Start your job search before graduation

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
November marks the beginning of the holiday season and holidays mean a lot of time at home.
For most of us, this translates into a decent dinner with extended family and relatives who ask annoying questions about life in Gainesville.
It's meant to be a time to relax and take a break from the chaos of the fall semester. But somehow, your family can bombard you with too many questions.
You're sure to have that weird uncle ask if you've already decided on a major or your cousin brag about how fast he graduated and when your date will come. Your parents will surely ask when you're getting a job or when you'll start applying for grad school.
It can be tough, but here are some tips to survive this holiday season and make it a productive one, where we can attempt to go back home without necessarily dreading to sleep under our parents' roofs:
  • Calling all seniors: Seniors, at this point you're only months away from the terrifying yet rewarding experience of being a college graduate. You don't necessarily need to start looking for a job, but you should start thinking about specifics of the job you want.
    Gator CareerLink, sponsored by the Career Resource Center, offers University of Florida students and alumni a list of more than 3,000 employers and the opportunity to post resumes online. Through this service you can network to find the right job location, employer and ultimately that first infamous job out of college.
  • Santa's list: Let's face it, it's only right we indulge at home. Borrow our parents' credit cards. Wake up past noon. Stash the laundry and forget about its existence.
    We all want the latest iPod or digital camera, and I wouldn't mind those leather boots I spotted in Vogue. But chances are, I won't own those for a very long time and realistically Santa should help me with an interviewing wardrobe.
    Ask for interviewing essentials: suits, nice shoes and maybe even a leather portfolio. I know we all hate to admit it, but these should somehow squeeze into our seasonal must-haves.
  • Reflect and really relax: Think back on the past semester. For the most part, you won't remember the nights you stayed up too late and woke up too early. Rather you'll have an album of parties, new friends and great memories to take back home. Think back on what you learned in classes and reflect on how you can start to make use of these skills. Crazy thought I know, but I took a class sophomore year where I was assigned to write a resume and cover letter and then send it out to a potential employer back at home. After e-mailing them during the break, the employer asked if I would be interested in a one-day job shadowing opportunity. Needless to say, I kept in touch and was offered a summer internship.
    Also, think ahead to future semesters. The CRC offers SLS 2301 for freshmen and sophomores to help them explore and choose the right career and SLS 2302 for juniors and seniors to help develop an individual job-search plan.
    Melanie Garcia is a University of Florida senior majoring in public relations and Spanish.
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