5 tips for job hunting before graduating
Graduating from uni is an exciting prospect. You are finally completing the transition from childhood to adulthood and almost ready to apply all the theoretical knowledge and practical training you’ve gained in a real-world setting.
Everyone approaches this transitional period differently. Some people like to take a little bit of a break between their university career and their adult life. However, others take comfort in knowing that they have a new job lined up for themselves the moment that they finish their studies. If you are one of these latter types, here are some tips for job searching while you are still in uni.
Broaden your scope
You may be short changing yourself if you look for jobs exclusively in the field you studied. For example, maybe you started studying specifically so you could enter the field of network security. If you broaden your scope to include related career areas, you may have the opportunity to gain skills that are useful to your desired career. You may also find that a related field appeals to you more than your original career choice. Now is an opportunity to try new things and discover what you really want without being loaded down with a lot of professional baggage. Don’t feel like you have to stay with your first job forever. This is no longer expected and often isn’t even reasonable.
Update your resume
Now is a good time to update your resume and be sure that it reflects you in the best possible light. Your resume should be as accurate as possible, so if you haven’t received your degree yet, don’t imply that you have. Instead, list the date that you expect to receive your diploma. You can update it again following graduation.
As a uni student, your work history section may be a little sparse, but you can compensate by listing your college activities, awards, and honours. Your high school accomplishments should be removed. You may be justifiably proud of them, but placing too much of an emphasis on what happened in high school makes you come across as a little immature.
Consider an internship
In the long run, an unpaid internship in your field may be more valuable to you than a well-paying job in which you have no immediate interest. Internships give you the opportunity to gain relevant work experience and network with people in your field who may be able to help you out later. You may have to take some sort of day job to support yourself during your internship or make other arrangements, such as living at home. This may feel like a step backward after graduation, but if you and your family understand that it is in service of advancing your future career, you may both be more comfortable with it.
While your skills, training, and experience help you to advance in your chosen career, professional contacts can help you get your foot in the door more quickly and easily. Therefore, it is important to start networking while you are still at uni. Start with the professors in your area of major study. Build a relationship with them, and ask them to introduce you to other useful contacts in the field. Be sure to maintain good relationships with all your contacts. They can help you in ways that you may expect, such as writing letters of recommendation, as well as ways that you might not expect, such as suggesting that a prospective employer get in touch with you for a job that you might otherwise not have applied for.
Establish good social media habits
Social media can be a double-edged sword. While you are still in school, you should set up a professional profile on LinkedIn and include a link to it in your resume. You should then perform an audit of your existing social media accounts, looking at them as an employer would to determine whether they present you as a good job prospect.
While being proactive in your job search is a good idea, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find employment immediately after graduation. Take some time to relax and savour the last few months of your university experience.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and workplace tips. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.