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Use your semester effectively

Welcome to the spring semester. Whether you are looking for an internship or getting ready to start your career, hopefully you are making plans for the summer. A lucky few have already landed jobs – congratulations to them. But many of us are still looking. It might feel like crunch time, but you have four full months to find your job.

Here are my tips for organizing your job hunt:

1) Block out time in your schedule. Have a timetable for your week. Include your classes, your work hours, study hours, and your job search hours. Actually write in these hours and stick to them. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and apply to a job a day or spend your lunchtime applying to jobs. Just make sure that you don’t abandon your hunt.

2) Don’t apply blindly. Don’t send out dozens of resumes without doing your research. Applications are about quality, not quantity. Read the job description and application requirements thoroughly. Make sure you include a cover letter and follow all instructions indicated in the application. You have a better chance at landing a job from one thorough application to a company you care about than a skimpy application to a company you don’t know.

3) Freshen up your LinkedIn profile and network. Networking is a key to landing interviews and/or jobs in many cases. Make your LinkedIn profile presentable and then search for contacts in your field. Ask them if you can conduct a short informational interview. Take this time to show off your professionalism and interest in their company or what they do. This is a time for you to learn how to be a better candidate, not to ask for a job. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Participate in the CCO’s LinkedIn Boot Camp. Stay tuned for details in this Friday’s post.

4) Apply for jobs you would be happy to take. Don’t apply for a job you wouldn’t succeed at or truly enjoy. Apply where your passions lie. It might take time to find the right job, but you don’t want to be miserable and leave your first (or first few) jobs too quickly. It is seen as unprofessional and unreliable. You are better off waiting for the right job for you than to burn bridges.

5) Don’t neglect your classes. Your GPA – even the last semester – counts. Don’t lose a job opportunity because you didn’t get your diploma over a failed class. Go to class, do your work, and manage your time well. Time management will be a big part of your career.

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