Finding a job when you’re about to graduate from college can feel daunting. You’ve just spent years of your life earning a degree, and now it’s time to get out there and use it. Many students stay so focused on graduating that they don’t know where to start when it comes to finding a real job. Before you leave campus to start your search, be sure to take advantage of the resources that are readily available to you.
Career centers offer a wide range of services that vary from campus to campus. Some career centers give students help with their immediate job search situations, such as resume editing, one-on-one mock interviews and workshops for business dinner etiquette. Others provide services that are less direct, such as aptitude tests. But most career centers will, at the very least, be able to help you find job and internship opportunities and point you in the direction of campus job fairs. The best way to find out what your career center can do for you is to go in and ask. Take advantage of the services your career center has that suit your specific needs.
Alumni from your school can be a great resource. There’s nothing quite like the camaraderie of sharing the same fight song. That common experience can help you build a deeper relationship with instant connection and trust. Most universities have alumni websites and events that you can use to find fellow graduates from your school. You might also find an alumni group on LinkedIn.
If you’re a recent graduate, alumni aren’t just graduates from decades past – they are also your previous classmates. Have you kept in touch with students who graduated before you? Facebook is a great tool to reconnect with old classmates. Look up people you know who graduated in your department and find out what they’ve been doing with their degree, and seek their advice when appropriate.
Networking with people within your department is one of the best ways to learn about careers and opportunities in your area of study. It might seem intimidating, but most professors are happy to share their insight with students. Ask professors about their careers and how they got to where they are today – you might be surprised and inspired by some of the stories they have to share. Professors may also be able to connect you to professionals in your field. They can provide a positive reference for potential employers, and sometimes even refer you to a job opportunity or internship.
Graduating is an exciting time, and finding a job can be, too. For more on finding the path to your career, read up on how to find the right internship, how to navigate your job search as a young worker, and how a liberal arts degree can help you find a job.