Monday, October 26, 2009

The Secret to Finding College Jobs

With the Fall comes a rush of college students trying to find jobs. While most students think of on campus recruiting as the ultimate source of college jobs, this is not the case. In reality, less than 1/3 of college students find jobs from companies that hire through career services.

Personforce has thousands of jobs for college students and works with dozens of college newspapers, so I thought I'd take a minute to discuss finding college jobs.

So what is the secret to finding college jobs? Focus and persistence. I'm going to assume you've spent the last 4 years figuring out what kind of job you want and what industry you are interested in. Once you've identified your ideal post-college job, here is the secret to getting it.

Focus. First off, become an expert in your area. My number one recommendation is start a blog and post one entry every day about this industry and job function. You'll be surprised, but eventually people in this industry will start coming to your site (mostly through search engines). While the rest of your classmates will be searching for jobs, college jobs will be finding you. Through your blog you'll start to build relationships with people in the industry. They'll be impressed that a college student has taken such an interest in their industry.

Relatedly, build a focused online presence geared toward this industry. Create a LinkedIn profile, send some insightful tweets, create an profile on various career sites.

Persistence. Remember you'll probably be shot down for 95% of the jobs you apply for. You have to be darn persistent when finding college jobs. Create a spreadsheet of the top 100 companies you want to apply to. Then go through the list and actually do it. Go through your alumni database (or LinkedIn) and create a list of people you want to speak to. Then, contact each of them and try to set up "informational interviews" to learn more about the industry. Be disciplined and try to set up one call a day.

Finding college jobs is hard, but it's easier if you build a presence in the industry. The best way to do that is to start interacting with the industry by writing and meeting people. It's great if you can search for college jobs, but it's even better if they find you.

For more information about finding a job during your senior year, check out Personforce.

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