Stressed out already about senior year? Don’t know where to start the job search process?
Stop stressing, and listen up! Having worked in the Career Planning Center the past two years, I have gotten the scoop on the recruiting process, and have put together a quick and easy list of essential “to-do’s” before you start applying. Follow these 7 simple steps, and get your job search started on the right foot!
7 things all seniors should do before applying for jobs:
- Go to the senior workshop. If you plan on job searching through Holy Cross you must attend one of these sessions, which cover interview skills, behavior, expectations and all of the policies and procedures for recruiting (also see #3). Plus, it’s a great way to meet the new Associate Director of Employer Relations, Maura Hume. Not only is she a Holy Cross grad but she runs the recruiting program. Tip for success: Become her friend and follow her advice.
- Update your resume. A fresh, eye-catching, and professional resume is key to landing any interview. It’s the first step in marketing yourself to employers, and giving them a snapshot of what you’ve done at Holy Cross and beyond. We may know how rigorous Holy Cross is, but the resume is key to showing employers the value of a liberal arts education. For examples take a look at this link. Tip for success: Bring your resume into the office during drop-in hours and have a counselor review it. Drop in hours are Monday-Friday 1-4pm.
- Check out the new Crusader Connections. Gmail isn’t the only change seniors need to be aware of—Crusader Connections has changed too. You should have received an e-mail about the change before you got back on campus, and it’s essential that you check it out prior to the night you are trying to apply for a job. You can access it through the Holy Cross login screen or on the Career Planning website. Become familiar with the site, how jobs are posted, and how to upload materials. Tip for success: Don’t forget to update your profile, and even try uploading your new crisp resume!
- Find or purchase an interview appropriate outfit. Not all professional outfits are the same and the right outfit is essential for your first interview. Not only will it make you feel professional and give you confidence but it sends the right message to employers. Knowing the type of industry you are interviewing with is also key, as not all companies expect a suit. However, when in doubt over-dress, don’t under-dress. Tips for success: Ladies, listen up! Watch out for flashy jewelry, too many rings, earrings, etc; go for close-toed shoes; and keep the nails groomed and professional; no black or neon polish.
- Identify career fields, employers, or areas of interest. Always keep your options open, but at this point you should start to get a sense of the type of companies you want to apply to and when they recruit. Generally, large companies start as early as the fall, while small companies and non-profits recruit as jobs become available. Knowing the type of company, industry or culture you are looking for can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by all of the job postings. Tip for success: Use online resources to research companies, positions, and industries. It’ll help you get a better sense of the job description, company culture, and expectations.
- Make an appointment with the Career Planning Center to talk about your game plan. Career Planning is a great resource to have. They have done this countless times and can walk you through the process, tell you about more options, and get you connected to employers and opportunities you didn’t know existed. Tip for success: Do this early, don’t wait until you’re stuck, or pulling your hair out!
- Relax! You have time and a multitude of resources at your disposal. Enjoy senior year, do well in your classes, and keep an open mind. Tip for success: Use all your available resources—family, friends, teachers, staff, the internet, and, of course, the Career Planning Center!