For many of my friends, finals are creeping up, and most importantly...graduation. If you're graduating in May, you probably want to have a job offer or two to choose from by then. That means you need to think about what you want to do and who you want to do it for, like yesterday. First off: Don't fret! If you're reading this in December and even January, you're still on the right track.

The "concentrated job search" (as I preach to my friends) will get you through this trying time in 8 simple steps.

  1. The "List"
    • List out your top 20 companies or organizations that you'd like to work for (I realize this sounds like a lot, but the more you have in mind, the better).
    • Be ambitious with your list! Similar to our college search, we have reach, match, and safety companies.
    • Have some variety in your list! Different industries, different cities, and different things to offer. It's all about you.
  2. The Search
    • Use websites like Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, and Glassdoor to get started with your search.
    • Don't be afraid of titles like "assistant" or even "intern"
      • It's better to start at the bottom of your dream company than have the "perfect job" at somewhere you don't want to be, IMHO.
    • Do look for titles with "entry level" in them. They are suited to folks just graduating college or people with minimal experience.
    • Don't be scared of the "requirements". If you qualify for even 80% of the required skills or experience, I say go for it! The worst that happens is...nothing!
    • Keep these job position links in an spreadsheet or doc for easy tracking <--- this is what I mean by a "concentrated" job search.
  3. Reach in your pockets then reach out!
    • Empty your suit jacket pockets and purses, and reach out to those business card contacts! All those networking events happened for a reason...
    • Before you start applying, double check to see if you have any possible references! Job referrals mean you may be more likely to get the job; some companies swear by referrals!
    • Got a friend who's interned or works at a company you'd like to be at? Reach out! You never know how helpful they can be!
      • Now is the time to ask for help.
  4. Spruce up that resume!
    • I'm amazed at how many "final" resumes I see that are littered with typos and information that isn't up-to-date!
      • Check it twice and have a friend check it too!
  5. Write cover letters
    • I know we hate these, but if you want the job that badly, you'll write one. It means you took the time to express your desire to work for X Company.
    • If you and someone else with the exact same education and experience as you apply for a job, but the other applicant attached the "optional" cover letter, who do you think is going to get the interview/the job?
  6. Apply!
    • Finally, apply to the positions that are posted earliest FIRST, because you're closing in on an application cut-off
    • Track your applications! I track where I've applied in a spreadsheet (that I may post here later, if you all want it!)
    • Follow up. This isn't a part-time job, this is your career!
      • Don't be afraid to reach out after applying if you feel like too much time has passed.
  7. Interviews
    • See here for tips on nailing that interview.
    • Follow up again!
  8. Get the offer? Come back here and tell me if you did below! If you didn't, try these steps again. Don't give up and reach out for help!


In all things, hustle.