You're probably thinking about how you're going to make the transition from student to self-supporting worker in case you're a college senior who's expecting to graduate soon. This process is extremely challenging for most college seniors even under the best circumstances. But, with the right preparation, it's possible to bridge the gap from college to career. Here are my top search tips for college seniors, based on over 25 years of experience as a college career services director. As early as possible find your college‚Äôs career office and visit it regularly. Ask friends who have graduated from your college for recommendations about the most effective counselors in the career office.   Schedule a regular appointment every 3 weeks to plot strategy and discuss your job search. Assess your interests, skills and values and work with a counselor to develop a profile of your ideal job.  Be prepared to tell employers and networking contacts the types of things which you enjoy doing, what you have to offer in terms of knowledge, skills and personal qualities as well as how you have successfully applied those assets in the past. Uncover career fields which match your skills, interests and values through discussions with advisors.

Top job search tips for college students

Research fields which spark your interest through resources available online and in your college's career office. Conduct informational interviews with alumni, family and local professional contacts working in those fields.  Find out what it takes to be hired in those fields and ask your contacts to help you to identify your most marketable assets as a candidate. Draft such a resume which highlights your accomplishments in the academic arena, co-curricular life, volunteer work, internships and jobs.  Describe your experiences with active language, and focus on the skills you employed, results you generated and any recognition which you received. In case you have varied employment goals, develop customized versions of your resume. Emphasize the experiences, accomplishments and skills which are most relevant to each field in those specific documents.  Have your resume reviewed by counselors from the career office and contacts in each field. Make sure you analyze the requirements for the position and modify your resume if necessary to highlight the most relevant aspects of your experience before applying to any job. Set a goal to apply for at least 3 jobs or attend 3 campus recruiting opportunities each week.  Compose cover letters tailored to the specific requirements for each opportunity. Reference 5-7 assets which most qualify you for the job in question.  Point to roles, projects, jobs, leadership positions and courses where you have successfully applied those assets. Universally career experts agree that networking is the most effective job search strategy.  Ask your career office for the names of alumni volunteers in fields, locations and companies of interest and set up as many informational interviews as possible.  Ask for feedback about your documents, advice about your job search and suggestions of other professionals whom you should meet. Attend any alumni networking events on campus or in locations where you would like to work.