Often applying for jobs can be a college senior’s worst nightmare, but why should it have to be? It should be exciting to say that you are about to enter into the field that you have put years of studying and work in to. Preparing and searching for a job should be taken serious, but should also be an exciting process!
Before applying there are the must haves: a resume, cover letter and for some an online website or portfolio. JMU offers great prep sessions in all of these areas, so definitely check out the CAP center for help. Once you have this completed you can start filling out applications!
If you’re a senior graduating in May, you may want to consider starting to apply within the next few weeks; it’s never to early to get your foot in the door. And just because that company doesn’t have the perfect position for now doesn’t mean that in a couple months they wont, so it’s good to put your name out there, because they could end up contacting you!
Not sure if you’re qualified? Thoroughly read the job description and if it describes traits and skills that you have then you should apply! If it doesn’t and you still want a shot at it any way, explain in your application or cover letter that you have most of the skills, but the ones that you don’t you are very eager to learn about.
How can you find jobs? A quick Google search is not a bad idea, but also check out JMU’s job board. Recruit-A-Duke is a great way to gain access to jobs and have the awesome opportunity to be able to interview right here on campus. All it takes is a search on the board and an application or resume drop and you could be on your way to finding great careers.
So what happens after you apply? Always follow up, whether you have heard from them or not, make sure they know you are interested and that you care. Hopefully if all goes well, you’ll get a response back for an interview.
To prepare it’s super important to do company research; know the all about the company before you go into to talk about it in your interview. Search frequently asked interview questions; be prepared with some ideas or answers for what you will say and come up with your own questions for them.
Head back to JMU’s CAP center and practice with some interview workshops. Doing this preparation can make you feel ready and confident to take on the interview. The best piece of advice I ever received was, to not be nervous, because the interviewer wants you to succeed; they hope that you are that person they need to add to their company.
So good luck seniors! We are rooting for you and would love to hear about all your application, interview and job experiences! Comment below!