Published: Jan. 17, 2023
Picture of CU Boulder graduate

The spring semester has just begun, but graduation will be here before you know it. While the job search process can take months, you still have time to secure a job that aligns with your career goals. Launch your job search by connecting to campus resources, getting organized and reviewing your accomplishments.

You are not alone in the job search process. Career Services connects students to resources, workshops and career development advisors. Learn more about how to plan for life after college, find a job and graduate ready for your next step.

Step 1: Develop a plan

The last semester in college can be busy and finding a job adds to your workload. Make a plan with specific action items and deadlines to keep you on track. Include the essentials you’ll need in place when you start applying for jobs. Getting organized will help maximize your time and resources. Plus, you will make a better impression on hiring managers.

Step 2: Make a list of your experiences and skills

Before you update online profiles or draft a resume, think about the vital information you’ll highlight. In today’s job market, there’s a disconnect between open positions and people with the skills and experience to fill those positions. If you can articulate how your skills and experiences match the job requirements, you’ll have an advantage in the hiring process.

  • Request a Skills Report to learn which skills are most in demand for the positions or industries of interest to you. Use the information to build a tailored list of skills for each type of job or industry.
  • There are also general skills that all employers value, regardless of industry. Review these foundational skills and find ways to build skills on campus.
  • Make a list of all relevant experience, including campus jobs, volunteer experiences, organization memberships, leadership positions and participation in sports, the arts or other activities.

Step 3: Create or update online profiles

How you represent yourself on your professional profiles directly impacts your outcomes. We know it takes valuable time to create a great online profile. But a well-developed profile helps build a positive professional reputation. Sloppy or incomplete profiles can give a negative impression to recruiters and hiring managers.

Before searching for a job in your field, create or update your online professional profiles. Career Services has resources to guide you through the process and teach you how to develop an effective online presence.

Step 4: Customize your job search documents

Most job applications require a resume and cover letter. Learn how to write an effective resume and persuasive cover letter.

  • Use VMock to get personalized feedback on your resume and make improvements.
  • Schedule an express appointment with a career development advisor to review your documents and ask questions.
  • Attend programs and workshops on resumes and job searching to ask questions and get more tips.
  • Upload your updated resume to your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles. VMock’s Aspire tool can also evaluate your LinkedIn profile and offer tips to make it stronger.

Step 5: Reach out to your network

During your time at CU Boulder, you’ve likely built an extensive network through your involvement with your area of study, internships, part-time jobs, organizations, activities, volunteer work and more.

  • Reach out and share that you are graduating soon and looking for employment in May. Let them know you would love recommendations and referrals to open positions or job opportunities.
  • Join the ForeverBuffs Network to start connecting with CU Boulder alumni. They can help with resume feedback and interview preparation. And some may be open to informational interviews or mentoring. 
  • Use LinkedIn to connect with others, learn about different industries and join conversations related to your career interests.

Step 6: Work on your interview skills

As you search for jobs and share your resume, you’ll also want to prepare for interviews. Practice for both in-person and virtual interviews.

  • Use Interview Prep to practice answering commonly asked questions. You can create custom practice interviews by adding general questions or questions tied to specific roles or industries. This tool records your responses for viewing or sharing with others.
  • Make an appointment with a career advisor to practice interviewing before your first interview with a potential employer.
  • Follow our tips for mastering your interview and making a positive impression.

Step 7: Start your job search

Once you’ve created and updated your job search tools, it’s time to find open positions and apply. Remember to focus your search on jobs that interest you. If you want to find a job before graduation, you need a sense of urgency. Yet, you don’t want to end up in a position that isn’t a good fit.

As you begin your search, career development advisors are here to help. Learn more about getting started with Career Services.