A word of advice for college seniors

You’re (we’re) graduating! Congratulations! It is time to start refining your resume, writing a kick ass cover letter, and applying to your dream job(s). If you’re anything like me, you started this process months ago. I would say that I have applied to at least thirty different jobs so far. Some of these jobs are within the same company, though. I have heard back from a few companies (most of them saying they needed someone immediately and not in May).

This seems to be the trend. However, I will not pass up an opportunity to apply for a job that catches my eye. My advice to those of you who are experiencing this problem is to keep applying! I know, I know… it’s a drag. You never know who will come across your application and decide that you are worth waiting for. A company could also forward your resume to a different department or company that may be hiring later. My point is that you never know what could happen. Why not take a chance? You’ve got nothing to lose, right? RIGHT!

My next piece of advice is to TRIPLE CHECK EVERYTHING! I am sure that you have heard many horror stories about spelling, grammar, style problems (most likely for resumes), etc. We have heard them all. I, naturally, placed myself in the “I will never be one of those people” category. Oh, boy was I wrong. Fellow graduating seniors (or anyone applying for a job)… please take yourself out of this category. Place yourself in the “I vow to triple check everything, even when I know it is correct” category. I am sure you figured it out by now. I officially have a horror story of my own. It is funny because I was humiliated, angry, and upset at first. Now, I am glad it happened. Okay, okay, glad is a bit too positive. I am relieved that I caught the problem before I EVER did it again. What was the problem? I hate to reminisce, but if you insist…

It was a cold, winter evening. I was curled up in my bed while embracing a go-getter attitude. I sent my resume and cover letter to about four companies within thirty minutes. I was “rocking it out,” as my mother would say. I find my final job opportunity for the night at a particular University (I will not say which, of course). This position was a dream come true for me. I was thrilled when I stumbled upon it. I edited my cover letter to fit the job description, finalized my resume and application, and clicked “submit.” Poof. It was off into the Internet abyss. The next morning, in the shower (where I do most of my thinking), I started picturing the cover letter I sent. I had a gut feeling that something was wrong. Trust your gut. Seriously… do it. I am so glad I did. I opened up the cover letter I sent to the University staff position I applied to the night before and there it was. My HUGE mistake. This mistake was not a minute detail that could easily be overlooked. This mistake was HUGE. A week before I applied for this position, I applied for a similar position at another University. I forgot to change the name of the University at the end of my cover letter. I am so disappointed in myself, friends.

I have to admit that I broke down when I realized this happened. I actually slammed my door so hard that a framed photo fell from my wall and broke. (It was a cute frame, too.) It took me about thirty minutes to realize that I could redeem myself. I decided to apply to another University (similar position) with an edited cover letter. For me, this was my way to remember that it is not the end of the world. Since then, I have applied to seven or eight more jobs. Do not be discouraged when things go wrong. Stay on the horse and press forward. Also, remember, do not make the same mistake as I made. Triple check your application materials. Even when you think it is perfect, check again. Apply for anything that interests you. Finally, stay positive! Do not waste a perfectly good picture frame by slamming your door out of anger. Take a deep breath and carry on.

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