So You Think You Can Wait Until After Graduation?

Tips to Prepare for a Smooth Transition Post-Graduation

“I’m really busy with mid-terms.”  

“I’ll do that after spring break.”  

“I’m sure XYZ Company will reach out to me any day.”

If you’re a graduating senior and you’ve uttered any of these statements, you need to pull yourself back into reality and get busy. You! Yes, I mean you! You may not realize it, but if you’ve not already tied down a post-graduation position, or at least narrowed it down to several offers, you are way behind.

Most employers spend much of February and March selecting their spring hires, so if you’ve avoided career fairs and resume workshops like cafeteria meatloaf, it is time to get busy in order to land a position that you’ll be happy to report to after graduation.

So you’ve not started looking for a full-time position yet and you’re feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, don’t fret. Let’s break this down into steps so it’s not quite so daunting. Here’s what you need to do TODAY:

1. Soul Search

Sit down in a quiet space. Close your eyes and envision what your ideal employer looks like and what it doesn’t look like. Make a list of must-haves and things to avoid. Some qualities to consider

Location (Are you willing to relocate?)

Company Size (Fortune 500 v Small Business)

Company Culture (Casual or Formal)

Growth Potential (This could be development/training or salary)

2. Research

Utilize your campus Career Services to help you hone in on organizations who are actively hiring candidates. This is a great, under-utilized resource.

3. Check for Common Acquaintances

Once you’ve found organizations you’d like to apply to, check your LinkedIn and other social media to see if you have any friends, acquaintances, relatives that are associated with the places your interested in applying. Reach out to anyone who may be able to give you insight on the best ways to apply or even be willing to put a good word in with HR.

4. Resume Review

Once you find organizations where you’d like to submit your application, brush up your resume. Use key words from the job description to ensure that it will not be filtered before even being seen by human eyes.

5. Reach out to Hiring Managers

Send an email or LinkedIn message to individuals responsible for hiring. Offer insight into how you will add value to the organization and directly express interest in available opportunities.

Finding a position right out of college is a challenge; so the sooner you get started, the better. Hiring managers are working to finalize spring hires, so if you wait until graduation, you’ll probably be too late.


-Mollie Bentley, Recruiting & HR Manager

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