Monday, January 10, 2011

College seniors: Start your job search in January, walk into a job in May

Matt Krumrie

Minneapolis Workplace Examiner

About-to-be new grads who begin their job search in April or May can get in real trouble, says Joanne Meehl. Also known as The Job Search Queen, Meehl is an accomplished career management expert who has worked with thousands of people in transition.
"Everyone else is looking then, and employers have already made a lot of choices," says Meehl, who offers a variety of career services for entry-level to executive-level job seekers and other career-minded individuals. "It's tough enough to find a job this year if you’re graduating, so why make it harder?"
If you start in January, you give yourself a longer runway. You may land a part-time job or internship now exactly where you want to be full-time. Prove yourself, and upon graduation, you could be stepping into a full time, professional position.
Here are several things Meehl recommends you should do now, in January and beyond, to get your job search going so that in May/June you can readily exchange your graduation gown for a suit:

- Focus on the companies or organizations you're interested in -- meaning, why do you want to work there over other places? What are their issues, needs, etc.? Then find the people – through LinkedIn and networking – who can tell you more about these places.

- Strengthen your LinkedIn profile (connect with Joanne Meehl on LinkedIn) -- Yes, you need to graduate to business networking sites like LinkedIn. You need to have a Summary here; borrow some phrasing from your resume for this. Add recommendations from faculty, former internship advisors, and others. Add to your connections; tap your existing network and any internship and job contacts.

- No resume? OUCH. Go to your Career Services office for help with this, or to a career coach, and do it NOW! Or, contact Matt Krumrie at to get a resume review and price quote.

- Sign up for Google alerts for job titles and company names. You'll get all kinds of news about your target companies.

- On Twitter and Facebook: Sign up to get alerts from companies you're following there, especially about job openings. Companies ARE posting openings only to Facebook and Twitter. Also, it’s time to get serious: Make sure your Facebook material is appropriate. Look at your material as a potential employer might. There’s “college”, then there’s professional.Delete any "lite" Twitter entries: You should be posting more professional things now, such as links to articles about your field and career area. Start following your idols in your business, and re-tweet what they say. This will create your brand.

- Start networking at any and every business gathering imaginable, in your college's area AND where you want to locate. Be sure to connect with alums there.
Starting to do these things now means you’ll be a stronger candidate who will be more likely to be getting a real paycheck upon graduation!

For a free booklet with a January-to-May month-by-month task list for your college senior job search, email your request, with the subject line “college booklet”, to

Read The Original Examiner Article

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