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When should I apply for a job when graduation is close?

As a mechanical engineering student, or just a student in general, whose going to graduate a year from now, I'd like to know, when is the best time to apply for jobs? Before graduation? #college-job ##college #college-jobs #after-college #after-college #after-graduation #after #careers #career #mechanical-engineer #mechanical-engineering

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Douglas’s Answer


If you are a junior in college make every effort to get a summer job in a field that is in any way associated with your major or better yet with a company in the field that you think you might like to work in. This will give you "real world" experience, no matter what the job actually is and you may find out that you really like or hate the company/field. Very valuable information. Many companies will look at "summer employees" for permanent jobs first. I have heard of job offers being made before the end of the summer job.

Once you are a senior, you really need to figure out where you would like to work, what field you would like to work in and lastly, which companies you think you might like to work for. By the end of your first semester, you should have a resume completed and a list of companies that you think you might like to work for compiled. At the beginning of the your last semester, tailor your resume for the specific company and job that you would like to interview for and then send it out. Do this for each company on your list. A focused approach tailored for each opportunity will give you the best chance of getting an interview. Focus on what the job posting is asking for and then via. the resume and brief cover letter, explain why they should give you an interview . These resumes and letters should all be sent by the middle of your senior year. Earlier is better than later. The objective is to have a job offer (hopefully more than one) before you graduate.

Sending out a mass distribution of your generic resume at graduation time is not very effective and does not set you apart from the hundreds of other resumes the company will be receiving.

Good luck,

Wow thanks a lot for this Douglas! I'll keep this in mind. Melvin S.

Douglas - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera COACH

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Glenn S.’s Answer

I agree in general with the answers above. For summer internships, you need to start applying in January. For Co-op positions, you need to work closely whit your campus coordinator. Most large companies do their interviews in February for the summer. For when you are going to graduate, you should start applying from the time you start you school year.

Glenn S. recommends the following next steps:

Work with your career center on campus
Write your resume. Have it reviewed by your career center and have a working professionals (preferable a hiring manager).
Check the career sites on-line in addition to the listing at your schools career center
Take classes and do projects that will demonstrate your passion. These are talking points for your resume and your interview

Wow all of those tips seem pretty helpful. Thanks so much Glenn! Melvin S.

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Sam’s Answer

Hello Melvin,

You should begin to apply for jobs 3 to 6 months before graduation. You will be applying to entry level positions, which are broadly defined as a person with 0 to 2 years of experience. On the job application it will ask you whether or not you have graduated (you would say no) and then it will ask you when is your expected date of graduation.

Hope this helps,


Awesome. Thanks again Sam for answering all my questions so far! Melvin S.

You're welcome. Sam Seldon

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