College seniors: 6 things you can do right now to jump start your job search


If you’re a college senior and are just starting your job search, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. (If you’re a senior and are in the height of interviewing or already have an offer or two in hand, this post is probably not for you. But please email it to any of your friends who are just starting their job search.) Let’s face it, senior year is BUSY!! You’ve got classes to go to, papers to write, exams to study for, rehearsals to attend, and every so often, you try to fit in some food and a bit of sleep. How are you supposed to fit in job searching, writing resumes and cover letters, practicing for interviews, going to career fairs, conducting information interviews, networking, visiting employer sites???? The whole idea of conducting a job search may seem overwhelming, and impossible to accomplish.

So how about this? Just for now, let’s not worry about all the many steps left to accomplish. Let’s just think about step one – getting started. What can you do RIGHT NOW to get your job search in motion?

  1. I would like you to find one, just one, position to which you’d like to apply. (Remember, we’re just getting your job search in motion. You’ll definitely add more positions later.) Go to Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com and run a variety of keyword searches. Try your major as a keyword (such as “communications”); try job titles (such as “event planner”), fields (such as “social work), or industries (such as “tourism”). Do this for FIVE MINUTES or until you find a position to which you’d like to apply – which ever comes first. If you don’t find anything, put it away and do one of the other items on this list, instead. In a few hours, spend another five minutes searching for a position.
  2. Start creating a grab bag resume. You can tailor this document later with the help of a career counselor.  If you’re having trouble starting your resume, move on the the next item on this list.
  3. Sign up to participate in a FREE, live, online chat about crafting winning cover letters and résumés for internships and entry-level jobs on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 3:00 p.m. CST. Hosts are Heather Huhman and J.T. O’Donnell. Click here to register. The chat will be recorded, but only those who have registered will have access to the recording.
  4. Sign up for “College Seniors CAN Thrive in This Job Market.” This is a FREE webinar offered by CollegeRecruiter.com on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST. Click here to register.
  5. Set up an appointment at your college’s career center. If you’re reading this at 1am, just call and leave a message that you’d like to set up an appointment.
  6. If none of the above seems to be working, email me – no, seriously! (If you’re on my site, click the “contact me” button to your right; if you’re reading this from a reader, click the “email the author” link). I am happy to look at early resume drafts, point you in the direction of resources or offer other career information. My goal is to help YOU get started. (Why? Read this earlier post.)

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