Valentine’s Day can oftentimes be a gift to the unaware. Stores are filled with candies, stuffed animals, and flowers behind an overlay of red and pink. Restaurants are creating a cozy and romantic atmosphere. It’s nearly impossible to forget that Valentine’s Day is near and love-related gestures are expected.
Today, during the week of Valentine’s Day, I want to offer students a similar gift by sharing when you should become a job seeker. There are no significant reminders through commercials and consumer products as to when to begin the job search. As a result, several students ride into the glory of graduation unaware: a college degree in hand, with no resume developed, no networking contacts and a job search that has barely began. This timing makes the task of finding employment even more daunting.
There is a great need to become a job seeker before becoming a graduate. Here are a couple of tips on becoming a job seeker.
- Apply to job openings as early as the beginning of the spring. Employers are responsible for advertising a position, evaluating applicants through resumes and cover letters, interviewing, evaluating interviewees, checking references, and following a job offer, negotiating a salary. This process could take up to two months from the initial job advertisement. In addition, it is not uncommon for employers to allow two weeks to a month for new employees to begin work. Apply now and manage details of the starting date later.
- Begin connecting with any networking contacts including current and past employers and internship supervisors, and other individuals who you know in your field of interest. Explain the type of job you are seeking out, ask for any advice of navigating your field, and ask for introductions to new contacts. Networking is a process, and if you begin at the start of the spring semester, your connections have the chance to introduce opportunities before you graduate.
If you are wondering about how to become a job seeker before graduation, make an appointment with a Career Counselor in Career & Leadership Development to organize your job search and discuss the best job strategies for you as a job seeker.
Have a great Valentine’s Day and take joy in the gift of reminders.
Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.