How to organize your job hunt

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It’s the last year of your university or college career.

You are slammed with courses that you absolutely have to ace.

Study sessions until 2 a.m., tucked away in a cubicle at your library, organizing and categorizing months worth of notes for your final exams, and writing seemingly endless 30-page reports.

On top of the academic stress and pressure you feel, you also have to search for a job. Just when you thought you’d almost crossed the finish line, you realize there’s a whole other lap to conquer.

During my fourth year, one goal I set for myself was to have a job waiting for me upon graduation. I searched, applied and prepped like it was nobody’s business. Consistently seeking opportunities through a variety of mediums is extremely important for all new grads.

Let’s face it, no one wants to be that person, when asked at convocation, “So…what have you been doing since graduation?” who answers, “Oh, you know…just taking some time off, searching for jobs.”

Here are some tips to help you organize your job hunt:

  1. Bookmark career sites (like TalentEgg.ca) so you can check them on a daily basis
  2. Mark down any and every networking event in your calendar that may open up doors. Remember, every hand you shake and every face you smile at may hold a future opportunity for you!
  3. Create a new computer folder with copies of all job postings, applications and company information. When you land an interview, you’ll have all the information you need to prepare yourself.
  4. Build an Excel spreadsheet tracking your job hunt including the following categories (and any others you think should be added): company, position, search medium (TalentEgg, career fair, etc.), method of application (networking, direct application to a recruiter, online application), response, interview, contact, result. This way you’ll never lose track.
  5. Construct an “Interview Tips” document with every possible piece of advice from websites, advisors and fellow classmates on how to impress employers during an interview.
  6. Practice! Interview workshops and mock interviews with your peers and school’s career counsellors are an awesome way to shake off the jitters and get comfortable presenting yourself to others. Videotaping your mock interviews will also help to identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what skills to brush up on.

The best tip I can offer to every student approaching graduation is: start early. The day you have your first class is the day you should begin your hunt. And remember, the end of your university or college career is the beginning of the rest of your life.

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About the author

Sasha Rana is an honours commerce graduate from McMaster University, currently working as a sales account executive. During her four years at Mac, she was the director of the Student Community Support Network for the McMaster Students Union, a teaching assistant, and involved in various campus clubs, planning events and fundraising initiatives. She frequently wrote for her service’s newsletter, the campus newspaper, as well as a local community newsletter. She would like to continue her passion for sharing her thoughts and experiences, while reaching out to fellow new grads.