Earlier this week I received a question from a soon to be college graduate. She stated that she was going to be graduating in the coming month and was wondering if it was the right time to begin her job search?

I almost fell out of my chair.  If I knew where she was attending school, I’d seek out her advisor and give them a piece of my mind.

If you are graduating soon and you have yet to begin your job search, you need to giddy-up and start laying the groundwork. The following list will give you some helpful to do’s to get you on the right path (I recommend you begin this process at latest during your Junior year).

  1. Meet with your advisor, career counselor, or someone in the career development department if they have one.
  2. Work with them to build a resume and online LinkedIn profile (make sure you mention all of your associations, awards, interests, etc.).
  3. Reach out to your instructors, TA’s, and Alumni Association to begin networking.
  4. Join networking groups to include LinkedIn groups, Yahoo groups, groups specific to your desired industry , etc.

Back in 1984 at The University of Arizona.  I was fortunate enough to have an amazing advisor by the name of Jim Patterson.  He gave me some of the best advice I ever received. He told me to intern because it was the best way to get experience  and to network my way into the areas I wanted to start my career.

Being a Sports Broadcast Major, I was fortunate enough to intern at CBS in Tucson, Arizona for a year and the Minnesota North Stars Hockey Team.  These internships started during my junior year and continued through my college graduation.  I took the initiative to get these internships because of my college advisor.  These experiences were invaluable, as they showed me what these careers would truly be like.  I ultimately wound up in film production – (a whole other blog.)  Having an internship can ultimately lead to your first job.   What better way is there for an employer to truly interview you than to see your work ethic and talent first hand?

In the 1980’s we didn’t have the internet and social media to help with networking.  We had to do it the old fashioned way through mail and phone calls.

Now that there are more options for networking and the opportunity to educate ourselves on potential employers, the possibilities are endless as long as you make your job search a top priority.  The earlier you start, the wider you can cast your net.