also looking forward to build your career and experience in the “real world,” as others say. Here are tips on when to start applying for jobs before graduation. Read on!
The Importance of Knowing When to Start Applying for Jobs
Usually, people look for jobs after graduation. This practice is not entirely wrong. However, with the current job competition, it’s better to start applying for jobs early. Here are the reasons it’s a good career decision:
This may apply to those who want to start working immediately after graduation. Job search takes a lot of time and effort; while some job searchers could find a job post within a week, others last for months. So, if you prefer to work after graduation, then you can start looking for jobs during your final months in school. You can start browsing through online job search sites and scout for companies related to your target career.
Opens More Opportunities
Since you have more time for job search, you will avoid the idea of cramming. There is a pressure to work after graduation. However, for some, this may lead to poor job options and settling to whatever job is open. Looking for jobs early will give you enough time to browse through more careers related to your field. Through this, you’ll also gain ideas on which job online platforms work best.
Better Hiring Chances
Researching companies can also build your mindset for job search. Checking job posts early can prepare you mentally for your dream career path. This gives you more time to think and develop skills that could be your edge, even when you’re still in school. You can also save your target company’s social media pages to keep posted to job posts that match your skills, leading you to better hiring chances.
When to Start Applying for Jobs before Graduation
Applying for a job might vary depending on one’s goals and timeline. Due to the current job landscape and widespread job growth in the wake of the pandemic, there are times when we need to modify our former plans. Even so, planning ahead or even browsing through online job posts could help you prepare for job search and career. Here are some guides for when to start applying for jobs, subject to where you are in your career:
Some colleges or universities offer internship programs for students under a degree. Usually, these are combined into the curriculum and must be completed to gain added skills. Although these programs run over a short period, you may still think of it as a job hiring chance. There are some companies who message their interns after graduation. So, you may want to leave a good impression.
Graduate school is more advanced and focused than college. There is a chance that the students in this program have specific career tracks in mind. You may start finding a job one to three months before the program completion. You may also take note of the companies you have met for your research as a starting point.
Before You Move Into Another City or Country
There might be times wherein one needs to move into another place upon graduation. So, before you start sending job application to offices in a certain area, ensure that it will be accessible to you. You may want to finalize your moving out plans first before searching for job posts. Although most jobs allow online application, you might still need to visit the place for an interview. Thus, apply to jobs once you’ve found a place to stay.
During Final Months of Senior Year
You can start your job search before your awaited graduation day. If you don’t have a resume yet, then it’s time to read the latest resume trends and cover letter writing tips. Look for job posts one to three months before you exit college. This way, you’ll have enough time to scout the best job posts for fresh grads like you!
What You Need to Apply for Jobs
Resume. This contains one’s work experience, competencies, skills, and accomplishments. This job search tool, whether it’s on paper or in electronic form, will help you market yourself to target employers. Since fresh graduates may not have plenty of work experience, internship programs can serve as a good start. Beef up your resume with internship merits.
Cover Letter. Your cover letter is all about your professional zeal and skills. Use the cover letter as a chance to talk about how your school and internship have helped you become more qualified for the job you’re applying for. You can also mention other projects wherein you showed your leadership skills.
References. This contact list is usually required to check one’s work ethic and skills. Although not all companies ask for a contact list, it’s best to prepare one. You may include your research adviser, former employer, or fellow interns. Choose those who have worked closely with you for better insights. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission before including their names on the list.
Tips in Applying for Jobs Before Graduation
Make your first job application less daunting. Read these tips for added insights!
1. Update your social media profile.
Your social media accounts, such as your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, might contain all the events you had during your college days. Although it’s okay to upload the good times for memories, you might want to clean your social media handles and set some contents to private before you start applying for jobs. Most hiring managers do a quick research on applicants, so having a decent social media profile is a must.
2. Build your LinkedIn account.
Aside from your usual social media platforms, you might want to create your LinkedIn profile, too. This profile will serve as your professional networking account, especially as a student looking for jobs before graduation. Connect and meet other people in the field. Who knows, you might find your target job through this platform. For more LinkedIn building tips, read this blog: What is LinkedIn?
3. Prepare your resume and cover letter.
Aside from the LinkedIn profile and a clean social media account, you also need to prepare your job search tools. A well-crafted resume and cover letter can greatly increase your chances of getting hired. Resume writing might be tough for first-time job seekers. But this shouldn’t stop you from crafting a resume that works. That said; we came up with the ultimate writing guide to help you craft a resume with no experience.
4. Explore career pathways.
Whether looking for jobs before graduation or afterwards, research is important. Search for more companies related to your degree. Through this, you’ll learn the career tracks that you can pursue. You can also ask your colleagues or former teachers for advice. They could walk you through their work experiences, which could provide you great career insights.
5. Practice job interviews.
Aside from job search tools and online profiles, you must also prepare yourself for interviews before you start applying for jobs. You can conduct practice job interview sessions with your colleagues. You can also read our blog about tips to ace your online job interview.
6. Hit that “apply” button.
Applying jobs for the first time might appear nerve-racking. However, after a few tries, you’ll get the drift and learn other tips too. Also, even if you haven’t received good replies, don’t fret, for this is part of the entire hiring process.
Where to Look for Jobs Before Graduation
Job search may involve time, money, and effort. So, this might consume more resources when you’re still at school. But with the current technology, you can search and apply for jobs in a few clicks. Thanks to the following job search platforms, you can apply for your preferred career anytime.
Online Job Boards. Job boards serve as a “melting pot” for job seekers and hiring managers. These are websites where various employers advertise their job hiring posts. Job boards allow job seekers to filter job posts based on industry and position. It also allows them to attach resumes and cover letters to apply online.
Websites. At times, there are job posts that are not announced on online job boards and exclusively posted on company websites. So, if you have a target company in mind, it’s best to follow their social media accounts for splash job posts.
Job Fair. Some schools host job fairs for the senior class. During this event, companies relevant to a degree are invited to talk about their fields and promote job openings. This is a good chance to explore various career tracks, especially if you’re still unsure of your career goals and looking work after graduation.
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