You may not feel that you have a useful network of contacts, but every person you know is a potential source of career information, including family, friends, and alums. If possible, begin having informal career conversations with people before graduation. Some places to start:
Seek out Faculty
Talk to your professors (Hampshire and Five College), advisors, Div II and Div III committee members. They may have recommendations about graduate schools and/or contacts in the field. Ask what former students with your interests and talents have done.
Get in Touch with Former Employers (summer jobs, internships, work study, etc.)
Mention that you are about to graduate, discuss your job ideas, and ask for suggestions.
Contact Hampshire Alumni
Lists of alumni are available in the CORC library, sorted by field (type of work) and geographic location. If you have graduated and left the Amherst area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access to this information. (Note: alums are usually very willing to help with information and advice, but it is not appropriate to ask them directly for a job.)
Talk About your Job Search with Family and Friends
Your parents, your parents’ friends, the parents of your own friends, aunts and uncles--in other words, talk to anyone you know who is in the workplace pursuing a career. They may have good general advice or specific information, or may know of someone working in your area of interest.
Connect with People
Connect with people at organizations where you would love to work and let them know that, although there may be no job openings at the moment, you would like to be considered in the future. Tell them why you are interested in the organization and what skills you have to offer. If possible, offer your services as a volunteer or intern.
Find an agency or group that needs people with your talents and interests, and get involved. You may meet some people who can be helpful in your job search, or give you useful referrals.
Join a Professional Association
Some examples of professional organizations are: the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Social Workers, the Association of Environmental Professionals, and the American Chemical Society. Many associations have reduced membership fees for students and recent graduates. As a member you have access to up-to-date information, education resources, networking opportunities, and more. Some associations have employment referral services or advertise actual job openings. You can find a lot of good information about professional associations on the Internet; you may also refer to the Encyclopedia of Associations in the CORC library.
Attend Professional Conferences
There are often job boards or a job/interview fairs at these conferences. Bring copies of your resume and be ready to talk about your interests and possible goals.
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