A Guide to Finding a Job as a Senior
Senior year is fun, but CCPA majors are worrying about a job in the back of our minds. Some of us don’t know what we want to do. Others don’t know what city they want to live in. Some don’t know what industry they want to work in. With so many unknowns, it is hard to keep our priorities straight. We try to keep up with homework, an internship, attending class, participating in clubs on campus, social life and our personal sanity. Add to the list “finding, applying and interviewing for jobs” and you have found our tipping point on the sanity scale.
- Research and narrow down industry, location, in-house vs firm, specific companies.
- Order business cards.
- Update your resume to be ATS friendly.
- Create and update your LinkedIn profile.
- Practice interview skills.
- Network with professors, alumni, colleagues, and family friends.
- Apply for any available positions that appeal to you.
January – March
- Continue to apply for jobs that are posted.
- Continue to network.
- Schedule informational interviews with companies that appeal to you to learn more about the company or their industry.
Spring Break – Graduation
- Continue to apply for positions, complete interviews, and network.
- Lots of companies don’t post their job offerings until a position opens up, so don’t think it is too late to get hired.
Step 1: Research companies, industries, and locations that appeal to you
- Research industries, cities, and companies that excite you. Pay attention to trends between places and industries that excite you.
- Update your resume, create a cover letter template, and get business cards.
- Grab coffee with an SMU alumn or friend who worked/works at companies that appeal to you.
- Ask to shadow the communications department of companies that interest you.
- Treat this like you are applying to college: create a list of safety jobs, positions you have a good shot at, and reach jobs. Flag companies pages that are on your list so you can check once a week and make sure you don’t miss a deadline for applying once they post an opportunity.
Step 2: Find job postings online or through networking
- Periodically check company websites for companies on your job list.
- Attend networking events and career fairs.
- Scan career sites like Indeed, Handshake, LinkedIn, etc.
Step 3: Apply for jobs
- Apply for jobs that check your boxes and apply for some jobs that fit most of your boxes.
- Apply even if you do not fit all of the job description’s criteria.
Step 4: Interview for the position
- Congrats! You got an interview.
- Visit the Heigi Family Career Development Center for interview practice.
- Give yourself ample time to drive there and factor in time for parking and time for getting lost.
Step 5: Follow Up
- Email the company the next day and thank them for their time. Give them your contact information again and say you look forward to hearing from them about the position.
- Write a thank-you note to the person who interviewed you so they get it a few days after the interview. This is a nice way to have them read your name again and remember you when they are going through interviews with other candidates.