Find out why you should start your career search now!

Start your career search now so you can get ahead of the thousands of other college and university students who may enter the job search market at the same time you do.  Furthermore, the accredited postsecondary school you attend might have programs you can participate in that allow you to start working as early as your second year of college.

By taking advantage of programs offered through your college or university’s bursar’s or career counseling office you may be able to land part-time or temporary full-time jobs while you pursue your college degree.  You can also ask your academic advisor about work/study programs you can participate in.  Standard work/study programs include:

  • College and university internships – during these programs you can interview with area companies and work during summer months
  • Federal and local work/study programs – these programs may be connected to federal, state and local grants you receive.  For example, if you receive a federal PELL grant you might also be approved to get paid to work a certain number of hours each week for on or off-campus employers
  • Fellowships – organizations, including colleges and universities, pay you to conduct research work and/or earn advanced college degrees if you’re accepted to participate in fellowship programs

Depending on the accredited college or university you attend, you might have to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) before the school registers you for its internship program.  You also might have to keep a minimum GPA to continue to qualify to participate in work/study programs and fellowships.  After you meet requirements to participate in the programs, you may interview with prospective hiring managers at companies the college or university you attend has internship partnerships with.  Take advantage of these programs as they don’t cost you additional tuition money to participate in.  Also seek internships, work/study programs and fellowships with organizations you want to work with after you graduate.  At the end of your working experiences, make sure that you receive academic credit for your working and/or research experience.

College and University Students Finding New Ways to Land Jobs

Additional steps you can take to start your career search now include:

  • Create keyword alerts at job search boards (e.g. Career Builder, Indeed, Monster).  This way you can receive daily or weekly email alerts that list current job openings related to your keyword search.  For example, if you’re looking for jobs as an accountant, you could type keywords such as finance, money manager, finance business manager into keyword alerts at job search boards.
  • Work for web-based companies so you can complete projects from home, eliminating the time involved in commuting to and from work.  Add these work assignments to your job portfolio so prospective hiring managers see you have work experience.
  • Read magazines, journals and newspapers related to your industry.  These periodicals often post job openings in their classified ads which tend to be located at the back of the periodicals.
  • Search human resources and recruiting websites for companies you’re interested in working for.  If these companies allow you to create email job alerts, do so.  This way the firm can email you current job openings related to your major.  Also keep in mind that some employers post jobs at their websites that they don’t post on job search boards.

At least one year before you’re scheduled to graduate from college, create a profile with online job boards.  Also create professional profiles with associations that operate in the industry (e.g. financial services, education, insurance, real estate, finance) your college degree is in.  If you join professional associations that operate in industries you plan on working in, you can learn about upcoming networking events (e.g. conferences, workshops) hosted by the organizations.   Attend these events, strike up conversations with other attendees, being sure to hand out your business card to people you speak with.  If people give you their business cards, one week after the event reach out to them.  Let them know the types of jobs you’re seeking.  Doing so builds your professional network and increases the numbers of people who may help you to locate the types of work you want.

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