With more than 1.8 million people projected to receive bachelor’s degrees this year, a new crop of fresh grads is entering the job market, many of them for the first time.
By BEN UNGLESBEE
The Kansas City Star
College career counselors emphasize a few things for those grads trying to get a leg up in a job market that is still hobbling back to what it was before the recession.
Unfortunately for new job hunters, one of the very best things you can do for your post-college job search is to have started several years ago.
Matt Arri, a career specialist at MU’s College of Engineering career center, advises students to begin their job hunt freshman year.
“Do mock interviews. Go to info sessions and career fairs. I think the networking aspect is very, very important,” Arri said.
Maybe that bus already left the station for the class of 2013, but chances are you can still use your school’s career services for a few months after graduation. It’s never too late to use those resources — until it is.
Next, link up — literally and digitally — with your friends, peers, profs and parents’ friends. LinkedIn has risen as a major job search tool, changing the employment landscape. Career counselors almost universally recommend signing up. The network helped Max Miller land his current position at a Lenexa publishing company. Once he started focusing on the firms that were hiring his peers, he said he had “instantaneous results.”
Internship experience is perhaps the most valuable thing for young candidates with little professional experience on their resumes.
As David Gaston, the director of KU’s career center, puts it: “If you’re a new grad without experience relevant to the kind of job you’re trying to get, it’s difficult to get an employer to imagine you in that job.”
Those grads who couldn’t afford to work an unpaid internship and couldn’t land a paid internship are in an especially tough spot as they compete against older candidates with years of job experience. Part-time or volunteer work in the field you’re searching in can also help fill that gap.
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