Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Career Mythbusters: I’ll wait until graduation to find a job

With graduation quickly approaching, many college seniors’ schedules are packed with classes, projects, studying, meetings and squeezing in a few final memories with friends. While some allot time in this busy line-up of responsibilities for finding a job, many decide to put off the job search until graduation. Sadly, this tactic often ends in stress, anxiety and frustration when the new graduate finds difficulty landing a job within weeks of graduation day. Following the old adage “the best time to find a job is while you still have one,” college students should seize every opportunity they have while still in school (i.e. their current job) to pursue job leads, network with employers and interview for open positions. Once a student has graduated, gone are the days of career expos and interviews on-campus, company representatives speaking at their campus organization meetings and emails from the career center with job descriptions. Luckily, it is not too late for college seniors to work on beginning their careers before May graduation.

Polish Your Resume: Make sure your resume is up-to-date by adding new part-time jobs, internships, leadership roles or industry specific skills. Work with a career center staff member on keeping your skills descriptions attention grabbing, yet concise. Tailor your resume to each job and employer by highlighting your qualifications as they relate to the position for which you are applying.

Prepare Your Elevator Pitch: Make a positive first impression at spring career expos with a great elevator pitch. Be prepared to introduce yourself to a potential employer and explain what you are seeking, what you do and why you are the best in a brief 45-60 second spiel. A well thought out pitch will make you stand out in the sea of career hungry expo attendees.

Pursue Your Best Fit Positions: Identify the types of positions and companies that mesh best with your skill set, education and values. Rather than applying to any and every job posted, targeting specific companies and positions that fit these criteria will allow you to maximize the time spent searching and applying. Plus, you’ll up the chances of finding a job that you truly want!

Practice Your Interview Skills: Don’t blow all of your hard work with a poor interview performance. Take advantage of opportunities to practice your interview skills through mock interviews at the career center and by using online resources such as InterviewStream. Knowing how to effectively respond to typical interview questions will help you feel more confident when you are put in the hot seat with a potential employer.

Waiting until after graduation to find a job seems like a great idea for the busy college student who is trying to juggle a mountain of responsibilities. However, the added stress of being an unemployed graduate is not the ideal alternative. Taking the steps listed above now can position you for career success.

Visit the Auburn University Career Center website to find out how we can help you! 

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