In today’s recession how are college students supposed to find jobs? We pay all of this money to become educated in whatever field we choose, because a college education is the ticket these days to making the “big bucks,” we lose sleep, study hard and what do we get in return? A diploma and a one way ticket back to mom and dad’s house because many college graduates leave school with only a diploma in hand; no job offers like the good old days. According to a recent article on CNN.com, the US has the highest annual job loss rate since the end of World War II. So far, 2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since 2008 and that number seems to be steadfastly increasing.
Not only are college students competing with one another, they are now competing with their parents, the old man down the street and the rest of the America. It makes one wonder, how are graduates supposed to find jobs? In reality we have no experience, minus an internship or two and have numerous people to compete with in a dwindling job market. According to a recent article by US News, some of the best jobs for 2020 include a librarian, school psychologist and a firefighter. So what are the rest of us supposed to do? Change our career paths and go back to school after we have spent thousands of dollars on obtaining a degree in which we can’t even use?
Here are some tips to finding jobs and internships:
1. NETWORK- Be friends with everybody and anybody because you never know who knows who. Go talk to your professor or advisor and discuss options for a future career. They will most likely love to talk to you about their past profession and have a lot of great information to give. Many times professors will give you the contact information of a person in your desired field. Join career social websites such as LinkedIn.com, which gives you the opportunity to contact others who have your desired job and ask questions.
· In addition to networking, it is a good idea to seek out an informational interview with someone who has your dream job. Simply contact them and ask for an interview about their profession, many times people will talk to you. Be sure to ask them anything and everything about their profession as well as advice, tips and ideas on how to get started. It is important to mention you are not searching for a job when you first contact them-many will assume you are asking for an interview.
2. Visit your campus Career Center- Usually these centers will offer assistance in writing amazing resumes and cover letters which will help you stand out in the crowd. They also have job postings and inside information about possible internships. Tests are also available to help you decide a future career path if you are unsure about what you want to do with your life.
3. Check out your school’s job website- most colleges have a webpage dedicated to helping you find a job. Many times it is linked with the Career Center and will have job and internship postings from numerous companies which are legitimate offers because they are approved by your school.
4. Search newspaper ads- this is a great way to find local jobs that can range from internships to a host position at a restaurant. Just be careful, many times some ads can be misleading.
5. Job Websites- use job search sites such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, again be careful, many times job offers can be false or misleading.
6. Cold Call- if there is an organization or company that you would like to work for, either email them or cold call them to see if there are any opportunities available. Sometimes employers will be impressed you took the initiative in your job hunt.
7. Visit career fairs- this gives you an opportunity to meet numerous employers in one location, yet you are also competing with other fair-goers, so make sure you dress your best and have a resume on hand.
There are many ways for students to search for jobs and a lot of times internships are a stepping stone to career opportunities. If you have an internship while in college, you have the upper hand because you have real life work experience. It is also important to have a resume, no matter how small, and a cover letter ready to go. If you have references or letters of recommendation those are great aides in any job search.
The most important thing to remember is stay confident in your search and thank people for their time.