My firm is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a college town if there ever was one. During graduation season you can feel the tension, the exhaustion and the excitement in the air from the students, trying to finish their classes and get out into the world in once piece. A huge part of that is probably finding a job.
Finding a job is a bit like learning how to drive: someone, somewhere is going to remind you that nearly everybody does it. But there are jobs, and then there are awesome jobs. There are workplaces, and then there are amazing work environments. You get the gist.
I put together a list of the top 10 things I wish I’d known when was a job-hungry senior heading toward the cliff otherwise known as graduation. Read it, bookmark it and remind yourself over the next couple of months to do at least a few of them. Believe me, it will pay off. Literally. Here’s to the class of 2017.
1. Get On Job Sites Geared For Grads: Recruiters are all over the job sites, and they’re looking for you. Sites geared to college grads and entry-level positions include Coolworks.com, Experience.com, CollegeGrad.com and a lot more. Some, like NACElink, require access through the career office. It’s well worth the effort.
2. Visit The Career Office: I recommend going there at least five times before your graduate. If you don’t know why you’re going, you’ll find out soon. From mock interviews to professional resume critiques (as opposed to your roommate) to learning how to network and even getting help finding out just what you’re meant to do, career offices are a great resource.
3. Ace An Internship: It is never too late and you may be able to get a short-term internship for the last months of school — or one that extends into, or starts in, the summer. And they can make a huge difference: 52% of those surveyed in a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) study said their internships led to job offers — even before they had graduated.
4. Explore: Venture into larger job sites, too. It’s a myth that sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Monster or SimplyHired are just for people already in the workforce. It may seem like you’re venturing into a foreign country, but do it. Most have ways to filter criteria and search for lower-level positions. Experiment with search words and terms and see what you find.
5. Network And Network Your Network: Use the rest of the semester to build a network. Forget the sunshine. Reach out on social media, on job sites, among friends, family, friend’s family, counselors, teachers. Whenever you encounter someone interesting, ask them for their advice and email. Most of us love imparting our hard-earned wisdom on up-and-comers, and are happy to make introductions to employers or recruiters. It makes us look good, too.