When should I start my full-time job search?

Let’s start with the single best tip there is: start your job search early.

With that out of the way, there’s plenty more to talk about! How should you tackle this job search thing? What’s the correct timeline, where do you direct your attention first, and which employers deserve your time and effort?


The big corporations

These are the guys that target recent grads in large waves. They have training programs, career fairs, on-campus interviews, and careful vetting processes to track down the skill sets that interest them most. If you’re in the pool of candidates they’ll consider, you need to start applying in the fall. Expect a long application process, followed by a long interview process, followed by a long on-ramp procedure when you start. See the trend? The bigger the company, the slower the movement.

The smaller businesses

If you want to apply for positions with smaller, local businesses, non-profits, or independently owned startups, your search will start later during your senior year. Hiring processes will likely take place in the Spring, because applications, interviews, and training move quickly.

Finding your targets

Hit the career fairs at your school first, and sign up for on-campus interviews if those are an option. This is where companies head first to scoop up new hires. Make sure you get a pair of professional eyes on your resume first, and check in with the Career Services Office to make sure you know about each and every one of these events well ahead of time.

Next, you should target companies and organizations that interest you, whether actively hiring or not. Draft a compelling cover letter that explains why that specific employer interest you. Know that you’re going to receive few responses, but try anyway. Successful job seekers leave no stone unturned!

Stay organized

When you start your job search, track application deadlines, submission dates, and dates of responses on a spreadsheet or organizational app of your choice. Keeping track of dozens (or more) of applications can get confusing, so treat the job search like it is a job. Take it seriously, and your diligence will pay off.

Did you know as many as 60% of internships turn  into full-time job offers? Start your search for internships in Rhode Island at www.bridge.jobs.


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