Portals - Chapter One - Untitled

7 Tips for Every College Senior’s Nightmare

blog, jobs, career, college, senior

Since I entered my senior year of college last semester, one thing has been nagging me. The dreaded job search. It’s the one thing every graduating student worries about. Where am I going now? What is the next step? For me, it’s especially difficult. I like writing, especially creative writing. But I’m also good at marketing and managing social media for companies. So where do I fit? Should I look for a marketing position or a writing job? Should I combo and go for a content creator? But I also want to do an MFA in Creative Writing. And a company hiring me for marketing might not be too keen on me skipping out on a few weeks of work to go write fiction at a low residency program. Maybe a writing job, but most of those are technical or professional writing. So what’s a girl to do?

While I may not know the direction I’m definitely going in, I have picked up some tips from websites and other adults about what I should be looking for. So here are a few of the general ones just for you guys.

1. Know where you can search: The first big step in the job search is knowing where to look. If your college has a job search site, that’s always a good place to start, but it won’t have everything. Another place to look are your favorite companies’ website’s “Careers” page or check their LinkedIn page. This allows you to see the jobs offered at a place you know you like. It’s also important to be familiar with the major job sites employers use. The top three are Indeed.com, Monster.com, and CareerBuilder.com. These are good spots to find jobs you can’t find looking through your college’s jobs site. That said…

2. Be aware of Fakers: There are a lot of “companies” that try to “hire” you to get your personal info and scam you. Sometimes these companies can slip through screening at the big sites since they can’t keep track of everyone (especially if they appear legitimate). Best thing to do is research the company that has the job you want before applying. Make sure they aren’t scams or companies who scam their customers. People often fall for this, and you don’t want to be the next victim. It’s also recommended not to post your resume on your account as many companies, legit and illegitimate, can see it. Instead, just attach it to the actual application when you’re applying. Now that we’ve talked about safety…

3. When searching, don’t limit yourself by location: Location is always something to keep in mind, but don’t let that define your job search. Use the job type for your main search, and keep location in mind without letting it rule your job search. With that in mind…

4. Be aware of all the keywords under your job type: There are plenty of different words used to describe any one job. Like typing “writer” into a job search can bring up “Content creator,” “Editor,” or “Publishing assistant.” It’s the same for all jobs. So be sure to make a list of all the keywords attached to your job type and explore them as well. You never know what you might find, and what you might never have thought of might be the perfect fit.

5. Understand you might not get the dream job right away: You’ve taken classes, done the research, and prepped yourself your entire college career for THE job. The one job you’ve always wanted. And you go out and apply to several (legit) companies offering the job. And get rejected by all of them. Well, it’s definitely not uncommon. Sure, some people get lucky and find their dream job, but don’t count on that luck. Instead, apply for positions you know you have at least some experience in and can learn from. If one of those includes your dream job, then go for it. But always have backup plans, just in case. However…

6. Don’t let your “lack” of experience stop you from applying: Say you find a few jobs you know you can do very well, but the company requires 3-5 years in ___ category. Guess you shouldn’t apply right? Wrong. When companies list out requirements, most of them should be taken at face value. But also understand that they’re looking for the ideal candidate, i.e. the PERFECT candidate. Which doesn’t exist. So if you see a (legit) job where you meet all but one or two requirements including years of experience, don’t let that hold you back. Apply for the job and see what happens. Obviously, you don’t want to do this with a high-level job like Senior or CEO or jobs you have no experience in whatsoever. But do apply for the ones you know you can do that “require” under 10 years of experience in something you know.

7. Use your college’s resources: Every college should have some way to help their students brave the job search. Be that a job search website companies can add to, getting in touch with alumni, or even interviews with companies on campus. Even your professors can be a big help if you ask them to be references. No matter what, be sure to look at the resources your college offers on jobs. They can be invaluable.

These are just a few of the tips I’ve learned from visiting websites and talking with others who’ve been in the workforce for a while. There are plenty of other folks out there who know the ropes of the job search, so I would definitely recommend check out other blogs and articles for tips. Whichever job search option you use, be it major site, college site, and/or your favorite companies’ sites, I wish you luck. Let’s rock the job search!