With a greater number of college students finishing up credits or gaining extra certifications in their fields of study at major colleges and universities, many expect to graduate in December instead of May. There are marked advantages of graduating during the winter months.
Graduates accepting their diploma after the Fall semester optimize their chances of landing a job, conducting their search during the off-season versus the busy summer job market that many May graduates can expect to experience. According to a Fox Business news article, the competition for jobs are less stiff for a December graduate, putting the market squarely in the job seeker’s favor.
“[It] can make them more attractive job candidates since they are available to start right away, while their peers may have to wait until after May,” says Christine Gaiser for Fox Business online.
Graduating during a time where there are few other graduates makes a prospective job candidate more noticeable. December may also be the best time for a job seeker to “reinvigorate” their hunt for a job. Graduating at the end of a calendar year puts your job search at the beginning of many companies’ fiscal year, where budgets make way for new positions. Of course, this is based on the prospective job field and their specific calendar. “There is more hiring in January than December, but the thing about a job search is that it’s a process so you should start… before that,” comments Rob Saam for CNN Money.
Graduating in December could also open up the possibility to travel abroad, prepare for graduate school the following year, or secure an internship for the Spring semester that could possibly lead to an career at its completion, while other college students are just graduating in May.
A December 2012 graduate should already have started preparing for the reality and challenges of post-graduate life. Whether you have or not, here a few ways our next round of graduates can get a jump start on the “real world” beginning 2013:
Start the Job Hunt Now
Begin getting applications out for jobs in your field, giving you time to go through the application process, refine your resume, and interview for multiple positions. This is the optimum time to do so without panicking over an income.
Comb Over Your Resume
While finishing up your education, this is the perfect time to use your spare time away from the books to go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure you have a clear and concise format that outlines all of your relevant experience, as well as a broad knowledge of other skills that will help you secure a job. Hit the job market running!
Use All Available Resources At Your University or College
While in college, many students do not take advantage of the resources available to them. Use this last semester to talk to professors about recommendations and providing references. Use the writing center to refine your cover letter and CV. And gain more relevant hands-on experience in your college atmosphere, like leadership or networking opportunities, to prepare you to be competitive in the job market. You paid for your college education, so let it work for you!
Decide Your Next Move After Graduation Carefully
Whether it’s relocating, studying abroad, preparing for graduate school or preparing for your career, take this time to outline your next moves after graduation. Come up with a short-term plan that outlines the next year to three years of your life and what route makes more sense to you. Make sure the plan you decide is the right one for your personal situation, and not just a way to avoid the pressures of facing the job market head on. If you prepare ahead of time in the right ways, you will be a sought-after candidate, coming out on top at the beginning of the year!
Blair Bedford is a media professional and freelance writer/contributor based out of NYC. Follow Blair B. on Twitter @BlairsPadandPen.