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Applying to jobs before graduation: How to not panic 

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

Commencement ceremony is a month away, seniors! The days of finding gray hairs in our combs and piles of loose hair in the bathroom wall and bedroom floor are over. We will soon approach a season of our lives that will officially dictate our future and the young adults we are meant to be. However, before we begin this new journey from big fish in a little pond to little fish in an ocean of flamboyant tuna, we need to prepare with job applications, resumes, and many many job fairs. Here are some tips on how not to be a bald-headed graduate, and how to be on your way to a stress free application process. 

  1. Create an Excel Sheet or google sheet

Creating a spreadsheet can help you keep your job applications organized. Make an individual column for the following items: Organization, Internship Position Title, Contact Name, Email, Phone, Deadline(MM/DD/YY), Materials Required (CL, R, LOR, REF), Date Sent, Follow-Up Date(s), Interview Date & Time (MM/DD/YY & Time), Thank-You Note Sent (MM/DD/YY), Outcome, and Notes. 

  1. Review your job search profile. 

Whether you use Handshake or Indeed to apply for jobs, update your profile consistently to match any new experience you’ve gained and clubs you’ve joined. If you’ve taken classes or added skills to your resume that match your job search, add them on to your profile to raise the chances of getting hired. Additional tip: listing tennis or golf on your resume makes you 33% chances higher to get hired. 

  1. Update your resume 

Make an appointment at the career center and get help formatting your resume. The career center has experts on standby ready to help develop your resume into a professional format to help get your foot in the door of the career you desire. Tips they’ve recommended is to adjust your resume to the job you’re applying to. Not all of your experience is relevant nor should it be more than a page. 

  1. Cover Letters

Prepare a folder on your computer with a file name “Cover Letter Template.” Use this basic template with your introduction paragraph a space for the job you’re applying to and your standard qualifications. You’ll use this save template to begin structuring it for the different jobs you’ll apply to. Then, save it to your computer with the job name and CL. For example, “UCR.CoverLetter.”

  1. Mass Apply

Begin applying to jobs! Now that you’re ready to begin job searching and applying to jobs, apply to a minimum of two hundred jobs before you graduate. This number may feel extremely overwhelming. However, if we take a look at the percent of jobs you’ve applied to and calculate it to the percentage of job interviews you’ll actually get, the chances to secure a job after college are low, and applying to a large number of jobs can create a safety net of chances and call backs than lower the bar to fifty or even ten. The more jobs you apply to, the more practice you’ll have to create excellent cover letters and resumes. By the time you’ve reached your hundredth job application, you’ll find your rhythm in the job applications processing and knocking out many applications will be easy for you. 

  1. Set up a meeting with a professor/ advisor

If by the end of this advice column you still feel overwhelmed, try making an appointment with a professor in your job field to receive advice. Ask them how they made plans for securing a job after graduation. Pick their brains about their experience in the job field after college, and while you’re there, ask for a letter of recommendation to boost your rep.

Applying to jobs before graduation is an extremely daunting task, and adding assignments and midterms to the mix can make anyone stressed out and anxious. Take time to self reflect  on your mental health if these tasks become extremely difficult to the point of debilitating. Make an appointment with the CAPS office for emotional support and remember that your friends and family are in your corner. Take a deep breath and remember that you rock and are capable of anything you put your mind to! Good luck. 

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Ashley Carranza

UC Riverside '24

Hello! My name is Ashley Carranza. I am a 5th Year Creative Writing major at UCR. I transferred from Compton College where I received two Associate Degrees in Biological and Physical Sciences, and Physics. I originally dreamed of becoming a dermatologist or psychiatrist my first year at UCR in 2021, but fell in love with writing in my first creative writing class. I was a Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology student , but after my second year at UCR, I changed my major to Creative Writing in pursuit of a writing career and education. I love to talk about books and discuss different styles of writing. I plan on applying to graduate school to receive an MFA in Creative Writing at UCR. I would love to teach others about writing and the amazing world of fiction we can create once we dive into a book. I love to read cozy mystery books, thrillers, and romance novels. I enjoy writing at coffee shops while sipping seven dollar coffee. I hope to one day write my own thriller and romance books. I love to hike and go to the gym. Topics I love to read and write about are dating, relationships, school, health, and education.