With the winter break behind you, welcome to the spring semester! Here are a few tips to help you start the semester off on the right foot and stay informed on spring recruitment season information and resources.
First things first, the Spring Career Expo is only a few days away!
If you haven’t registered for the event yet, you can do so here on Handshake. There are two important things to keep in mind. You must sign up for 1-on-1 sessions or group sessions in order to interact with employers. If sessions fill up, get on the waitlist and often employers will add more slots if there is interest. Also, make sure your Handshake profile is up to date and complete (including an uploaded resume) because since there is no way to share your resume at the expo, the profile is where employers learn about your skills and experience. For more information about how to navigate and prepare for the virtual expo read Virtual Career Expo FAQs.
Watch for February deadlines
Did you know we add 100+ new jobs or internships to Handshake every day? And February is the busiest month for spring recruitment, lots of new jobs are posted to Handshake and many employers offer virtual events in the first few weeks of the semester. You should be active on the job board and events page on Handshake. It's also common to see many February application deadlines, so be mindful of those when searching on the job board. You might find it helpful to sort the list by expiration date instead of relevance so that you can give your attention to the positions expiring first. We also suggest using the “Save your search” tool after you select filters on the job board so you are notified if new jobs or internships are posted that fit your criteria.
Job searches have many paths
Some students attend the career expo, and some connect with employers in other ways. Some industries hire early, some offers come later in the semester much closer to position start dates. Some employers use the Lehigh Career Center resources, and some have their own processes. Some students focus on the Handshake job board, and some find indeed, idealist or LinkedIn to be more helpful. The important takeaway is your job search might look different than your friends or your roommates. Just like we outlined in this post “I Didn’t Find a Job at the Career Fair”, many industries have their own unique norms. Its more more important to learn what to expect for your job search based on the standards set by the companies and positions you are interested in, than to compare yourself to another student who has different career goals. If you aren't sure what to expect, work with a Career Coach to help develop a custom job search plan that takes into account your goals.
Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
Before you start applying for jobs or internships spend a few minutes updating your resume with new information from winter break accomplishments or your new GPA from the fall semester. Be sure to take time to customize your resume for the industry and positions you plan to apply for so that you increase your chances of being selected for an interview. An easy way to do this is to use industry buzz words and organize your experience by priority. Even a few minutes customizing your document before you submit an application can make a huge difference. Need help with updates or formatting your resume? Pop into Career Lab using the link from the Handshake Events tab, and take advantage of the drop in hours. We are happy to review your document and give you feedback.
Prioritize your career goals
The start of each semester is always a busy one, but don’t put off your career goals. Try to build time into your weekly schedule that allows for time devoted to your resume, networking steps, job searching, applications, or cover letters. There are many things that will demand your time, be sure your career steps also get your attention. Can you devote 2-5 hours a week on career steps?
Networking is critical
Looking for the best return on your time and effort? From this post, How Many Applications Does it Take to Get a Job, research has shown that it takes an average of 100-200 applications to receive a job offer. That is a lot of work, time and effort. But that same data also revealed only 12 networking conversations led to a job offer. So its in your best interest to use the alumni network on Lehigh Connects or leverage connections on LinkedIn to gather advice and information for your job or internship search. Don’t start by asking “Are you hiring?” but instead pose the question “What advice do you have for the next steps I could take in my job search?”. That will help you uncover all sorts of advice you can deploy - perhaps a new website, company, job title, hiring manager referral or other information on when additional jobs or internships might open in the future. Tapping into the experience and knowledge of both your existing network and the Lehigh alumni network can impact your job search.
Lastly, stay connected to the Career Center
The Lehigh Career Center serves all students and all academic majors. You can drop in to Career Lab, access the Handshake resource page, practice virtual interviewing, meet 1-on-1 with Career coach and so much more. Not to mention all the great posts and advice we share on hirelehigh.com. We make it easy, all you have to do is click. Explore the Career Center services and resources today!