Seniors….fall semester is flying by and graduation will be here before you know it! Here is Part 4 in our series about what you can do each year at NAU to prepare yourself for your career. Be sure to take a look at our Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Career Journey posts to read our advice leading up to this last year.  130430GatewayStock0460

If you are seeking employment, remember to update your resume so that you stand out against the crowd. If you haven’t already, attend a resume workshop or have your resume reviewed by the Gateway Career Team (we don’t bite, promise!). Develop a baseline cover letter, but remember that it must be updated and customized for every job you apply to. Post your latest resume on Jobs for Jacks, and visit other job search engines such as Indeed.com.

Tap into your network (remember that LinkedIn is a great tool, as well as your instructors, supervisors, mentors, family, and friends) to learn about potential job opportunities. Remember that many jobs are never posted, and that a referral from an employee inside the company really gives a candidate an edge. This is what we like to call the hidden job market. Ask a minimum of three professional contacts if they are willing to serve as reference for you. References can be instructors, former supervisors, or others who can speak about your professionalism and accomplishments. Create a typed page of your references, including the name of each, their job title, their relationship to you, and their preferred phone number and email. Bring this list to interviews, but do not list references on your resume. Remember to thank your references and keep them updated on your job search. Let them know if you expect an employer to contact them and provide them with the job description and your application materials whenever possible.

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If you are looking at attending Graduate School, be aware of testing and application deadlines. The Graduate College at NAU offers fantastic resources to help your navigate the admissions process. You can also access excellent information through the Graduate Coordinators in affiliated with the College that houses the program you plan to apply to. If you are considering Medical or Law School, the Gateway Student Success Center offers Pre-Med and Pre-Law advising resources and appointments.

It’s important to assess your priorities and values as you consider what comes next in life. Consider The Value Sort Activity to reflect on what is most important to you personally. Your values matter! Employers are overwhelmingly looking for candidates that demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity, intercultural skills, and the capacity for new learning. Keep in mind the job market is always evolving, so make sure you stay current with hiring trends.

Congratulations on making it this far – you’re almost there! Remember that finding the best step for you after graduation may take some time. Be patient, and do what you can to manage your stress level. Your journey at NAU may be nearing an end, but your career journey as an alumnus of NAU is just beginning!

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