Ask an MTU Career Advisor: When is the Best Time to Start Applying?


I’m currently an engineering student at Michigan Tech that will graduate in December. I’m curious, when is the best time to start applying for full-time positions? I started looking at Handshake but I wasn’t sure if it was too early to apply or not.

Thanks so much!

Soon-to-be Fall Graduate



Hi Soon-to-be Fall Graduate,


That is a great question. Some recruiters will start making offers up to 6 months in advance, while others may be looking for someone to report immediately. It’s hard to say. There’s no definitive answer.

My best advice to you is:

Get your name out there! And be honest in your timeline. State your expected graduation date -December 2017- on your resume.  Address it in your cover letter, as well. If companies like what they see, they will keep you on their radar, even if it isn’t for that specific position.

Take time to polish your application materials (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.). Don’t start applying until they’re flawless.

Plan to attend CareerFEST and Career Fair in September, as it is a great opportunity to meet recruiters and start the conversation. In some instances, the hiring process can take up to six months depending on the job, company, and HR policies and procedures. It doesn’t hurt to get your application materials ready, do your research, and start applying.

If you need any help with those application materials, please let us know!

Keep us posted on your progress, we are always here to help!


MTU Career Advisor

2 responses to “Ask an MTU Career Advisor: When is the Best Time to Start Applying?

  1. Hello,
    I am currently a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering. I am done with all my courses and just have one credit to complete my degree. Now I have two options either to graduate in Summers or in December. My question is what will be the best time to graduate in terms of availability of jobs and chances of getting into one . I have started applying for jobs but need advice, if I have sufficient time left for job hunting.

    1. Hi Shivit- Please schedule an appointment on Handshake with a Career Advisor or utilize our summer walk-in hours, Monday-Thursday at 11am. We can help you with your application materials and walk you through some options. Your academic advisor will also be a great resource. Thanks for your question!

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