So, it’s your senior year and with so many classes and clubs plus remembering to eat and sleep… it’s a tough balancing act. On top of all that, graduation is approaching, and fast. You’re probably feeling a lot of pressure to have everything figured out by then. Not having your dream career in place yet can feel like you’re way behind.
But the truth is, you’re not alone if you don’t have a job offer by graduation. In fact, 67 percent of college graduates leave school without a job lined up. What’s also nice to know is that you have so many career resources at your fingertips during (and even after!) college.
Here are just a few:
1. Student organizations
Student organizations can help you find your interests and build soft skills (both great things to have in job interviews). Leadership positions in clubs are also great for your resume. You will be able to apply what you learn in class to real situations and build experience working on a team.
Many student organizations focus on certain careers. They may host information sessions, panels or networking events to help you get hired. For advice and support, you’ll also get a group of peers working toward the same thing as you.
Additionally, you might find that alumni you want to connect with were also in your clubs. This can be a great way to make a connection with someone in your field of interest.
2. Your professors/academic department
Faculty and academic departments are often overlooked as a career resource. But, your professors are likely well-connected in their fields. They might offer advice about career paths for your area of study or know somebody who is hiring for your major. Make the effort to visit your teachers during office hours and see what you can find out.
Look out for any communications from your department. Employers may want to hire specific majors. One way they can do this is by asking a department to send their job postings to students.
In this way, your department may be aware of jobs that aren’t publicly advertised. So, ask around your department, check your emails and don’t miss these chances!
3. Your career center
According to CNBC, 40 percent of college students don’t ever visit their school’s career center. Don’t be one of them! Your career center has so much to offer you at every stage of your job search process.
They can help you decide on the career you want to pursue, and give you access to college-specific job boards. Most offer services to help you write (and perfect!) your resume.
College career centers also host career fairs and information sessions. Some even arrange on-campus interviews with companies. Could it get simpler than that?
Your school’s career center could also assist you with interview preparation. They might even help draft networking emails or provide coaching for in-person networking.
Best of all, career center services are free. Many career centers are even available to you for some time after graduation. Make sure you take advantage of all they have to offer while you can.
Networking is how most people get hired today, according to a 2019 survey by polling firm Civil Service. Your school’s alumni network could be your most powerful resource for finding a job. Luckily, there are lots of ways to connect with them.
Start by joining your school’s alumni groups on LinkedIn and other social platforms. You can also see if there are alumni from your school working at companies that interest you.
Connecting with these alumni is a great way to learn about different companies and roles. Knowing someone at a company could also give your resume a better chance of being seen.
Networking events are another great way to connect with alumni. Face-to-face meetings are more memorable and are a chance for you to present a fuller idea of who you are and your story.
Check to see if your school hosts alumni panels or other events to meet people in your field. These connections could lead to the start of your career!
If you don’t have your dream job yet, don’t panic. Remember to be proud of yourself for all the hard work you put into getting that degree and keep at it. It will take time, but you can and will find employment. Be confident in your abilities and use the resources available to you, and you’ll be well on your way to landing a job.