By Jen Cadman, Employer Development Consultant at the GW Center for Career Services
Searching for job is a job in and of itself. There are a lot of moving pieces and intricacies between industries and doing your research is a lot of the battle. I work to build relationships with employers within Arts, Media and Communication and a lot of that work entails learning about their programs and recruitment processes. Typical questions from students about the recruitment cycle at these organizations are – when are jobs posted, how will they know when to look and when should they apply? The quick and dirty answers are not very motivating – when there is an opening, you just have to keep checking back and immediately, respectively. So, I’m going to give you some tips about staying informed about companies that hire on a “rolling” or “as-needed” basis.
- You need to make sure that you have application materials ready to go, but be sure to give yourself some time to customize them for the job/company that you are applying to. Visit the Center for Career Services to have your resume reviewed and for assistance on your cover letter! If you need a writing sample, have a few ready to go to choose from.
- Companies that hire on an as-needed basis usually want for their candidate to start within 2 weeks of the offer date. So, when you factor in a possible 4 week interview process, you shouldn’t be applying for jobs if you’re not going to be able to start working full-time within a month to a month-and-a-half.
- Many of these companies have employees that are open to informational interviews with students. During an informational interview, you meet to have a less formal discussion about what it’s like to work at the company, learn about opportunities and get some real insider information about applying. A good place to start with reaching out to ask for one of these is to tap into GW’s vast alumni network! You can quickly and easily search for alumni on Linked In.
- Follow the social media accounts of companies that you’re interested in – chances are good that if they are active on social media that they will post information about opportunities there as well. Look for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts – they may even have one specifically for jobs/careers.
- Don’t give up! When you’re in serious job search mode, make it a habit to check the careers sites of companies that you’re really interested in no less than on a weekly basis. New jobs pop up all of the time!
- Do what you can now to network. Take advantage of all of the great programming through the Center for Career Services that brings employers to campus to meet with students either in groups or one-on-one. When I was in college this sort of thing never happened, and I would jump all over this opportunity if I was in college now! I realize that hindsight is 20/20, however, I say this because it’s such a great thing that employers will take the time out of their work day so that they can meet potential future colleagues. A great upcoming opportunity is the Spring Career and Internship Fair on February 17th!
Searching for a job is a scary thing, just like when you first learn to ride a bike. But just like riding a bike, it becomes easier and easier with more practice and confidence!