It is critical to know how and when your industry recruits. Research and keep track of application deadlines for organizations of interest so that you do not miss any. Every organization has their own recruiting process, but many hire on an “as needed” basis, which means that their hiring process, including posting the position, reviewing applications, and conducting interviews, takes 4-12 weeks.
Exceptions to this process are large organizations in any industry, including finance, consulting, technology, media, engineering, government and not-for-profit. These employers typically recruit for full-time entry level positions in the Fall semester. They hire large cohorts of recent graduates who begin their training upon graduation. These companies tend to have a large presence in on-campus recruiting programs at Columbia and peer schools. Further, they tend to hire first from their pool of interns who worked the summer between junior and senior year, or between the first and second years of a graduate program. Other organizations may offer special rotational or leadership development programs, which typically recruit early and last for a year or two following graduation.
Some employers only post opportunities on their websites to find candidates who do the research and find them. Others don’t post the opportunities at all. Just because a job is not listed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a position is not available. You can find a “hidden” job by letting potential employers know what you might be looking for and what experiences you bring to an organization. Networking is the key to uncovering these hidden opportunities. In fact, the majority of jobs are filled by referral. Review the networking section of our career planning guide, attend or view our Power Half Hour on networking, or set up a counseling appointment to learn how to make contacts in your fields of interest.
Online job boards can also lead to success if used appropriately. Sites like LionSHARE and industry-specific boards are helpful tools for both identifying companies in your field and applying to positions. The most common misuse of online job boards is sending out mass applications indiscriminately, without thinking critically about why you are interested in the position and company, and without tailoring your resume and cover letter to the position. Employers can see through this and will often overlook applications that do not demonstrate a fit for their particular organization.
Research and Preparation
For most people, including entry level or experienced hires as well as career changers, a typical search can take 3-9 months. Start your search early to devote sufficient time and energy to the job search process, without burning yourself out. Meet with a counselor to develop a plan, and research and identify recruiting practices and timelines for your top organizations. Take advantage of opportunities like on-campus recruiting, career fairs and networking events, alumni panels and skill development workshops, and make yourself aware of the various other resources and support CCE can provide in the job search process. We look forward to working with you!