Tips from successful seniors on finding and landing a perfect job

The Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC) is a great way to start networking with recruiters and land an interview opportunity, but just attending the conference doesn’t guarantee that you will get a job. A lot more time and energy goes into the job hunt. To ease the lengthy and arduous process, here are some helpful tips from successful seniors who have already managed to snag that perfect job.

Get a head start

Don’t wait around while deadlines pass you by. Carnegie Mellon’s Career and Professional Development Center has an extensive online resource for job postings that gets updated nearly every day.

“Set aside an hour a couple of times a week to scour TartanTrak and apply to every single job that seems interesting,” Dina Megretskaia, a senior economics and mathematics major, said.

Network within Carnegie Mellon

Don’t just rely on individuals you meet at the job fair — the campus can be a great place to make important connections as well. “Try talking with professors and advisers to find what might be out there.... They are well-connected individuals in the work field,” Spoorthi Kumar, a senior information systems major, said. If you’re feeling lost or you’re finding it hard to locate an opening in your field, approach a professor you are familiar with. Professors are an easy resource for good advice, and if they can’t provide it themselves, they will direct you to someone who can.

Polish the cover letter

“Don’t ignore [job] postings that require a cover letter,” Megretskaia said. “Think about it — you’re turned off by that, and other students will be too. If less people apply, your chances of being selected are higher. So write a standard cover letter, and modify it for each company.” Be careful while modifying cover letters for different companies, however. Make sure to proofread them and be certain that you’re mentioning the right company in all instances. “This totally happened to me. I sent a cover letter to Novantas that concluded with ‘This is why I would love a position with IBM.’ I’m totally shocked I got an interview after that,” Megretskaia said.

While a lot of job search advice just seems like common sense, it is important to keep even these simple tips in mind while searching for internships and jobs. Kumar jokingly assured that, if all else fails, the Victoria’s Secret miracle bra will do the trick. “No other kind; [it] has to be the miracle one!” she said.

Megretskaia will be joining Applied Predictive Technologies, an enterprise software company in Washington, D.C. after graduation. Kumar will be joining the Johnson & Johnson Information Technology Leadership Program after graduation.