The search begins before you graduate

Q. My son will be graduating in May 2009 with a degree in economics from a very good college. Obviously we are in a very tough economy and most companies are just not recruiting on campus this year. Do you have any job hunting suggestions for him between now and graduation, as well as post-graduation? Thanks.

A. There are several things that your son can do starting now.

– Begin researching companies in the cities in which he is interested in working. Then study their web-sites and review their openings on a weekly basis.

– Write/email these companies regarding specific openings or his general interest in working with them in an entry level capacity.


– Speak with the career counselors at his college to learn of the names and contact people at the companies that have previously recruited on campus and write to all of them. These companies may not have enough openings to warrant a full college recruiting schedule but that doesn’t mean that they have no opportunities available.
– Tell everyone he knows, including your friends, about the type of work he is looking for and emphasize how flexible he is willing to be.
– Create at least two resumes, one for general opportunities and one designed to demonstrate his achievements in his chosen field of economics, i.e., awards, recognition, grades or related training. Have resume(s) proof read and reviewed by his college career counselor or an objective professional
– Look for internship opportunities. They often pay less but offer a great way to enter the field and get some meaningful On-The-Job training. Internships can lead to a regular position with the company when the intern performs well and demonstrates his ability and willing attitude.
– Try several temporary positions after graduation because this is a channel that can open up doors to companies that are not available to a person looking for “permanent” work. The “Temp-To Perm” concept benefits both the company and the employee because both have a chance to check each other out without making a serious commitment up front.
– Show up at college recruiting sessions, interviews, job fairs and the like even when the situation may not be as appealing as he would like. The experience he will get in interviewing, presenting himself professionally and refining his approach will be invaluable to him in the long run.

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