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When Should Graduating Seniors Apply for Jobs?

Advice on When To Start Looking For a Job for College Seniors

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When Should Graduating Seniors Apply for Jobs?
Copyright Pali Rao
How early in your senior year should you start applying for jobs for after graduation? Prospective graduates often wonder when they should begin applying for jobs since they won't be available to start work until after graduation. Recruiting windows for college seniors will vary greatly by employment sector. So, the answer is that it depends on the type of job you are applying for - and it's never too late even if you haven't started your job search early.

Employers With Early Deadlines

Many organizations with competitive training programs will begin recruiting early in the fall and start making offers as early as late November. Industries like investment banking, consulting and accounting are well known as early recruiters. Investment banks now recruit very heavily from their own summer internship programs so juniors should start applying for these opportunities early in their junior year.

Employers Recruiting Later in the Year

Seniors who start late shouldn't give up hope since there are still many opportunities available during the spring semester. Smaller companies which don't have training programs tend to recruit later in the year. So do employers in fields like broadcast communications, advertising, public relations, social media, the arts and publishing. In addition, many graduates start out in support positions such as trading assistant, human resources assistant, editorial assistant, gallery assistant and broker's assistant which are filled as vacancies occur throughout the year.

Start Early

The best advice is to start your job search soon as possible and invest as much time and energy in your campaign as you can if you are committed to finding a job by graduation. Since most graduates find jobs outside of their college's formal recruiting program through networking strategies, which can take time, it makes sense to start as early as the summer before senior year.

Applying for Unadvertised Jobs

When reaching out to employers that haven't yet advertised a job, you can send a resume and cover letter indicating your interest in an entry level job. When you follow up, ask when they might be scheduling interviews for their entry level jobs. If the interviewing period is several months away, you can always send an updated communication at that point. It's always better to be early than it is to miss a deadline.

How to List Your Degree on Your Resume

If you are wondering how to list your degree on your resume if you haven't finished your program yet, you have a couple of options. It is acceptable to simply list the month and year of your expected graduation next to your degree and the date, i.e. Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, Sampson College, Sarasota, NY, May 2013. Employers know that you won't be formally graduating until the graduation date on your resume. Another option is to say: Expected Graduation May 2013.

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