Recruiting Cycles by Industry

Recruiting cycles and methods are industry driven. To effectively plan your internship or full-time job search, it is important to know when industries tend to post positions.


Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Academia & Higher Education
Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Biotech, Pharma
Consumer Products
Ecology & Conservation
Education: Primary & Secondary
Energy, Utilities, Transportation & Defense
Film & Entertainment
Finance & Banking
Government, Politics & NGO’s
Law & Legal Services
Museums, Cultural Institutions & Fine Arts
Retail & Merchandising

Please note that these guidelines reflect trends, not rules; there are exceptions.

Some industries, such as consulting, finance, retail, biotech, and technology have a university recruiting tradition and strategy. These industries may seem the most visible on campus because of their capacity to devote resources to recruitment and hire well in advance. They post internships and full-time positions on Handshake and are apt to come to campus for career fairs, meet and greets, information sessions, and interviews. On-campus recruiting happens both semesters, but it is heaviest in September and October.

Industries such as nonprofit, politics, entertainment, media, advertising, and architecture are more likely to hire real-time. They hire as-needed and seek candidates that are available within a few months. These industries will have some postings on Handshake, but may be less likely to formally recruit on campus. This is a function of an organization’s hiring resources and needs, not a reflection of Career Center priorities.

Deadlines for government, public policy, and education positions begin in October and extend all the way to April, depending on the organization. Museums, cultural institutions, entertainment, media, advertising, and publishing positions can also pop up over a span of months, with the earliest applications going live in January or February and extending into late spring. Some of these industries, like advertising and public relations, offer post-graduation internships as the entry-level position, then hire full-time from their intern pool.

Regardless of the industries that interest you, or the likelihood of on-campus recruiting, the Career Center is dedicated to helping you build your target list, interact with employers, network with alumni, and learn how to successfully navigate the search and application process. For help with your process, join a Career Interest Group or schedule an advising appointment.

For more information, take a look at these articles:
When to Start Looking for a Job for College Seniors
53 Ways to Get a Job Before Graduation
Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for an Internship