Having an internship, networking with professionals and applying for jobs before graduating are some of the best ways a student can get a job once they graduate.
The unemployment rate for college graduates, ages 21 to 24, averaged 9.4 percent over the past year, which made finding ways to get a job difficult.
Career Center consultant Nicole Dickens said it is hard for student graduates to find a job because they are competing against experienced workers.
“[Experienced workers]have been in the work force for a while and they have more work experience than they do and the competition is a lot tougher now than it has been in the past for those entry level positions,” Dickens said.
Dickens said the best tips for college graduates that are looking for a job is to start looking for a job two semesters before they graduate.
“[It] will give you an opportunity to start building a network, getting your name out there and becoming a part of the college recruiting cycle, which is a lot more beneficial to students because employers are coming here to recruit and give [students] information rather than going out in the work force and competing against people who are looking for entry level positions,” Dickens said.
Another good way to land a job is through internships. Once the internship is over, make sure to keep in touch with people at your internships and contact them when job searching.
Dickens said an internship will go a long way at getting your foot in the door with an organization.
“It’s pretty close to a must in having an internship,” Dickens said, “Most employers expect to see one or two internships on your resume before they consider you for an entry level position. An internship is the new entry level position.”
Career Center director Barbara Peet said to read the job description when looking at a company to work at.
“Say you are a computer science engineer and you know that they are hiring those,” Peet said. “By looking at those and preparing, you can look even more prepared because some companies will be looking for their major and others won’t, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get further contact information.”
College graduates should also network with every professional person in their field and set up a meeting to explain career goals. Then, ask them who else they would suggest meeting with and reach out to new professionals. Most people get jobs from connections by learning new information from each person they meet.
Architecture junior Sang Tran said he applied for several jobs once he graduated from high school.
“I went to the company and talked to the manager to let him know I was interested,” Sang said.
He said he did that to every company he applied to because he wanted to set up a network with potential employers.
“I wanted to get my name out there and with me talking to professionals, I got to learn about the company and how it operated, and it helped me in the interview process and I was able to land a job,” he said.
Another way to impress employers is to bring reference letters to the meeting from someone who can speak about their work ethic, such as a former employer or a professor.
After meeting or interviewing with an employer, Nicole Caron, career center coordinator of employer relations, said sending a follow-up e-mail to say thank you or mailing a personalized thank you card, you can create a lasting impression.
“It will let them know that you’re interested in that position,” Caron said.