You should begin your job search during your communications degree senior year. Your campus recruitment center (called different names on different campuses) is the perfect place to start. Here you will find job boards with hundreds of leads and computer databases that are chock-full of available jobs. Many companies recruit directly from campus and offer on-campus interviews. Work with your professors to put together a creative portfolio if that would be appropriate to your job search.
The campus recruitment center staff can help you with every facet of your job search. They will help you write your cover letter and resume as well as help you hone your interview skills. Colleges are reporting that 80 percent of students looking for employment after graduation find success through the recruitment center. It’s foolish to pass up this invaluable free service!
Another source for finding a job is through your internship. Very often, students who perform well during their internship are offered a job with that company. Contacts made through your unpaid position can be invaluable to your search, so you will want to gather contact information before leaving. Toward the end of your assignment, ask if there is a possibility of a permanent job. Always send thank-you notes after your internship to people who have helped you—and may be able to help you in the future. In addition to just being plain good manners, this also shows your ability to communicate.
If you’ve graduated and are still looking for a job, it might be time to re-examine your goals. Are you applying for jobs that are above your actual skill set? Have you padded your resume with exaggerated information? Employers aren’t stupid and have a fairly good understanding of what you should have accomplished in college. Have someone you trust read your cover letter and resume. If you are mailing out resumes to blanket the communications industry, make sure that your resume and cover letter are printed on quality paper and crafted to the individual company and job for which you are applying. Generic resumes and cover letters, while easier to send, aren’t as effective as a letter to a specific person within the company. Doing your research will pay a return in the long run.
You might choose to use a headhunter to help you with your continued search. Headhunters are employment counselors who work to find you a job. Their help can be invaluable because they usually have a number of insider contacts. They get paid only when they place candidates, so it is to their benefit to work hard on your behalf. Some headhunters only work in a specific field, while others work across all fields. You can register with more than one headhunter if you want, but if you find one you connect with and trust, you shouldn’t have to look much further. There is usually no fee for their services—most are paid by the hiring company.
Finally, consider including Internet searches in your exploration. There may be postings on some of the websites for professional organizations. In addition to looking at specific professional sites, you might also consider searching career websites such as www.indeed.com, where you can search for jobs by keywords.
Keep careful records of everyone you talk to and jobs that you apply for. Write thank-you notes when appropriate. And it helps to remember that you are only looking for your next job, not necessarily your lifelong job.