Contrary to popular belief, it is almost never too early to begin ‘looking for a job’.
However, when we say ‘ its never too early to begin looking for a job’, we don’t mean actually applying to current job openings and sending resumes. After all, it won’t make sense to apply for a job in, say, January but you won’t be graduating until the next year.
What we do mean by ‘its never too early to begin looking for a job’ is to begin preparing for when you eventually have to apply for a job after you graduate.
These simple activities, which can be exercised even if you’re a freshman, will help prepare you for the challenges ahead of you, no matter when you start:
Talk to People In Your Industry
Regardless of how far away you are from graduating, you can already begin learning more about your field and the working opportunities it offers by talking to people who are already in the field. This lets you build the important personal relationships that will not only help you launch your career, but help you navigate your way in the industry. You can often engage with these people in career fairs, employer networking events, conferences and campus employer days.
Monitor Job Postings
Looking up and browsing job postings every now and then can help provide you with insight into the type of openings in your field. You don’t need to apply for these jobs– instead, all you should do is learn from them. What skills do employers in your field seem to be looking for the most? What experiences do the employers seem to be interested in? These insights can serve as a guide for you to spot gaps in your current abilities/skills that you need to address in order to heighten your chance of landing a job in the future.
Network with People You Know
If you’re graduating soon (say, in 3 months or so), it won’t hurt to mention your upcoming graduation to your lecturers, relatives, friends, and anyone you encounter on a day-to-day basis. Start making it known in your social circles that you’ll be graduating and begin looking for a job soon. Tell them that you are open to suggestions, and maybe even ask if they are aware of any job leads in your field.
Contrary to popular belief, your job search doesn’t only start once you graduate– it begins the very moment you enrol into your University or College. The knowledge you gain and the other personal relationships you develop along the way through these simple steps will help you jump-start your job search and give you an edge over other graduates when you eventually embark on your career path.
Related: 5 Steps to Acing A Career Fair