The Right Time of Year to Apply For Jobs & Internships in Different Fields

Applying for jobs can be an incredibly daunting task. As a collegietteä, you’re more than likely balancing a full course load, a part-time job or internship, your sorority or student groups, not to mention trying to maintain a social life. Now that it’s time to apply for that full-time job or internship, you’ve got to add adjusting your resume, writing cover letters and preparing for interviews to your already long to-do list.  

As if to add to the confusion, different industries have a wide variety of timelines when it comes to the application process. "The nature of the beast is that different industries hire at different paces," explained Maria Stein, director of university career services at Northeastern University.

Check out this basic guide for young women searching for jobs in a wide range of job industries.

Business, Finance, Engineering & Computer science

Collegiettes entering fields such as business, finance, engineering or computer science should be aware that these types of companies often know they will be recruiting students eight to 12 months in advance.  "Their goal is to come to campus and interview, sometimes conduct second round interviews and then try to have offers signed, sealed and delivered in December," explained Stein. This is partially because these industries consist mostly of large companies that have training or rotational programs in place. That means they know they're going to need 25 new employees in one department and 20 in another a year in advance, and can commit to letting you join the team before you even start your final semester at school.

Liberal Arts & Communications
Those of you on the flip side with liberal arts degrees face a much different job search. Whether you're interested in a field like journalism, public relations or communications or something like history, sociology or architecture, you will most likely be applying to much smaller companies who hire one or two new employees on an as-needed basis. This means that you can't necessarily start your job search until much closer to your date of graduation. Stein suggests mid-March as a good time to start actually applying within these fields, but points out that networking and research are key to helping ease you into the search. (Read more about those later!)

Teaching and Education
If you're interested in a job in teaching or education, be aware that your job search will be based on the school year and the timeline of the school district you're interested in. Because the school needs enough time to decide whether existing teachers and staff will be continuing on the following year, the hiring timeline usually begins in April and is done by mid- to late summer.  Many colleges and universities will hold job fairs specifically for their education majors. These fairs, which often include opportunities to interview, happen in early spring, so be sure to keep your eyes open for those.

Health Care Professions

For those going into the health care professions, be it nursing, physical therapy or pharmacy, you should be aware of what type of jobs you will be looking for within your field. "Physical therapists can be working in so many different settings," noted Stein. "So your job search can run a range of things." Regardless, the same theme applies as within other fields—if you're looking at working in a hospital, or at a large pharmaceutical company or drug store, job fairs often take place in the fall. If you want to work for a smaller company, the reality is that you may need to wait until later to apply.