Job Hunting For College Grads

by Katie Jeffries on February 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

Students spend thousands of dollars and countless hours in the college classroom to have a job when they graduate. But jobs are scarce all across the board. WHIZ’s Katie Jeffries has job hunting tips for soon to be graduates.

The hallowed halls of higher education prepares students to join the workforce, but that doesn’t mean they will have a job waiting when they graduate.

"Just like hearing constantly how bad the job market is right now, I am just afraid to be entering such a bad job market," tells Adria Le Masters, a senior at Muskingum University. 

The average job search takes three to six months after graduation. Though waiting for a job offer can be discouraging, grads need to keep their eye on the prize and network.

"I tell them to make sure they are networking all the time. If they go and meet someone, maybe it is a family friend, I tell them you know you are not asking that person for a job, but make sure you don’t burn any bridges," says Jackie Vascura, director of Career Services at Muskingum University.

Taking a job such as waitressing or working in retail can look good on your resume. Even though it is not what you went to college for, it does show your work ethic.

"Versus not do anything at all, that it doesn’t show a lot of motivation, it is not the examples of the qualities people are looking for," says Vascura.

Students graduating are not only up against other grads for jobs, workers with years of experience can be stiff competition, but there are things you can do to put yourself ahead of other applicants.

"They also have kind of a division that they try to bring in each year so many new freshman graduates because it does diversify your workforce and they like to have that," says Vascura.

Of course your resume is the golden ticket into the workforce. So it must be up-to-date, clean,clear and concise. While grads may not have real-world experience, they do have transferable skills learned in the classroom and leadership skills from organizations. One thing every grad needs to highlight on their resume is their internships.

"I definitely believe that an internship will put me above the rest of the class or even other people who will not have the job experience that I will get from an internship," tells Kacey Factor a Junior at Muskingum University.

While grads get a degree in a certain area of studies, look at a wide range of job possibilities to open yourself up to more opportunities

" I wouldn’t mind being in something in management since my degree is going to cover accounting, economics and business. I am kind of versitle. I can do almost anything," say Le Masters.

So don’t let the job market discourage you, just keep your eye on the prize.

"So you have to be ready to know that this is a long haul, I’m going to have to focus and put a lot of time and energy in it and it may not be all that fun and glamorous, but stick with it and doing that may lead you to the job," says Vascura.


Katie Jeffries