For any senior in college, thinking about the future is absolutely terrifying. It's the scariest part about being a senior. You're trying to balance out the last year of your college career and enjoy every minute of it while also beginning to think about how you will outline your future after you graduate in a few short months.
Right now, you're surrounded by close friends, who come from all over, at the place you've called home for the past four years while studying the major that you will make a part of your future. You don't even want to begin to think about being separated from them in less than six months. As scary as it is, it's time to start thinking about plans for next year, if you haven't already. What kind of company you'll work for, what kind of position you'll have, what kind of people you'll work with, where you'll live, etc. are all questions you'll start asking yourself repeatedly. As unfamiliar as it is, it's also an exciting time as well as a milestone in your life. You've made it this far through years and years of education to prepare you for where you'll be in a few months.
To get you in the mindset, you want to make sure your resume is up to date with recent internship experiences or skills you might've gained from a core class, whatever it might be. While it's very likely that your resume will change and be catered to a specific job you apply for, having a solid one to start with will help alleviate some of the stress of this process.
Getting into the online networking world of LinkedIn is a great start to searching for a job. LinkedIn is a great resource that allows you to build an online profile to showcase yourself professionally through your experiences and work that you've done. You can add connections to your profile and follow other people and company accounts. This will allow you to keep up to date with the industry you're looking to enter as well as see what your acquaintances are doing. One of the great things about LinkedIn is that you can see job openings that companies post and customize what jobs you're notified about based on location, industry, and career interests. LinkedIn will also generate jobs you may be interested in based on these filters.
Once you browse through different job listings, you'll start to get an idea of the types of jobs you want to keep an eye out for based on the responsibilities outlined for particular job titles. If you're interested in finding out more information about a specific job listing, researching the company's website is a great way to find out the company's mission and values. You can get a better idea of the type of work they do and see if you could see yourself in that particular role within that company. Other job websites such as Vault, Indeed, and ZipRecruiterare also great resources for job searching. Making a profile on all of these sites will help to get your name out to a variety of recruiters who are looking for recent college graduates. Odds are, you'll probably see some listings on these sites that might not be posted on LinkedIn.
Not only is online networking a great tool, but also reaching out to alumni, friends, and family in the field you're interested in. One of the most common ways to obtain a job in the field is through a connection you have with someone. It's a great way to get your foot in the door if you know someone who can refer you to the company they work for or have a connection with, or even recommend you a company to research.
Once you've gained some knowledge about the types of jobs you see yourself going after, the next step is to look for and attend job fairs held at your university or college. A good amount of students receive their first job offer from a recruiter who attends their school's job fair. Being proactive and looking for when job fairs are held, what companies will be in attendance, and researching the companies attending will help you to narrow in on which ones you should prioritize as well help you to prepare and make the most of your time with them so you can ask the right questions. You may even get asked back by the company for an on-campus interview if all goes well.
These are just a few steps to help kick-start your job search process. Just remember, that it's not the end of the world if you don't get a job right after graduation, but you can be proactive and do your research now while you're in the same boat as many other seniors.