George Mason University

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Advice for December grads: preparation and patience are key

December 18, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

George Mason University students graduating in December are busy polishing their resumes and cover letters in anticipation of beginning their careers early in the new year.

The good news is, there are about 1,700 jobs posted at HireMason—more than 900 of which are full-time positions.

“And those are posted by employers specifically interested in recruiting Mason talent,” said Saskia Clay-Rooks, executive director of Mason’s University Career Services.

The bad news? Well, there isn’t any, unless the field you are hoping to enter doesn’t traditionally fill new positions or replace departing employees in the winter or early spring months. In that case, Clay-Rooks said, you may have to wait for the industry’s traditional hiring season to land a job.

“Employers hire when they have vacancies due to staff transitions, promotions, retirements or job creation through new contracts or projects,” Clay-Rooks said.

Fiscal year cycles, budgetary issues and other variables cause hiring to fluctuate throughout the year, she added. Graduates should be aware of seasonal fluctuations and shouldn’t be daunted by delays.

As examples, Clay-Rooks points out that the majority of hiring for accounting and finance positions are done in the fall. But K-12 education and the marketing and public relations sectors do more of their hiring in the spring.

Clay-Rooks said the average job search takes six or more months and hiring generally slows down during the holidays as recruiters and managers take time off. Which makes it a good time for graduates to do the same.

Graduating students who want assistance in developing a customized job search strategy based on interests and career goals should schedule an appointment with University Career Services by calling 703-993-2370. 

Topics: Graduation