College Seniors Week 1: Applying for Jobs

7 Apr

Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor

Thinking man sitting on diploma

Photo by: lumaxart

Can you believe how fast your four years here at Purdue have gone? I can’t either. Yeah, I’m in the same boat as you, searching for a dream job that I hope presents itself just in time for graduation. Graduation is only six weeks away guys, its crunch time. Many of us will be going off to join the work force; some already have jobs lined up, while another group will be continuing their educations in grad schools. Keep in mind, that it is important to be optimistic, but also realistic about the future. The job market is a scary place for graduating students, and with student loan payments looming on the horizon, you’ll need to keep your eyes and your mind open to new possibilities.

 Tireless_Contributor_Barnstar

Where to Start

Purdue students and Purdue alumni are fortunate enough to have the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) to help get their searches started. Even if you’re not at Purdue, here’s some good information for utilizing your college career center. Make an appropriate resume; you’re applying for a professional position, so you need to be professional. Potential employers first meet you on paper, so even though you may have a great personality in person; you need to show your skills on paper.

 

Finding Something You’re Interested In

Have you made it through your four years and haven’t pinpointed exactly what you want to do yet? Don’t know what field speaks to you the most? That’s okay! While you’re trying to figure out what you want to do, go out and network. All you have to do is talk: let people know who you are, what you like, and have an elevator pitch prepared. And if you’re under an extreme time crunch and just need to get a job to get the bills paid, continue exploring what you want to do after you’ve gotten the job you need right now. You may not find something in your field right away, but if you put in the time and effort, you will find the right job eventually.

New York City Skyline at night

Photo by: Anthony Quintano

Location

Be realistic about this one… Not everyone is able to pack up and move to New York City to pursue their dream job the day after graduation. You may have to move back in with your parents and work in your hometown until you find something in your field. But you should know where you want to go. If you want to make it to New York City, start your search for jobs exclusively there and find a group of roommates you can share a tiny apartment with somewhat-comfortably. If you want to stay closer to home and you’re from a smaller town, you may have a smaller pool for potential employers. If you’re open to moving anywhere, you’ve just opened your potential job opportunities exponentially because you’ll go wherever the job takes you (maybe to one of the ‘Best Cities for New College Grads in 2013’). Another possibility would be to look into online work/freelancing if you’re not sure where you want to move.

Photo by: ZeroOne

Photo by: ZeroOne

Try not to be too bummed out during your search. Success IS possible! Take it from Dominique Vaughn, one of Purdue’s ‘5 Students Who Move Purdue Forward’ this year, she’s a great role model for pursuing your passions. She’s doing the things she loves and getting paid to do it, all while working towards her end-goal of becoming a lawyer. There are ways to merge your passions and find a really interesting job, you’ve just got to put the time into it.

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