9.2 The Job Search
The job search should begin almost one year ahead of graduation. Depending on the employer, the process of securing a job offer may require one or more interviews over several weeks. The job search process is time-consuming, but it is a necessary burden. We heard many students say that they are too busy with their education and can not find the time needed to look for a job. This is a big mistake. After all, you are studying for a career, and not just for the sake of obtaining a degree. If you must compromise, err on the side of putting effort into your job search.
Many schools in America and Canada have what is called an on-campus recruiting program. Your college or university arranges for prospective employers to interview graduating students on campus. The quantity and quality of prospective employers visiting the campus (and thus your potential for securing employment through on-campus recruiting) vary considerably by the reputation (and thus the attractiveness to the prospective employer) of the school. On-campus recruiting is highly successful at top schools, where the number of prospective employers may exceed the number of graduating students. On the other hand, on-campus recruiting at mediocre schools may exist in theory but its practical impact on the graduating students is nominal. Colleges make available the employment statistics for the graduating class, so you can determine the effectiveness of your on-campus recruiting program.
Whether or not an effective on-campus recruiting program exists at your school, you should undertake an employment search on your own as well. Keep in mind, you are looking for the best possible employment and some, if not many, employers of interest to you may not participate in your on-campus recruiting program. Your effort does not involve any financial costs, but just your time and effort. Any costs of trips for job interviews - including airfare, hotel, rental car or taxis, food, and so on - are paid by the prospective employer, whether or not you receive a job offer.
Your job search, beyond on-campus recruiting, involves searching for opportunities through the Web, newspapers, professional journals, personal contacts, alumni network, and so on. If you are interested in particular employers, you can write to them, whether or not they have any openings that are publicly announced or advertised.
iMahal offers information and guidance on Job Interviews.