When Should College Seniors Start Looking for a Job?

Senior year in college is an exciting yet stressful period for students. College seniors are not only busy meeting graduation requirements, they're also starting to think about life after college. The following tips can help you make the best of your job search journey.

job search tips college grads

Job Search

You may begin searching for jobs before senior year starts. You won't need to apply just yet, but job searching helps you learn what's available in your field, as well as the minimum requirements for particular job titles. You can search for jobs on the web, or consider visiting your school's library and/or career center.

Resume and Cover Letter

Make sure you have a polished, up-to-date resume and cover letter. Both documents should include essential information about yourself, such as skills, schooling, work experience, extracurricular activities, personal accomplishments, and association memberships. Stop by your school's career center if you need help sprucing up your resume.


Some job applications ask you to provide at least three personal references. Start choosing the right people that can speak highly of your work ethic and outstanding skills. Don't choose friends or family members. Make sure your references are either professionals in your field or individuals who appreciate your skill set, such as professors, mentors, or supervisors from past internships.

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Apply for Jobs

Remember to apply for jobs that have a start date after your graduation. You don't want to apply for a job that requires a week of training only to realize you have school finals that same week.

Most colleges host job fairs throughout the school year, which is a great opportunity to meet job recruiters from an array of companies. Be sure to take enough copies of your resume to hand out to potential employers. Job fairs are a wonderful way to apply for jobs; in some cases, you'll even get an interview on the spot.

Can't Find a Job?

You might not land a full-time job right after graduation. Don't worry, there are other options! Consider taking an internship in hopes of being hired permanently in the near future. Similarly, contact a temporary employment agency for opportunities - short-term employment can sometimes lead to a full-time position. Other options could include teaching overseas or starting graduate school. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you're productive and gaining valuable skills that allow you to shine in the job market. also reported on the trend of graduates taking time off, in which CEOs were quoted saying college gap years were 'positive,' 'fantastic' and 'honorable.'

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