When to Start Applying for Jobs Before Graduation? Steps+Tips

how to impress hiring managers and land a dream job asap

Life circumstances change from time to time. What remains constant is the need to earn a living: that’s why everyone needs to start their job search sooner or later.

Depending on the industry where you plan to pursue your career goals and the institution you’re graduating from, things might be a little different in terms of when you should start your job hunt. But in any case, you need to prepare for everything that awaits you on this path.

Here, you’ll find everything you need to know: the best times to start applying for jobs, the advantages of an early job search, and so on.

When to Start Applying for Jobs Before Graduation?

When You’re in High School

when to start applying for jobs before graduation

When you’re about to finish school, you’re almost ready to start going to work. Yet, until there’s a diploma, you won’t be able to begin applying and land a job. But what you can do is thoroughly prepare for the hiring process.

Your senior year is a perfect time for you to make up your mind about what you want your future career to look like. Once you have something on your mind, start researching to make sure it’s the thing you want. And in late spring, when school is almost over, you can start sending applications to get an entry-level job.

When You’re in College

start your job search early to boost your professional career

The advice is the same as if you were in high school. However, when studying at college, you also get many exciting opportunities to meet professionals and seek their advice (which might be more useful than a career coach sometimes).

In addition, you can use college time to complete an internship. Volunteering activities will also make you stand out from other college students.

In your last year, you can start researching what’s going on in the job market. Although many companies start their recruitment campaign in autumn, some also post job openings from winter to the beginning of summer—make sure not to miss them.

When You’re in Graduate School

Many things depend on the industry you choose. If you don’t want your job-seeking adventure to linger, research companies you find most appealing beforehand. This way, you’ll have an understanding of what skills and qualifications are most important to them. Plus, you’ll get an understanding of the company culture and the professional growth they can give.

Doing this will help you undergo the necessary training before your expected graduation date. And again, when graduation is coming, you can start exploring opportunities: look through job ads and reach out to hiring managers. It’s best if you allocate one or two months for sending applications and waiting for offers.

When You Plan to Relocate

start applying for jobs before you even finished packing

In such circumstances, your job search should start as soon as possible. Be ready for any factors that might spoil your expectations. One company might ask you to relocate as soon as the interview process is over, while another company might take a lot of time to consider you as a candidate.

Here, your flexibility and readiness for last-minute changes are key. Anyway. it never hurts to start job searches a couple of months before the departure.

When Exactly to Start Applying for Jobs Before Graduation?

Earlier Bird’s Perks

  • You Get a Chance to Learn: While looking for a perfect position early, many job seekers have no idea how challenging it is to get an offer. This journey might bring you a lot of refusals you are not ready for. However, it’s a perfect opportunity to master the skill of searching for a job. When you get rejected, a recruiter might tell you why you’re not the person they are looking for. Thus, you can learn from your mistakes, improve your interview skills, and brush up on your resume.
  • Land a Job Early: If you can’t afford to wait for offers for many months, you’ll need to start working as soon as you graduate. So, start sending applications before you get your diploma! Thus, you’ll get a better chance of going to work right after your school or college is over, with no time wasted.
  • Upgrade Your Skills: When you find a company and a position you want to apply to, get a clear picture of what your potential employers want from a new team member. While reading their requirements, you might find out some of your skills are not perfect for this position. If so, use the available time to master your skills! Say, you can complete training or get an internship relevant to your industry.

When to Start Applying for Jobs Pre-Graduation

A Step-By-Step Plan

In most cases, you won’t be able to apply for many jobs until your graduation is almost over.  However, it’s also wise to make your last year count.

Create a strategic plan: it’ll double your chances of getting a perfect job offer. Be ready for a year of putting all your efforts into maximizing your chances of success. Here’s what you need to do:

During Summer and Fall

use online job boards to stay up to date

Do thorough research on organizations that seem most appealing to you. Each of them has a specific plan for attracting new talent, and you can explore how it works. Find as much info about the companies you want to work for as possible—that’ll give you the upper hand if you’re invited for an interview.

It’s a great time to figure out what you want your future job to look like. During your research, you’ll see whether some companies would be a perfect match for you.

During Winter

create your preferred career by establishing a network of connections

While it’s not yet time for companies to start their talent search, you can make some friends in your industry. Some organizations introduce referral programs: that’s where you and your new connection can both benefit from your acquaintance.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to visit industry-specific events, sign up for webinars at company websites and social media accounts, reach out to their current and former employees, and so on.

During Spring

write a cover letter for all job applications

The beginning of this season is a great time for perfecting your resume. Pay special attention to the way you develop your CV: it’ll serve as an image of you before you get an invitation for face-to-face communication.

Speaking of your image, your resume should include a good-looking photo of you. If there’s no time for photo sessions, use a tool to get headshots online: it’ll create a lot of professional-looking images for you to choose from.  

In the middle of the season, you can start your journey of sending your applications. Having done your research beforehand, you should have a list of firms and vacancies. Browse the job opportunities available in your city and don’t forget to send lots of applications as it greatly impacts your chances.

Be Smart About Sending Applications Before You Graduate

never hurry to the first job opening you see

The final year is the perfect time to do research, determine your needs and goals, add a resume to LinkedIn, and prepare all the documents. And, following this simple preparation phase tutorial, you’ll increase your chances of getting a position even before graduation day comes!