End of term is approaching quickly for university students. The smells and sounds of spring are in the air, the end-of-term assignments are piling up, and exams are – well you probably don’t want to think about them yet. The end of term is always a time of excitement and high stress. For some students this is the final term which means there is the added pressure of figuring out what happens next. Travel? Job search? Grad school? Moving?
There are some typical cliches about life after graduation: working behind the counter serving up fast food delicacies, moving back home, finding yourself on the road… If working is your next step then take the time to think about how you will approach your search. Here are a few tips for balancing the end of term work pile-up and getting a jump-start on your career.
1. If you can, don’t rush things. If you’re finishing school with assignments and exams, don’t add to that stress by diving right into your job search. Take the time to finish school on a strong note. Working hard on getting your GPA as high as possible will bode well for you. Graduating with recognition for your hard work, such as magna cum laude (Latin for “with great honour”), gives you the advantage in your job search. Being able to put graduating distinctions on your resume will show employers that you know how to work hard.
2. Take advantage of your School’s Career Center. Being at a university often provides all kinds of added perks that you won’t realize you had until they’re no longer available. Check in with your Career Centers. On top of providing job postings, Career Centers often provide opportunities for students to have an expert read over their resumes, interview practices, and a whole slew of career related seminars. These opportunities are a great way to prepare yourself for a full-on job search.
3. Survey your friends. No, I don’t mean walking around campus with clipboard and paper. Test the waters, see what your friends are doing. Where are they looking? What connections do they have? Get a feel for how your friends are approaching their post-university futures. You never know what may turn up – a possible job lead or a pro-tip for the search.
4. Take an internship. If you already haven’t done so while in school, internships may be the way to go. Internships are a great way to build on-the-job experience. You get to showcase your freshly educated mind and figure out how to apply what you’ve learned in the workforce. Internships often give you the chance to try out a variety of tasks in an organization. Look high and low for internships. If you can, tap into your local startup community – you’ll get hands on experience with a business working from the ground up. You will get a feel for how your field works and a great internship experience can provide leads on new opportunities.
5. Prepare for yourself for set back. Finding the right job will take some time. You may find yourself going through many interviews without much luck, or you may find yourself in a job that is not quite what you were hoping for. These things happen. Finding the right fit for a job can take some time. After years of school, it may take some time to find the right position that allows you to use your strengths. But do not let these set backs deter you, take them as valuable job experience. You will learn what you do best and hopefully gain new skills, then you can take these experiences to apply to your dream job.
Andrew Stager is a talent advisor at Jobbook.com. Jobbook is a Montreal-based career site that makes the best matches for employers and job seekers.