I will be finishing university next year. I was contacted by a recruiter for a large firm specifically to establish early contact regarding "2020 opportunities", as part of an apparent program to reach out to explicitly pre-final-year university students. I am interested in the firm and the work they do, and concensus seems to be that they are a great place to work at. The field is tech, if it matters.
The recruiter is asking me when I plan on sending out job applications next summer, so they can "check back in" with me. However, while I know when my degree ends, but I don't know how my job search will be organised. I could answer with an estimate of starting 1-2 months before the end of the course, which is likely realistic enough.
More importantly, I see no reason to delay the application process. If, hypothetically, I was invited to the usual interview(s) right now, thought the company to be as good as everyone claims, and got a good offer, I would be happy to accept - and save myself some stress in my final year of studies.
Is this wise? The only reason I can see for delaying, from my perspective, is to get the opportunity to conduct a broad search and see what I like - perhaps gather several offers before accepting one. I feel that if the offer is good, the peace of mind would be worth the small off-chance that I'd miss out on something truly better. But as I am still studying, my jobseeking experience is limited to essentially two internships, neither of which I had to look very hard for; this would be my first "real" job I'd expect to keep for a few years, so maybe I should really be more careful here.
Is telling the recruiter about this wise, and if so, how should I phrase it? Given that they've already approached me, I'm not sure why they wouldn't try to get me to accept an offer as early as possible, as opposed to waiting till I start my own job search and then competing with whatever else I find. Unless, that is, the company has a policy against that (e.g. to avoid committing on offers over such a long term). Or perhaps they will wish to see my final degree results, but then I don't necessarily see why they'd ask for my job search plans since ideally I'd start looking for jobs before my studies actually end.
Assuming I do go ahead with it, how would you phrase it?
My course will be ending around X date so while I don't have precise plans yet, I would like to start looking 1-2 months before that, so during months XX-XX 2020. However, since we're already in touch, I see no reason not to meet with [your company] whenever is most convenient.
Would something like this convey the point across without sounding weird?