SURVIVOR SERIES: PREPARING FOR THE PRE-POST GRADUATION JOB SEARCH
Graduation seems pretty far away, right? Well for many, the impending and always-looming date in May will approach faster than expected. With this, the job search officially begins for those not otherwise attending graduate school or delving in to some sort of trust fund or lottery-winning ticket. Being organized and ready come time to accept your diploma can feel complicated and overwhelming. Here are some steps to take in order to better organize yourself to help you conquer everything your new life has to offer.
- Create Skill Matrixes. One of the most beneficial preps one can do is to create skill matrixes for positions. Begin by searching for entry level positions online and from there, begin listing, categorizing, and composing all of the “required/preferred skills” desired on the application onto a singular list. Figure out which of these skills you already have, how you have them, and how you can use them to benefit an employer. Now, taking the skills you don’t possess, decide if you can obtain them quickly. Is it something you’ve never written before or something you may actually possess in different words? Figure it out, reassess, and then seek help from professors as necessary.
- Prepare a portfolio. While typically only necessary for certain majors, constructing a portfolio with writing samples and the positive work you have compiled while at the school helps both in your own self-assessment of accomplishment and in the case an employer wants a sample of what you can do, you will already have it ready. Place them all into a binder with divided sections. Go for simplicity over complication.
- Use your resources to better your resume. If your campus offers any sort of career or experiential learning center (Like SUNY Oswego’s Compass) take advantage of it. Use them for outside resources and resume buildings. But, don’t stop there. Many professors are more than willing to look over everything. From samples to resumes, take advantage of these proven professionals expertise.
- Preemptively job search online to get your feet wet. com is a great resource to start fielding possible job outlooks. Use it to see what’s going on in the world of your major. Apply for some of the more fundamental, simply applicable job openings. This will help you build the determination to apply more rigorously as the semester goes on. Who knows, this might even lead to a post-college career (in which case the rigorous job search may never happen!).
- Attend a career fair. Colleges are constantly offering opportunities like these. They’re offered for a reason. Use them. Come prepared with copies of your resume and possibly a business card. Dress up for the occasion. If you have too many things to do throughout the day to change into something too formal, try to dress at least semi-formal.
Written by Riley Ackley, Peer Mentor
Photo Cred: Aaron Lee, Graphic Artist