| By Ally Mueller |
Many students embarking on their junior or senior year of college, or even those who have recently graduated, often feel as if they should have begun the job search process sooner. Nevertheless, it is never too late to lay a strong foundation for finding a job in your field of interest. In fact, simply making a phone call, using your network, and exploring College Central Network can be good first steps to take to find that meaningful, post-collegiate career.
1. Setting up an informational interview.
While the thought of calling a stranger or acquaintance may be daunting for some students, setting up an informational interview can be one of the most important first steps in finding an eventual job. Whether you are a marketing, biology, nursing, or electrical engineering major, calling a professional in a field in which you are interested will almost always prove to be beneficial. When calling to schedule an informational interview, asking if a tour of the office would be possible, or even if the organization does any job shadowing, are perfectly acceptable questions. While an informational interview or job shadow may not result in an eventual job offer, it allows you to expand your professional network and provides you with further information about the professional world that correlates to your major.
2. Using your network.
Many students have heard that “networking” is often the way most people get jobs. The networking process can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you haven’t held a job before, but remember that your network includes your fellow classmates, professors, advisors, and family friends. If you have not yet created a LinkedIn account, doing so will allow you to connect with all of the aforementioned people, as well as professionals (such as the person you set up an informational interview with, as recommended in #1). You never know which member of your network may have an opportunity for you or be willing to write you a recommendation!
3. Exploring College Central Network and the Pilot MAP
College Central Network (CCN) is an awesome resource, as the website includes hundreds of job postings for UP students/alumni. Unlike other job search websites, most of the postings on CCN include a contact name and phone number. You can set up an account for free, and soon begin to find jobs that interest you. Additionally, the Pilot MAP is a tool developed by the Career Center to aid in professional development. It provides specific and tangible professional goals that can be accomplished each year of a student’s collegiate career.
Most importantly, remember to not stress! While graduating and entering the workforce may seem scary, you are equipped with the skills to find a job in a field that you enjoy. If you have any questions as you begin the job search process, feel free to stop by the Career Center to have your resume reviewed, to get help writing a cover letter for a potential employer, or to set up a mock interview with one of the Career Center staff. There are lots of resources at your disposal!