Career advisors in the University of Richmond’s Office of Alumni and Career Services say seniors should not panic if they don’t have a job upon graduating. In fact, most people do not graduate with a job. Instead they find an opportunity a few months to a year later. Still, advisors recognize it can be a stressful time.

Career advisor Anna Young offers her top five tips for seniors before and after commencement.

Structure time

“As you are nearing graduation, build in time on your calendar just like you would for a class,” Young suggests. “You can use this time to not only find opportunities, but also work on applications and network.”

Make an action plan

Figure out where you want to search in terms of geography and industry and set clear goals for each week, Young advises. “I also recommend defining how many opportunities you are going to apply for each week to stay on track.”

Alumni networking

Young suggests using LinkedIn or alumni Facebook pages to learn which alumni from your alma mater are working in cities or companies that interest you. Then connect and ask for tips.  

Alma mater career services

“Following commencement, be sure to stay in touch with your alma mater,” Young says. “Most colleges offer career services for alumni for life, and advisors can help you stay motivated.”

Stay focused

The transition from being a scheduled student to someone who has more of their time to job search can be a difficult one. Young says to consider a part-time job or volunteer opportunities to help you stay focused. “These opportunities can help you learn new skills to put on your resume and make connections.”

# # #