Congratulations December Graduates! Whether you are graduating a semester early or a semester late, you are finally at the finish line. Completing your degree is an exciting accomplishment, you should be proud of making it to the end! Before you begin wrapping up your final exams and assignments you may be thinking, when is the best time to start applying for a job? There is no clear answer. Based on your plans, goals, and needs your next step may look different than your fellow graduates. However, if you are ready to begin your professional career, we have some advice for beginning your job search!

Resume & Online Presence

Before you apply anywhere, you need a resume and sometimes a cover letter. Refining the content and experience you have on your resume before submitting it to a job posting is crucial. Make sure all relevant experience, skills, honors, clubs, and societies are included with the correct dates. If your resume starts getting a bit lengthy, it is okay to save a master resume with all your previous accolades and experiences. Then, compose one tailored to the position you are applying for to cut out the fluff. Cover letters, if required, should also be tailored to the position and company you are applying to. Take some time to review the company and the job description to see if it still makes sense! Your college or university is a great resource to assist you with resume and cover letter editing. Use the services they provide on campus while you can!

What is on paper is one thing, but your online presence is another huge factor in your job search. LinkedIn is used by 58 million companies globally. So, chances are, the company you are applying to is going to view your profile. If you do not have one, make one! Before setting up an interview with you, employers want to gather more information about you as a candidate and expect you to have some sort of online presence. LinkedIn is a great tool for advancing your job search. Roughly 6 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute, and even more are contacted by a recruiter or hiring manager to discuss a potential position.

When Should You Start Applying?

There is no time like the present. It is never too early to begin researching companies and positions that interest you. For larger corporations, it may take longer for your resume to be reviewed. It never hurts to get your name in the door, or many doors, ahead of your graduation date. You may be thinking “am I applying at an unusual time for a recent graduate?” The answer is no! Use the timing of completing your degree to your advantage. Not all companies are looking to hire new employees in the Spring. Since there are fewer job-seeking graduates in the winter, you’ll have less competition to apply for those entry-level positions.

Contract Roles

You may not be so familiar with how a contract position works. But short- or long-term contract roles could be your ticket into the next step in your professional career. After graduating, whether you had internship experience or not, what you should be looking to build is your professional experience. As recent graduates, it is difficult to figure out how to get started on your journey to where you want to end up. But, working for a company as a contract employee helps you gain professional work experience that will enhance your resume. Not to mention, if you enjoy the role, environment, and the company and are successful in the role, they may just want to hire you permanently as the contract period is ending. If not, you now have the opportunity to apply to positions that required 1-2 years of experience that you were not able to apply to before.

It is normal to feel many emotions as you are closing this chapter of your life, ready to begin a new one. As you close your textbooks, it is important to remind yourself and your peers that you cannot measure your progress using someone else’s ruler. No matter what you decide to do after graduating, be proud of yourself. You did it!

If you are looking for assistance in your job search, resume writing, LinkedIn profile building, and more, we are happy to help connect you to the next step on your journey. Give us a call at (518) 275-4816 today!