“Early and often” was the advice given to me by Monica Hill, Assistant Director for Employer Relations at CNU’s Center for Career Planning (CCP), when I spoke to her about the long and tedious journey of finding employment. Applying for your future career can be a daunting task, especially if you have no clue where to start. I was one of those people, for sure, but through trial and error and a whole lot of persistence, success will be close in your hand.
The cool thing about applying to jobs, if you think it’s cool, is that the hiring process is both about the quality of experience and the personal characteristics you bring to the interview. I know I’ve ducked out of a lot of applications because it required X amount of years of experience or X qualifications in so and so degree. But the thing is, in the long run, you may not go into a job that fits precisely with your degree. Instead, it’s the skills you’ve learned from the degree that will prove to be much more useful. Just because I major in communication doesn’t mean I want to do public relations (an aggravating assumption), but I do have the writing, research and organizational skills necessary if I did want to go into PR. Also, please: follow your passions!
Although most of it depends on personal judgment, I was surprised to hear that seniors graduating in May should really have begun searching for jobs at the beginning of the year. While I thought I was being smart by starting over winter break, there is a lot of truth to it. If you’re interested in government jobs, for example, the earlier the better when you take into consideration all those security clearances and tests needed. But don’t freak out yet! The CCP still has a load of opportunities for you coming in the spring!
CCP will be holding various events throughout the semester to get you prepared for all those questions you might have about the employment process. On Tuesday, January 21, in the DSU Madison Room they will host a resume and cover-letter writing workshop, while on Wednesday January 15, in the Madison Room they will have a workshop about finding internships.
I asked Monica what advice she would give students when it comes to employment, and she told me that you get jobs by talking to people. Whether it be through LinkedIn profiles; talking with professors, family and friends; or visiting the folks at CCP, building a strong web of networks is a sure way to make your presence known. And what better way (wink, wink) to make yourself known than by attending the 2014 Career Fair on Thursday, January 30, from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the DSU? Really though, it’s better to take advantage of these opportunities when they are available to you.