Career Planning

How to Encourage Your Student to Jump the Job Queue

If your student is getting close to graduating from university, they’re probably starting to worry a bit about how to go about getting their first full-time job after their studies. No doubt you’re feeling a little anxious about this too, particularly if you’re keen for them to move out of home sooner rather than later!

With economies quite tight in many industries, and lots of competition for positions, it’s important for graduates to find ways to jump the job queue so they don’t spend months applying for roles, getting nowhere, and having their self-esteem suffer as a result. Plus, of course, the quicker they begin their career, the sooner they can start moving on up in it and becoming more financially secure.

There are numerous ways for young people to get ahead and find out about new positions before they’re even advertised. Read on for some ways you can encourage your student to make things happen for their career sooner rather than later.

job search tips for students

Utilize University Career Services and Work Opportunities

First up, note that while your student is still at college, they can take advantage of campus career services to help them get an “in” with employers. Many companies search universities for potential new recruits, and/or ask professors for recommendations.

Plus, career advisors at universities can put students in touch with employers who run internships and other work experience programs. While completing one of these stints, your student may be able to make such a good impression that they get asked to stay on as a casual, part-time, or even full-time employee.

It is particularly important for students to find work placements in firms which relate closely to their degree. For example, if studying an employment law degree, your child should be aiming to get experience working in a company that specializes in this area.

Another benefit of spending time getting experience in relevant firms is that doing so allows your student to build up knowledge of such organizations and what it is they do, how they do it, and how their organization works. This information can be invaluable when applying for roles at a later date.

Get to Know Recruiters

Encourage your child to get to know as many recruiters as they can, if they want to jump the job queue. A great way to hear about jobs before they’re even advertised is via recruiters. Hiring managers deal with new and existing clients on a regular basis, so therefore hear about opportunities very early on. They like to be able to suggest candidates straight away, without needing to place an ad, as this saves time and impresses clients with fast results. Subsequently, if recruiters are aware of a candidate who could be a good fit for a role, they’re keen to recommend them ASAP.

It’s possible for young workers to build relationships with hiring managers online, via social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the like. More and more of this kind of networking is done these days. Plus, graduates might also be able to meet hiring managers face to face at university careers days, at events, or even during interviews.

Students should continue to keep in touch with recruiters over time, as they never know what types of connections and referrals this can lead to. Encourage your student to send short emails on occasion to recruiters they’ve connected with, to let them know where they’re up to in their studies or career.

While it’s important not to harass these busy HR staff members in any way, a friendly follow-up email (or even short call) on occasion is a good way to stay in touch, and front of mind. You never know what kinds of work-related opportunities can arise when this is done.

college job search tips

Take Initiative

It also pays for people to take initiative when they want to jump the job queue. There are numerous ways to do this. For example, your student can send their resume and cover letter off to companies they’d like to work for, even if these organizations don’t have advertised roles listed just yet.

Most firms are happy to hang onto documents and look through these when jobs become available. They’re usually impressed by the confidence and initiative people have taken to send in their documents regardless of whether there are any current openings. Often companies fill positions directly from these kinds of unsolicited applications, without having to even worry about advertising a role.

Another key way for new workers to gain the attention of potential hiring managers or business owners is to let all contacts (such as friends, colleagues and family members), know they’re on the lookout for a new role. These contacts may know of a company looking for a suitably qualified employee, and therefore recommend your student directly to staff members.


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