Senior Struggles: Revamp your job search over the holidays

Follow each week as we present step-by-step suggestions to achieve post-college success with less senior year stress.

Many companies take a break from hiring from Thanksgiving until after New Years, so this time can be ideal for regrouping and preparing for the next phase of the job search. In between holiday parties this winter, take some time to evaluate each aspect of your job search approach. It’s easy to get tired of the daunting process, so take a break from applying to jobs to reflect, rejuvenate and refresh. Here are some things to consider:

Resume and Cover letter(s): have you done anything worth adding to your list of credentials/experience this semester? While you’re home, try asking some family members or family friends to take a look at your resume and give you some feedback. This could be a great opportunity to do some networking as well as gain career advice.

What is your focus?: Have your career interests changed in the past semester? If you’ve been taking advantage of the career fairs and networking events then chances are you’ve become aware of some new opportunities. Perhaps you don’t want to go into finance after all! Again, use holiday parties and family gatherings to seek career insight.

Informational interviewing: Before you go home for the holidays, try reaching out to someone in your hometown area for an informational interview in a field you might be interested in. This can be advantageous for two reasons. First, you will learn about the field. Ask why they chose their career, how they got to where they are and what the job involves. The other benefit is the chance to build your network. By asking for advice, not just a job, you open the door to building a relationship with that person. Once you’ve gotten to know them and their work, you can eventually shift the conversation to helping you find a job.

Practice your elevator pitch: make sure you can tell someone who you are and where you want to go in 30 seconds or less. This doesn’t have to be the exact position you want, but at least the type of work you’re interested in and why. You never know who you’ll be standing behind at the grocery store.

Read, Read, Read: It’s easy to get stuck in the college bubble and forget that there is a whole world outside of Ann Arbor. Yet, any career person will tell you that up-to-date knowledge of the field you’re interested in entering is essential to success. So, take some time to catch up on news about your dream job or industry.

Update your Social Networking Profiles: Flesh out your LinkedIn profile, delete those scandalous pics, and start tweeting about things that are relevant to your chosen career field. Social networking is hugely important to hiring managers and should not be ignored.

Catch up on sleep: somehow the future always seems brighter after a solid 8 hours of sleep.

There’s nothing like some turkey, sleep and free-time to remind you that all will work out. Take plenty of time to relax over the holidays, but use the breaks wisely. By revamping your approach to the job hunt, you can return to it in January ready to search for a job like it’s your job (pun intended).

2 Responses to Senior Struggles: Revamp your job search over the holidays

  1. “Update your Social Networking Profiles”

    This one is HUGE. I’ve seen several applicants eliminated due to what was found after a simple name search on facebook. Not only clean it up, but tighten your privacy settings as well. LinkedIn is the most important as the vast majority of HR people are very active there. Remember, your social media profile might just be your next employers first impression of you. What do you want it to say?

  2. [...] Pace University recently hosted a “Networking for the Holidays” event, and a recent post on a University of Michigan—Ann Arbor blog recommends a lot of holiday relaxing, but also says [...]


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