Senior Steps … No job, no worries

Nancy Dudak

Don’t panic if you don’t have a job yet!

In this uncertain job market, many seniors are starting to feel anxious at the thought of graduating without a job in hand. It’s true that there seem to be fewer jobs, but it doesn’t mean that there are no jobs. It really translates to students having fewer to pick from. Three years ago, students had multiple job offers. Today’s graduate may only have one or two but if it’s the right offer, one is all you need.

It seems like everyone has a job but you. Even in a good economy, only about 50 percent of the graduating classes has firm plans at the time of graduation. For many students, the dust settles over the summer. Many employers and industries use a “Just in Time” hiring method, meaning that when there is a need, they hire an individual. Employers using this method move quickly, compressing the time between listing the position and having the person start. You could be called for an interview, be offered the position, and start working within two weeks. This method is most often used to fill unique positions rather than spaces in a large training program. It’s your responsibility to become educated about the hiring processes in industries that interest you. (Who makes the decisions? Can a Search Firm help me? What’s the best way to make contact?) You may have to go through some rejections before the right job comes along, but it’s well worth the wait.

A long distance job search can be particularly challenging. For many of you, it may require that you make the move before you find the job. It’s difficult to move without a job in hand, but being there will convince employers that you are committed to the location and that you are ready to begin work immediately.

Graduate programs may send decision letters out as late as August and some students are waiting for that information before starting a job search. This could also affect where you live or if you will be relocating.

Know what your resources are before you leave campus. Career Services is open all summer and will continue to send resumes out to employers. Become familiar with Villanova alumni in the area in which you will be living. Learn about the business community (or the service sector, etc.) in the geographic areas you are considering.

Do panic if you have no idea what you should be doing or what you want to do.

If you haven’t narrowed down some industry, career or geographic preferences, you could be feeling particularly overwhelmed. Each of these choices is big in itself, in combination they can lead to a feeling of being inefficient or indecisive. Get some help from Career Services, faculty advisors or other campus professionals to map out a strategy before you graduate.