Tuesday, September 27, 2011

College students..! Are you prepared for a job search?

I have some good news for you.  Although the economy has taken a swift kick in the gut pretty much globally, students are fortunate to still have opportunities as most companies are looking toward the future and building their bench strength through college recruiting.

This good news is not without a caveat.  Students must put a tremendous amount of effort into preparation.  Thus, the most crucial advice that I can give students right now is to get to your career center - pronto!  While there are opportunities for you, you must be competitive to secure a job / internship.  This is a buyer's market.  Companies have many students (and recent grads) to choose from.  So, you must rise to the top of the candidate field, and you don't have to do it alone.

University career centers exist to help students in the job search and interview preparation.  They are also the hub for recruiting activity.  If you are serious about searching for an internship or job, this is the first place that you need to go.  Your career center can help you:

  1. Uncover your skills and interests
  2. Demystify the world of work 
  3. Discover where you fit given your unique qualities
  4. Prepare resumes and cover letters
  5. Learn proper business dress, etiquette, etc...
  6. Gain important interview skills
  7. Network to build contacts and uncover opportunities
The value of the career center staff should not be underestimated.  They are looking out for you.  Your success is their own.  

Early fall is the best time to seek assistance.  Companies generally schedule information sessions in September  and October.  The career center can tell you who is coming to campus and how to best take advantage of this opportunity.  Companies also typically open full time university pipeline type positions from August to October for application and schedule applicants to interview in the fall.  They do the same for internships, generally beginning in November and running through late winter / early spring.

If you wait until the spring to prepare and engage, you will have missed important opportunities!  More importantly, you will most likely find yourself outside the opportunities that companies provide for college students.  

So, what should you do?  Look up your career center's phone number or email address and make an appointment right away!  Tell them that Career Conduit sent you.  

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