Start to Finish: The Road to a Job Offer

Wondering how to end your senior year with a job offer? Start early. This blog will help you plan and execute your path towards your future job after graduation. Let’s begin with training!

Training: Freshman Year

  1. Choose a major that interests you and accommodates your strengths and one that will lead to a career that you can see yourself working in. Be on the lookout for workshops and events that relate to your major or interests in order to learn more about the industry and to make valuable connections with employers.
  1. Join multiple organizations. Some of these should be relevant to your major and/or future career goals but don’t forget to join some that relate to your personal interests as well. Be an active member in these organizations so that they may lead to a leadership position in the future.
  1. Begin creating a college résumé! It is important to start this document early in your college career in order to find which experiences and skills you need to develop. After joining organizations, these can be added onto your résumé. Be sure to visit the Center for Career Development (CCD) for more help on how to write a successful résumé!

5K: Sophomore Year

  1. Take advantage of Experiential Learning opportunities. Sophomore year is a good time to start researching opportunities within your major or industry to “try on” your potential career. Look for job shadows or leadership events/programs offered by prospective employers geared towards underclassmen that will enhance both your related experience and your résumé. These are opportunities that will make you stand out as well as provide you with connections when looking for an internship or full-time job.
  1. Continue being active in organizations. Many students join multiple organizations their freshman year, but it is important to stick with a select few that you are truly interested in as well as ones that you might even see yourself being a leadership position in your junior or senior year.
  1. Continue building your résumé. As you develop more responsibilities in organizations, be sure to add these tasks and responsibilities as bullet points in the Activities section.

Half-Marathon: Junior Year and Summer into Senior Year

  1. Apply for Internships. Many students begin applying for summer internships their junior year. This is a good time to do so because many employers look for students in this year and sometimes, internships can lead to a full-time offer at the end of it! Internships offer real-world experience which can not only help build your résumé but also allow you to learn more about the industry and decide whether or not it is a good fit for you.
  1. Become a Leader. Having leadership experience on your résumé is very valuable! This is an important time to apply for and hopefully become a leader in an organization. This does not have to entail COO, CFO, or Secretary necessarily, but it can also be leading a project or an event within an organization. These new responsibilities and tasks can now be added to your résumé in the Leadership Experience section.
  2. Ace the Interview and Accept an Internship. Make sure to utilize the services offered at the CCD including practice interviews, résumé critiques, and our career counselors in order to make yourself the most marketable and to get the best information about applying for internships and co-ops. Don’t forget to send out thank you letters after interviews, too!
  1. Take Advantage of the Internship. It is important to utilize your time during your internship efficiently. Make sure to ask questions, meet and network with different people, and learn as much as you can. Make good first impressions and be a productive, smart, and active intern!

Full Marathon: Senior Year

  1. Research full-time opportunities. Now that you have internship experience under your belt, your professional experience has already increased. Senior year is that time to start thinking about the companies that you would like to pursue a full-time opportunity in. Whether it is the company you interned for, or a different one, it is good to start this as early in the year as possible.
  1. Make sure your résumé is the best it can be. Now that you have had experience in both activities and work, your résumé bullet points should be perfected with all your responsibilities and tasks. Get your résumé critiqued at the CCD as many times as needed!
  1. Apply and Interview. Interviews for full-time positions can be different than those for internships. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of the Practice Interviews offered at the CCD but to do as much research about the companies and industry as possible too.

In conclusion… it is important to stay on top of your career-decision making throughout your years in college. Even though it may seem far away your freshman year, starting as early as possible will only help you. These are just tips which may vary based on your major, experiences, and skills but hopefully they are helpful nonetheless!