Start Your Job Search Soon if You Are a Senior!
Graduation is only a few months off and depending on the type of job they are applying for your senior should probably start their job search. Industries like investment banking, consulting and accounting are well known as early recruiters and often rely on summer internships between junior and senior year when making job offers. Smaller companies without training programs tend to recruit later in the year; as do employers in fields like communications, advertising, public relations, social media, the arts, and publishing. Starting to Network can never happen too early. Preparing a resume and updated LinkedIn page is important too.
UCF offers career services (called Handshake) that students should undoubtedly take advantage of as they begin to consider life after college. There they will find various counseling opportunities and guidance workshops. They also offer a career fair where students will meet recruiters to discuss job opportunities. Some interviews actually occur on site.
Often internships can lead to jobs after college. Consider doing an internship in this regard. UCF has Internship and Co-op Fairs each Fall and Spring. There are also smaller job fairs that are more specific to student’s majors. Check our calendar regularly for those dates or check in with your major departments.
It is important to dress professionally (students dressed too casually will not be admitted) and bring a resume (that includes their expected graduation date). Last year there were about 250 recruiters and alumni present.
UCF also has Career Readiness Week usually in January or February. The programs throughout these days will provide UCF students an opportunity to have their resume critiqued and to practice their interview skills with an employer. There are various workshops from Dress for Success to Prep for the Career Expo. Students should watch for an Interviewing Strategies Webinar. There is also a Linked In Workshop, as well as opportunities for students to get a professional headshot done for LinkedIn too. You can see a complete list of the various workshops the Career Center offers here.
Putting together an interview or new career wardrobes can get costly, but there are stores that provide students with discounts for just this sort of thing. Be sure to bring a student ID when shopping at Banana Republic, Charlotte Russe, J. Crew, Bauer, Topshop, and L.L. Bean, among others. This is one time that the usual casual attire they have grown so used to will need refining. Career services will help with this too.
Students should also consider preparing different ways to show off their abilities and talents. A strong resume is obviously a good start and the campus career services will assist with that as well, but today, students are, depending on their major and field of interest, preparing online portfolios, making their own websites and videos to highlight their assets.
Writing a strong cover letter and thank you note after an interview is one thing that hasn’t changed, and it is acceptable to email it. It is extremely important. There are multiple websites that can help students with this (or that career center again), but it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.
Another place to look: There is a Facebook page called UCF Jobs and Internships for students looking for part-time jobs and internships.
Finally, remind them to talk to their professors. Most of them were or are professionals in that industry and may have ideas, connections or recommendations. Professors can be an excellent resource.