There are compelling reasons for college seniors to begin their job search as early as possible even in the best of times (let alone when jobs are tight). In fact, ideally college students should take steps to lay the foundation for an effective search as early as the second semester of their freshman year. Don't dismay since most of the proper steps can still be taken in case you aren't among the decided minority who got such an early start. Here are some of the best reasons to get a head start on finding post graduate employment: Campus recruiting for many fields including finance, accounting, banking, consulting, engineering, computer technology and various management training programs begins early in the senior year. To compose resume and cover letters, practice interviewing and learn effective job search techniques while they attend class, complete assignments and participate in sporting and club activities will be challenging for all the students.  I recommend that students begin work on these tasks the summer before their senior year or during their junior year. Career experts universally agree that networking is one of the most effective strategies for college students to secure employment. It is highly recommended that students reach out to family friends, college alumni and local professors for informational interviews well in advance of their senior year.

Why college seniors start their job search early

These meetings will enable them to gain clarity about their goals, practice responding to questions about their background, impress contacts with the viability of their credentials and form personal relationships with employees who can influence hiring decisions. It will be difficult to arrange and participate in the optimal number of these consultations while on campus and it often takes time for these connections to yield interviews. Most college students will not find jobs through campus recruiting since these programs tend to serve the needs of the most competitive students in disciplines which are in high demand. The typical graduate will need to target jobs and employers in locations of their choice and travel to those sites for interviews. Targeting these employers and preparing materials with the help of college career offices in advance of senior year will be quite beneficial. More and more employers are utilizing their internship programs are a mechanism to evaluate talent through first hand exposure. Even those employers who do not recruit heavily from their own internship programs look for candidates with related experience since internships will confirm student interest in the field, provide the opportunity for skill development and yield concrete evidence of the candidate's ability to excel in a work setting. Most college students are uncertain about their career aspirations. Employers are wary of unfocused candidates and fearful that they will invest resources in training only to find that the recent hire has discovered that they would prefer another field. The process of deciding on a career can be quite time consuming and often involves extensive research. Meeting with career counselors prior to senior year for assessment will be a critical step for most college students.