It generally takes three to six months for college graduates to find a job after graduation, according to the University of Washington. However, studies have shown college graduates have a stronger chance of getting hired during the fall versus the spring.
As of 2020, 68 percent of employers plan on beginning their recruitment in the fall, while the other 32 percent start in the spring, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
According to The Balance Careers, some companies, such as banking firms and accounting firms, can begin their recruitment as early as November, while smaller companies can begin recruitment in the spring.
However, according to the University of Washington, 53 percent of college graduates find themselves unemployed or working a job that doesn’t require a degree.
To minimize the three to six month time span, Felicia Johnson, career advisor with Career Exploration and Development, said students should begin their job hunt as early as their sophomore year.
“You may not actively be looking for the job, but you’re actively looking to make connections and networking with people,” Johnson said.
She said attending the university’s career fair and introducing yourself to future employers is a strong way to build connections.
“A lot of times some of the same reps come each year,” Johnson said. “If you are coming and having discussions and expressing interest, you better believe they are going to consider you for the position when they know it’s time for you to graduate.”
More than 80 percent of graduates find jobs in their careers through someone they know, according to The Balance Careers.
To build connections, she suggests conducting informational interviews with people who are in your career field.
“During that time, you would ask them questions about how they got to where they are, learn more information about the company, about the line of work in which they do; that’s how you establish relationship-building,” Johnson said.
By the conclusion of the informational interview, the graduate should ask for contact information and offer their resume to the person they’re interviewing.
Johnson said students should also use career resources such as the "Occupational Outlook Handbook."
“It provides you with information on various careers,” Johnson said. “It includes information about the pay, the job outlook over the years.”
Johnson also introduces the value of internships when a student is seeking employment.
She said often times students will want an advanced position versus an entry-level position, but the graduate may not have enough for the desired position.
“They may say you need to have one to two years experience doing this particular kind of work,” Johnson said. “Well, if students had not engaged in internship activities or internships, then they won’t have that and so you’ve forced them to take that entry level and work yourself up from there.”
Nevertheless, Johnson said the most important strategy that can help a graduate is networking.
“I cannot stress enough to students is networking, you know, humanizing yourself making it to where you’re not just words on a paper, but an actual person,” Johnson said.
Gershon Harrell is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.