Job searching is a lot of work! It can feel like a full-time job on top of everything else you have to do during the semester. To help you get a better handle on the job search, see our top 5 tips below for navigating the job search while also being a college student!
1. Schedule a weekly job search time
It’s easy to leave job searching to the last minute with all of your homework assignments, projects, exams, clubs activities, and talking with friends! Instead of procrastinating to finals week, do yourself a favor and set aside a time each week to focus on your job search.
It doesn’t have to be long, maybe only 30 minutes, but put it in your calendar/planner and protect it! If you do have to miss it, make sure you make it up to yourself at another time during the week. Think of it as a class…but one that you can’t miss. Be sure to really focus during that time. That may mean turning off your phone or notifications (think Do Not Disturb mode) so that you can focus on the job search.
2. Have meaningful conversations
Job searching isn't just applying to jobs! Be sure to use your job searching time to connect with professionals in your field of interest! LinkedIn is a great tool to help you find and connect with professionals and other students. Be sure to find people you are actually interested in talking with – it’s important to be authentic! (Need help creating a LinkedIn profile? Check out this blog post for tips)
Once you find people to talk to, be sure to come up with meaningful questions you can ask them. I prefer to schedule a 15-30 minute phone call or video call. Ask them about their career path, their current job/company, or anything else of interest. At the end of the conversation ask, “Is there anyone else I should talk to?” If they say yes, follow up with, “Can you help me get connected with them?”
This allows you to build on their network and meet more people! Plus, you never know if they might know of someone with an opening in their company!
3. Attend Career Fairs and follow up!
Career Fairs are starting up soon, be sure to check out the CCO Calendar and RSVP for the Career Fairs you are interested in. Depending on the platform that is being used, you can research the employers who will be attending the fair beforehand and make a plan on who you would like to talk with.
Be sure to come up with questions for the recruiter in advance as well as practice your elevator pitch!
As you meet with recruiters, write down their name and contact information. That way you can follow up after the fair with a thank you note! If they don’t give you their contact information, connect with them on LinkedIn – be sure to add a note so that they remember who you are! Your thank you note should be short, but still include information that you received from the conversation. If they don’t respond right away, follow up in 2-3 weeks time.
4. Use Job Search Alerts
Did you know that you don’t have to check job search sites everyday? Most job search sites have a Job Search Alert where you can put in keywords, types of jobs, locations, and other filters so that anytime an internship or job is posted that fits within those parameters, you’ll get sent an email! You can set it up so that it fits your schedule, whether that’s emailing you every day or every week.
I would suggest creating a separate folder in your email so that you can put the emails you receive from these job search sites in the folder and review them during your scheduled job search time. Be sure to add myCCO to your list of job search websites!
5. Remember to de-stress!
College is stressful enough, especially with the added challenges of 2021! When you add job searching on top of that, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Remember to take time to do the things you enjoy! I’d suggest scheduling something fun to do every week! It could be watching your favorite show on Netflix, reading your favorite book, or going on a run to let out stress. You need that time to be able to distress and not be worried about every little thing.
For bonus points, be sure to leave your phone in another room and turn off your notifications so that you can fully enjoy your time away from schoolwork and job searching!
Be sure to check out more tips for Job Search here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tszG6xlge4o&t=16s&ab_channel=PurdueCCO
If you want extra help – schedule a Job Search Strategies appointment with one of our CCO Career Consultants.