Panic is most college seniors’ middle name. As we move into the second semester, panic-procrastinate-panic is the three-step being danced on most college campuses. The fact is, however, that 2015 is going to bring an improved job market for most kinds of work. So students who are not headed into finance, consulting or major consumer products jobs would be just as well off to postpone the major job-search ordeal and enjoy their final semester – attending the lectures, films and concerts they’ve missed in years past, spending time with friends they’ll soon be missing and investing some time and energy in getting their GPAs to the most respectable level they can.
And what about folks heading to Wall Street and the Corporate Big Time? The problem is that there is usually a season for most of those hires and so, if you miss the on-campus recruiting sequence, it’s harder to break in later. But these firms are a small segment of the employer market. They just seem like the only game in town sometimes because they’re the ones who can afford to come to campuses. In reality, smaller businesses, nonprofits, arts and educational organizations, communications firms and many others will be hiring all summer and into the fall. There will be plenty of time to get a job!
But if you intend to be one of those wise summer/fall job searchers, here’s a checklist of things to do second semester – to keep your guilt and your parents at bay:
___ Be sure you have good references from your professors, coaches, advisors and former employers in your file at the career office (or wherever they’re kept).
___ Consider whether you’re likely to be applying to graduate or professional school in the next several years. If yes, get some information on the relevant tests so that you can prepare to take them after graduation. In most cases the results are valid for five years, and the year after you graduate is usually a good time to prep and score well.
___ Work on your second semester grades to bring up your GPA. It will follow you to grad school for sure and probably to work as well. Some employers have GPA cutoffs.
___ Visit your career office to learn how to do appropriate and effective alumni networking, and plan to leave campus with a list of grads working in the field and/or location in which you’re interested.
___ Online here and/or from pros in your career office, learn how to do customized resumes – many times a different one for each job. Out in the real world, one size will not fit all.
Now notice the one thing that’s not on the list – worrying! If your parents, relatives or friends seem to be pushing you in that direction, tell them that the Career Coach told you to cool it, because you’ll probably be better off if you think long-term about the job search. Then print out this list above, let them read it, and tell them about how many of the items on the list you’re doing. That will make a happy new year for everybody!Second Semester Job Search Checklist by Granted Contributor