Senior year: final preparations; make the transition from bookpacks to briefcases

Maintain contact with Career Services throughout the year and take full
advantage of the programs and information they offer

* Meet in person at least once each semester to discuss how to manage your job search effectively
* Attend events sponsored by Career Services: career fair, workshops, employer visits, and other sessions
* Take action on your career to-do list during the fall semester; don't wait until May!
* Finalize your resume and cover letter by December and get it critiqued by the Career Services director
* Meet with Career Services specifically about the Guaranteed Job program
* Ask at least three people if you may include them as a reference; prepare a reference sheet listing each person's name, job title, organization, address, phone number and email

Start applying for jobs during the fall. Keep Career Services informed about
where you are applying.

* With the first job you apply to, work with Career Services on customizing a cover letter and resume for that position
* Complete the graduate school admissions process, including qualifying exams, if appropriate
* Check academic progress toward completion of graduation requirements
* Continue to explore career choice through an internship or regular job, and develop a job search plan during the fall semester
* Continue to pursue opportunities that highlight communication and leadership skills

Harness the power of networking, both online and in person. Networking is the
key to a successful job search.

* Focus on establishing new professional contacts
* Attend two or three chamber of commerce events each semester
* Attend other events (breakfast meetings, networking events, seminars) sponsored by trade associations in your career field
* Make follow-up calls to professional people you meet
* Continue to explore external groups and organizations related to your career field and inquire about student memberships
* Expand your involvement to include organizations off campus. Volunteer to provide your professional expertise to a local non-profit
* Conduct informational interviews with people working in your field
* Continue to maintain positive relationships with your professors, some of whom will write letters of recommendation and be valuable networking connections
* Solidify relationships with classmates before end of year. Make commitments to stay in touch and provide each other with job and networking leads after graduation 

Implement a total professional make-over

* Clean up your social networking profiles
* Change your cell phone greeting and email address to be professional sounding
* Even your conversational language needs to transition from college lingo and slang to a more professional vocabulary
* Establish a professional presence online, including setting up profiles on sites such as Join groups related to career and academic interests

Give yourself plenty of time to take care of final details in the spring

* Activate an alumni email account as soon as it is available; discontinue using your student email address for resumes and graduate school applications
* Make sure profiles on job websites are up-to-date
* Make sure your registration information with the Career Services Office is up to date
* Complete a survey from Career Services near the end of the school year which helps them help you after you graduate
* Finalize your ePortfolio so it reflects your absolute best work and makes a good first impression on a prospective employer
* Get business cards - you can do it yourself, or get them through an office supply store or online (
* Update your student profile page with post-graduation email address and cell phone number
* Make sure you have a valid passport

Enjoy graduation because your plan is in place and your future waits!
After you graduate, continue to keep Career Services informed about your job searchand let us know where you find your first career position.

A final note: there's an old adage "it's not what you know, it's who you know."

Not exactly true and it doesn't paint the entire picture.

Here's the real deal: It's what you know, it's whom you know, it's who knows you, and it's who knows you well enough to be willing to help you!


Thomas College Career Services

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