by Tiffany Thomas, Class of 2015
Senior year, and you can’t wait to graduate. You may even sleepwalk through the next two semesters. But how much time will you put into looking for a career-oriented job before you order your cap and gown? Career experts offer a tip to seniors in the class of 2016: start your job search now.
My friends in the class of 2015 graduated and immediately got a taste of the real world. It may sound odd, but we didn’t consider the competitive environment and the serious challenge of finding jobs.
Take 24-year-old Dominique Young. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brooklyn College and now she gets to take a little victory lap and “reflect on all my achievements.”
But Young, like other recent grads, finds “the job search process is stressful” because they didn’t consider the competition in the job market and some waited too long to start to look for a job that could jumpstart their careers.
Natalia Guarin-Klein, director of Brooklyn College’s Magner Center, which provides career counseling and other services, told ConsumerMojo, “Students should have landed their job before graduation. Students should be actively looking and applying for jobs one year before graduation and be aware of application deadlines.”
We found posts on Facebook and experienceproject.com that tell the sad story about my class: “I graduate in a month and I still don’t know what to do with my life,” or “I just graduated and I think I’m going through a bit of post-college depression.”
On the other hand, those who put themselves out there early seem better prepared to cope with the competition.
22-year old Raqueeb earned his bachelor’s in computer science and found work right away. But he wants more and continues to find ways to develop his professional skills.
He applauds his Brooklyn College professors who offered good advice during his last semester and continue to give him tips. He says they provide “motivation to enhance my skills and prepare me to be better as a job candidate.”
Raqueeb majored in a subject that puts him in high demand. But even so, now that he’s looking for a really great job, he says the competition is tough. And he adds that looking for a job “is more difficult than I expected.”
Dewayne Lee, 30, worked while he studied at Brooklyn College and earned a degree in accounting. He thinks his previous work experience gives him a leg up, “The job search is going well and I am studying to earn my CPA certification.”
Lee learned on the job about the realities of the business world. He suggests that while in school, students try to get a job or internship in a professional field to get a taste of the real world. He says, “It will have you ready to take on any challenges by storm.”
Because a lot of us didn’t do some of the things we might have, Magner Center Director Natalia Guarin-Klein advises everyone to continue to “take advantage of all the resources available and all the contacts they have. Don’t wait until you need a job.” A few more big things. Guarin-Klein offers four tips:
- Make sure your resume is perfect.
- Practice your interview techniques.
- Study the company and get a feel for how it operates and what they want.
- Get tips from advisors and stay in touch with them.
You may have graduated from college but you might want to go back to your college career office and ask for help to hone your job-hunting skills. Advisors take pride in helping graduates get jobs and if you show promise, enthusiasm, and appreciation they will help you eagerly.