Seniors strategize for job search, looking ahead

A common problem facing seniors is finding a job after graduation and how they should go about job searching.

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Career Center Assistant Director Gina Hernandez has spoken with many seniors about their job searching strategies. One of the big questions is when to start applying to jobs.

Hernandez said that depending on the student’s graduation date, “it’s good at the start of that semester to at least begin your search.”

For example, she said if it is December, it’s not too early to start in September. She did caution that there could be a possible roadblock because some employers may have an immediate start date, which could present a problem for students.

She advised that those graduating in May start looking by January.

She also spoke about how job searching “can be a very frustrating process.”

Hernandez said that there are different statistics, “but on average, for a recent grad it can take up to six months to find a position. Sometimes longer and sometimes shorter.”

Hernandez said that “patience is really important and just trying to find ways to keep yourself motivated.” While it is important to “be proactive and stay on top of your search,” she said it should not be a 24/7 thing.

“There has to be some sort of enjoyment in the [job searching] process too, because it can really be discouraging, it can be frustrating,” she said. “It can really be something that we lose motivation [with].”

Seniors shared their outlook on job searching and what tips they have been given.

Riley Cronan, a senior public relations major, is graduating early and will be finished in December.

While he hasn’t found a job yet, he said he remains hopeful. Cronan said he began looking for jobs at the start of the semester, but that it’s “a slow process.”

“There are definitely jobs out there, but you also want to find something that will make you happy,” he said.

Cronan said he mainly uses Indeed and Glassdoor to look for job postings.

“Other than that, I just try to use whatever connections I have from family and friends to see if anyone knows where an opening might be,” he said. “Last year I was determined to find something by myself, but now I realize that you’ve got to use any connections you have.”

His advice for other seniors is “to use any and all of the resources at their disposal.” He added, “Everyone else looking for a job will be using their connections so they [students] should take full advantage of theirs.”

Cronan added, “Job searching is definitely a tedious task, but it’s also pretty exciting knowing there are so many possibilities out there.”

Hernandez talked about some of the job board sites that students can utilize.

She recommended using Navigator and CareerShift, as well as SHU’s new alumni platform, Pirate Connect. Hernandez also mentioned LinkedIn and Indeed, although she said students should be diligent in checking reviews and looking at the company when using Indeed.

Ted Sullivan, a senior political science and philosophy major, is also graduating in December.

Sullivan said that graduating a semester early will hopefully be an advantage for him. He said his work experience has been on political campaigns.

“In this line of work it is often the case that a person moves around a lot as campaigns come and go,” he said. “My goal is to get hired onto a presidential campaign as they start popping up in January.”

Sullivan said that his boss this summer gave him some advice, which “was to say yes to any opportunity and demonstrate your willingness to work really hard.”

He added, “It is an anxious process, but the uncertainty is also exciting. It’s a good spot to be in, and these are good problems to have.”

Senior Frank Frasco, a visual and sound media major with a concentration in film as well as a business administration minor, is graduating in May.

His advice for seniors is to, “Never settle.”

“There is a job out there for you, meant for you, that you went to school for and have the education to be successful in,” Frasco said. “It may be difficult at first and you may want to accept the job that initially pays the best, but always follow where your passion is. That’s when work won’t really feel like work.”

Hernandez added that seniors should know “it’s never too late to come to the office.” She said that even if students are graduating in December, the Career Center offers resources to alumni one year after their graduation date.

As stated on the Career Center’s website, first year alumni “have unlimited free access to all Career Center programs for one calendar year from the date of graduation.” After that one year, Hernandez said there can be a minimal fee, but that it’s dependent on the kind of services the alum uses.

Samantha Todd can be reached at samantha.todd@student.shu.edu.

Author: Samantha Todd

Samantha Todd is a journalism major at Seton Hall University where she serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Setonian. She has a double minor in English and broadcasting and visual media. She is a recipient of the Tim O’Brien Award for Excellence in Writing and Reporting and also the John J. O’Brien Award for Excellence. You can follow Samantha on Twitter @SamanthaLTodd.

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