When you are a student, March Break is a beautiful time of year. The snow is starting melt, Spring is just around the corner and you have a week to do whatever you want. Why not put this free time to use. Whether you are going to be looking for a summer job, or a full time career after graduation, March Break is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your job search.
Do your research. You won’t get very far with your job search unless you are clear about what you want. This means spending a lot of time researching the labour market, learning about your industry and identifying target companies. This research will help you determine how to focus your resume and impress employers at the interview stage.
Network. When employers have a position to fill, their first step is usually to consult their network. Make a list of all of the people in your network and use this time to meet them for a coffee. Tell them what type of job you are looking for and ask them if they have any ideas. Also, see if you can identify opportunities where you can meet new people and build your network.
Work on your social media presence. When you are applying for a job, most employers will check out your profiles on social media. What will they find? Make sure that you eliminate anything that is embarrassing or that would be of concern to an employer. Use the privacy settings to keep your private information private. Take this opportunity to showcase your professionalism and enthusiasm for your career.
Polish your resume. Now is the time to get your resume ready to go. Print out a few job advertisements for jobs that you would like to target. Make sure that your resume highlights all of the requirements for those positions. Update your resume with any new jobs, education, or certifications. Pay special attention to the layout and formatting of your resume because the truth is that appearance counts.
Talk to employers. Once you have laid the groundwork, you have to start getting out there. Whether that means making cold calls, reaching out on social media, or actually applying for positions, you need to get on the employer’s radar. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; even if you don’t get hired, you might get some valuable information that will lead you to your next opportunity.
Of course it is important to refresh and recharge your batteries over March Break but you can also make use of this time. If you devote just a few hours a day to your job search, you will be ready to hit the ground running and that head start can make a HUGE difference in how quickly you find a job.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Surasakistock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)