Job Search Expert’s Tip of the Month – January

Control your job search; don’t let it control you

There’s a huge difference between being proactive and vigilant in your entry-level job search and being obsessive. Many students I speak with today fall under the latter – they are freaking out that by the time they graduate there won’t be any jobs available. A few I know have started applying for full-time jobs even though they are six months away from graduating.

Never fear! Even in a down economy, there are jobs, particularly at the (cheaper) entry level. I absolutely encourage you to begin networking with potential employers, whether you graduate in May 2009 or not until 2012. It’s also essential you begin testing the waters with – and gaining experience from – internships in your desired field.

Your entry-level job search should begin approximately two months before you graduate. If possible, skip Cancun and use your final spring break to participate in informational and formal interviews with companies that interest you.

And, while you might not have a job lined up when you cross the stage and flip your tassel to the other side of your cap, it’s ok. Many companies’ hiring processes take longer than desired, and it will not be considered a gap on your résumé if you graduate in May and do not start until, say, July. If you are truly worried about your résumé, don’t be afraid to take a part-time or volunteer position related to your field. It never hurts to get more experience – and make more valuable contacts.

~ Heather Huhman, Job Search Expert, Campus Calm

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