You’re counting down the months to graduation. But instead of doing a happy dance, you’re doing the limbo. You know those awkward months where it’s too early to apply for full-time jobs while biding time for your coveted diploma. It’s a challenging position.
Most organizations aren’t willing to hedge their bets for seven to nine months waiting for you to graduate to fill their positions. But you need a job after graduation for those student loans that will begin stalking you after the tassel turns. So what’s a broke student to do? Should you be looking for jobs or interviews?
The answer is BOTH. You should be interviewing like it’s your job; getting your name out there and letting the masses know you’re a soon-to-be graduate looking for the gift of employment. This way you’re at the top of their mental rolodex when positions become available and your resume will be closer to the top for consideration. So here are a few tips to help you on the path to the interviewing to employment super highway…
Sign up for as many on-campus interviews as you can through your career center.
Make sure you’re qualified for the job, of course. But if a company you’re interested in is coming on campus to interview, sign up. And if they’re holding an info session, get there early and get a front row seat. Don’t be afraid to brown nose. It could mean the difference between super sizing a value meal or chowing on ramen after graduation. So put yourself out there by any means necessary.
And if the company doesn’t select you for their interview schedule, see if you can snag the interviewer’s time while they’re visiting campus. Offer to take them on a tour, introduce them to some professors, ask them to speak with your underwater basket weaving club. Again, any means necessary to make a FAVORABLE impression without adding restraining order to your resume credentials.
Reach out to your school’s alumni network and start setting up informational interviews.
You know you’ll have two things in common. You both went to the same school and you’re interested in their company. Many alums volunteer to network and talk with students, and too few students take them up on their offers. So flatter some egos, make some connections and get them to add you to their company employee referral program list.
Update your LinkedIn profile, join groups, check the job boards, and shout out to everyone that their favorite social butterfly is looking to add gainfully employed to their profile status. Also feel free to shout this out on Facebook. Your friends know and trust you and will be great referrals (if they’re employed) to get you a foot in the door at their companies. Again, this is no time to be shy. Shameless self-promotion should be your job search mantra.
Network with your parents friends.
I know you’ve spent years trying to disassociate yourself with these embarrassing beings that brought you into the world. But their friends are a great source to network with and they are eager to help you get a job and help your parents become empty nesters. So put the word out and pay penance for all of your teenage angst through your parents’ circle of friends. Your conscience will feel much lighter and your contact list will get a serious boost for your sacrifice.
Yolanda M. Owens is a recruiting sensei, intern whisperer and awarding-winning author of How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer. Learn more about Yolanda and her employer “dating” tips by visiting her website or fan her on Facebook.