Timeline and Tipsfor Job Search

The job search process can take longer and be more involved than expected. You will likely need to apply for multiple positions before accepting an offer so start early!

  • Larger organizations can fill their opportunities a year in advance, be sure to start the search early.
  • Application Deadlines are not always hard deadlines. Some organizations will fill positions before the application deadline has arrived. Apply as soon as you are able for opportunities you are interested in.
  • It is very common to not hear back from an employer about your application. They will be in contact if they are interested in moving forward with you as a candidate.
  • Be prepared - know what type of positions you are looking for, have an updated résumé, connect with your references, practice interviewing, research companies, schedule time for your search - treat it like an additional course.
  • Be realistic - this is a very subjective process that sometimes doesn’t make sense. Work with a Career Development Specialist to help you understand how to navigate it.
  • Don’t take the process to personally; most often, decisions organizations make are not personal.
  • Stay organized - utilize a search spreadsheet or notebook to keep track of where you have applied, companies of interest, and connections you have made. Here is an example, it will prompt you to make a copy to have it be your very own search spreadsheet that you can edit and will only be viewable to you. 
  • Utilize our Internship and Job Search page for where to start. 

Ask for help - at any stage, whether you are just starting or have applied for many jobs, Career Development is here to help you with your search! Call (507-933-7575), use Handshake, or stop in to schedule an appointment with a Career Development Specialist.

Timeline for job search

Timeline of when to start looking

(Based on a May/June graduation date)

Late Summer/Early Fall

Start looking 8 - 12 months in advance


Start looking 6 – 8 months in advance

As Needed

Positions Filled at Any Time

Organizations hiring during that timeframe

  • Organizations Conducting On Campus Recruiting
  • Accounting and Financial Services
  • Consulting Firms
  • Large Media & Tech Companies
  • Federal Government
  • Service Organizations including: Peace Corps, Faith Based Organizations (1st deadline), Teach for America (1st deadline)
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Research Institutes
  • Educational Institutions
  • Arts Organizations
  • Environmental Organizations
  • State and Local Government
  • Small Startup Organizations
  • Communications and Media Organizations
  • Service Organizations including: Americorps Vista, Organizations with 2nd or 3rd deadlines
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Arts Organizations
  • Small Startup Organizations
  • Small-Medium Sized Businesses
  • Communications and Media Organizations
  • Local Government
  • Staffing Agencies

Updated 7/25/23 JV