by Sean O’Brien, Head Editor, INALJ Colorado
5 Reasons Why I’m Starting the Job Hunt Early
This week is kind of an exciting time for me. Why? Because I’m finishing up the last of my summer classes, which means that I only have a single semester left before I finish grad school. But, with excitement comes trepidation, because this also means soon I’m going to have to start hunting for jobs, something I (thankfully) haven’t had to do in four years. If you’re reading this post, chances are good that you know exactly why I might be nervous.
That being said, I’ve already started my job search, even before my classes are over. Is anyone going to hire me when I’m still six months out? Maybe not. Is applying anyway going to be a waste of my time? I don’t think so, and here’s why.
#5. Practice Makes Perfect
Clichéd? Maybe, but the process of applying for a job, from writing a cover letter to tweaking a resume, is something that takes some practice to do well. Heck, even the skill of writing is something that needs to be practiced in order to learn how to string sentences along in some sort of logical order. So, I think it’s a good idea for me personally to work some of the kinks out in my writing now, so that I can really bring my A-game for the jobs that I’m most serious about.
#4. Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Okay, “contempt” isn’t maybe the best word, but the fact is that applying for jobs stresses me out. I find a posting that looks interesting, is in a part of the country I would like to live, and that I feel I’m well qualified for. In the weeks after applying I start thinking about how cool it would be to get the job, what possibilities it could bring, yadda yadda yadda. Despite myself, I get excited about it, which just means I get really disappointed when I get that rejection email.
However, the more jobs I apply to, the less I feel the sting of rejection. Sure, I didn’t get the position at the Colorado School of Mines, but a week later something else interesting opened up that I applied for. The more I get out and apply for stuff, the more I see that there are interesting jobs out there, and the more I realize a single rejection doesn’t mean much in the long run.
#3. I Can Learn More About What Employers are Really Looking For
This is something that has been really valuable for me. From what I’ve seen, resumes and required job qualifications are fairly similar across the board. Where things really start to diverge is in the Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSA) questionnaires. Employers generally have a pretty good idea of what exactly they’re looking for, and that seems to come out more in the KSA questionnaires than anywhere else. If I learn more about these requirements now, while I still have a semester left, there’s still time to work on areas need improvement.
#2. I Don’t Want to Repeat My Mistakes
This is probably something I shouldn’t mention in public, but I’m just going to come out and say it; I had a really hard time finding a job after I finished my Bachelor’s. A big part of that was I didn’t start looking after graduation, so it took weeks after that to start hearing back from anyone that I had applied to. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very fun time. Seriously, as much as anything else I’m trying to placate my phobias. I’d much rather get an offer in October and have to figure out how I’m going to move in the middle of the semester, as opposed to sticking around and being anxious and miserable until March.
#1. I Just Might Get a Call
And of course, I’ve saved the biggest reason for last. Who knows, I might actually get a call for an interview. Which is the ultimate point of all of this in the first place.