Many college students believe that the college degree is their key to career success. It’s the knowledge gained in the classroom that makes them the qualified candidate for the job.
This is true…somewhat.
Yes, understanding concepts and topics specific to your chosen profession is important. But preparing for the world of work involves much more than earning a degree, certificate or diploma. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has outlined what makes a college student ready to successfully transition from college to career. Check out the seven skills below and determine your career readiness. Ask yourself how you measure against other graduates and job seekers. What are things you could do to improve the skills you currently lack?
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Employers want new hires who can receive information and use it to solve problems. They hire candidates capable of examining ideas and interpreting facts and data to make decisions.
Oral/Written Communications: All industries require solid communication skills. Being able to clearly and concisely share information through writing (emails, memos, documents), public speaking (talking in front of a group) and interpersonal communication (one-to-one or small group meetings) is essential.
Teamwork: Can you successfully function within a team? Can you manage conflict? Are you able to work with people of diverse cultures, races, religions and viewpoints? Your individual contributions are important, but companies function in teams.
Technology: Computer skills are used in every job setting. It’s the type of computer work and amount that varies.
Leadership: Are you able to lead others either by being in charge or setting a good example of a strong work ethic? Can you prioritize and organize your responsibilities? Do people look to you as someone who can motivate them to be involved?
Professionalism: The employee who is always late to work or doesn’t submit projects on time won’t be an employee for long. Neither will the employee who refuses to understand the importance and effect of professional conduct in a work setting, from the way you talk to the way you visually present yourself.
Career Management: Students who are ready to join the world of work after college know how they want to contribute and what they’re capable of doing. Thus, they know what jobs to look for and how to apply. During the job interview, a solid candidate can discuss their strengths, skills and experiences in relation to the job opening.
Look for ways you can improve skills, from taking a computer course (technology) or public speaking class (oral communications) to visiting Career Services (career management, professionalism).
November 23, 2015
Searching for jobs online will be a component of your job search. As printed materials dwindle, so do classified sections. When employers post job openings they do so on the company website or an online job board. If you aren’t comfortable doing an online job search, it’s time to become familiar with the concept.
Here are nine elements to a successful online job search.
Create a professional resume. Technology may have updated the job search resources, but a solid, professional resume is still essential to your job search. Follow the tips and samples listed in the Career Services Career Guide.
Know your search criteria ahead of time. What’s your salary range? What geographic location are you targeting? Are you looking for full-time, part-time or contract work? Answers to these questions help narrow your search.
Use keywords in your search. When looking through online sites, use keywords and phrases from your industry. Doing so helps narrow the search.
Use different keywords in different searches. Changing one keyword could mean the difference between seeing a job posting or not. If you search for jobs with the word “mechanic,” you may not connect with a posting that uses the phrase “auto technician.”
Look for sites that update listings frequently. If a site only updates jobs monthly, you could miss out on opportunities the weeks in between.
Watch for fees. Avoid sites that require payment to register. Some sites offer free basic services but charge a fee for advanced features. Research the features to find out if the cost is worth it.
Look for targeted job boards. Employers may post jobs on websites targeted to their specific audience. Targets could include industry-specific, college-specific or other demographics.
Don’t focus your job search to online resources only. While technology has made it easier to browse a variety of websites, online job searching should only be a small part of your job search. Networking is still the number one job searching resource; face-to-face communications remains a critical component of a successful job search.
Announcing Career Services Central Campus Drop-In Lab
Wednesdays and Thursdays, Central High Room 332
- Search online job sites
- Complete online applications
- Write a resume and cover letter
- Receive resume feedback and get answers to job search questions from an on-site career counselor
November 9, 2015