Q. I am a senior in college and will be graduating in May. Ideally, I would like to move south immediately after I graduate. Since I will be unavailable to interview until I graduate, is the best strategy to move and then seriously look for jobs?
A.Congratulations on your impending graduation! Looking for a job is not a quick process, and I encourage you to start your search immediately. I also encourage underclassmen to start their job search process early. Each year you can add to your skills and experience so that your resume shows related experience, and an employer sees a track record of responsibility.
Starting your search isn't all about the interview. Interviewing is like opening night at a play. For a great performance, plenty of work has to occur in advance, and now is the time for you to start the preparation. A great search starts with self assessment - what is it you have to offer? What are your skills, talents, values, and drivers? Take the time to identify all these areas and your primary motivators. Write them down - you will need these, and you'll be adding to them as you move forward in the process. You now need to develop your targets. Focus on the industry and function you would like and begin to research companies that might fit your values.
Because you want to move, you need to do the geographic research needed to see which companies are in your target location. The chamber of commerce for your target areas can help. Start looking at all the job boards and focus on the new location. Waiting until you get there is a delay you can do without.
Now is also the time to begin your network development. Have you created a LinkedIn profile? Develop your profile, and begin to create your world of connections. You can let these people know your geographic targets, and ask for leads and connections to the companies you are interested in finding out more about. You will also need to start talking to people from your target area or areas about who they know, and which companies they see as having opportunity for a new college graduate. Find information on salary ranges, cost of living - all sorts of things that will impact what you hope to get as an offer. Your alumni and career office may offer introductions for you.
Start communicating with these people prior to your move. You might want to let them know you'll be there for a week - maybe spring break, or Patriots Day weekend and ask to set up a meeting. If you have responded to job board ads, you can let them know the days you'll be there to let them know you are serious about the relocation. These conversations will all help you develop your interview skills,
If you have a friend with a local (to your hopeful new home) address, using that address can let hiring people know you have a commitment to the area, and there will be no relocation costs.
So start your job search now; be ready to travel, and learn all about what your new southern employer will want to see.
Have a question? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the form on the right.
about this blog
e-mail your question
Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at Winter, Wyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at Winter, Wyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.