How to Land a Job by June: Your Month-by-Month Guide

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Senior year is supposed to be the best year ever…right? Well, it should be, but finding a job can be super stressful—especially with the unemployment rate at 9.6% in the United States. You’ll be competing with not only your class, but also the graduates of 2010 and 2009 as well as all those who were laid off. Well, like with anything else, preparation is key! HC has a month-by-month guide of what you should do and when you should do it for your senior year job search.  So when June rolls around, the only thing you’ll be worried about is what to wear on your first day of work!

This is when your job search begins! Visit your career center and set up appointments with career advisers. They’ll give you information about upcoming career-related events and what you need to do to contact alumni. “Students should begin the process of writing their resumes including their most recent summer job/internship,” says Rochelle Sharit, a manager at Northeastern’s MBA Career Center. In addition to your resume, write out a generic cover letter. You can later tweak and adjust it for each specific job when you are applying. Since you’re back at school, shoot an email to the places you interned at in past summers. Remind them that it is your senior year and ask when the best time might be to apply for a job there.

September To-Do:

  • Set up a preliminary appointment with your college’s career center
  • Update your resume by adding in this summer’s internship
  • Write a form cover letter that can be adapted

Make a list of places you’d like to work and scour your network to see if you have any connections there. One way to do this is to utilize LinkedIn. If you’re interested in rotational programs (where a company hires you right out of college, trains you in different departments and then places you – like  Ogilvy’s Associates Program) know that they might have deadlines coming up. Research deadlines by going online to a company’s website and seeing when your resume and cover letter should be sent in, and mark these dates in your calendar. Be sure to polish your resume up for not only those programs but also for your school’s fall semester career fair where various company’s might come on campus to recruit. Also, sign up for your school’s career database and start checking it periodically.

October To-Do:

  • Make a list of companies you’d like to work for
  • Set up a LinkedIn account (or update yours) and search for contacts at these companies. If they have contact information up, reach out to them explaining your connection to them and your interest in their profession and field.
  • Get your resume looked over by your college’s career center and then finalize it and save it as a pdf
  • Join your college’s career database and bookmark it so you remember to check it regularly (at least once a week)

Once you have perfected your resume and cover letter, start practicing mock interviews and contacting the places on your list of where you want to work. The best people to practice mock interviews with are career advisors at your school or your professors who have worked in the field you are entering, since they’ll know what employers are looking for. Start emailing your resume out to the people you contacted through your connections, as well as via LinkedIn, and ask if there are any opportunities they might know of. Also, don’t rule out applying online through companies’ websites. If you applied to special rotational programs in September and October, think about following up now by emailing the recruiter or calling the company. You may have to dig up names through their website, LinkedIn or the Yellow Pages, but once you find the contact information, reach out! Also – clean up and privatize your Facebook, twitter or any other social networking sites. You don’t want to come off as unprofessional to any potential employers.

November To-Do:

  • Perfect resume and cover letter
  • Practice mock interviews with a career counselor or professor
  • Reach out to companies on your list from October
  • Follow up if you applied to programs with early deadlines
  • Clean up your Facebook!