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Grad Prep: When to Apply for Your Dream Job

Written by: Courtney (she/her)

2 min read | Published: January 11, 2024

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As you start thinking about graduation and what to expect after you have your degree in hand, determining your career opportunities will be a major consideration. Not only will this impact your financial decisions, but it also affects where you’ll be living and what arrangements you’ll need to make. The time to begin submitting job applications will vary for everyone, but we’ve provided some things to keep in mind as you approach this journey.

Start Early

A great way to start is to intern during your college career. This allows you to test out different aspects of the workforce to understand what you like or dislike such as company size, daily expectations, work settings, and more. Don’t panic if you haven’t had this opportunity yet. Before your senior year, you can start researching different companies and industries you would consider working in full time. Attend career fairs with these companies, look up information about the company culture and mission statement, and try to talk with current employees to ask specific questions important to you.

Don’t wait until the last minute to begin applying for your dream jobs. Sometimes the hiring process can take a few months between screenings, multiple interviews, and determining the best person for the role. Applying early also gives you more time to receive multiple offers and compare them to know which is the best option for you and your goals.

The Application Process

Although it will vary by industry, January and February are the best times to job hunt based on new budgets for the year and other factors according to Career Sidekick. From there, the momentum typically continues into the early summer months where finding a job could be a bit more challenging. Between vacations and hiring early in the year, the processes may take longer with fewer openings posted during the summer months. Typically, it’ll pick back up around September or October and continue through the end of the year when recruiters are looking.

It’s recommended to apply to all companies you are interested in, regardless of having a position posted that you would qualify for. This allows you to show off your proactive approach and your commitment to trying to find a role within the company, and it provides an opportunity to ask for an interview you may not have received otherwise.


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