By Erica England | firstname.lastname@example.org
Meredith Marshall, a second semester senior at Flagler College, is beginning to feel the pressure of finding a job.
“You spend all four years in school preparing for jobs but no one really tells you where to go to look,” said Marshall. “In this economy, applying for a job makes me feel very anxious. Even small jobs like waitressing are hard to find right now.”
Graduating seniors like Marshall are facing an increasingly competitive job market and a 9.7 percent unemployment rate according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I tell students to highlight their accomplishments and results in their resumes and cover letters in addition to incorporating the job description they’re applying for,” said Tara Stevenson, Career Services and Academic Advising and Retention Coordinator at Flagler College.
“Responsible for doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Dr. Jenny Preffer, Director of Career Services at Flagler College. “Students need to avoid being subjective in their resumes and cover letters and strive to be objective in their writing.”
In order for graduating seniors to not feel so overwhelmed in their quest to find a job Stevenson suggests students focus on three main points, where they want to live, what type of position they’re interested in and what position they’re qualified for.
“It’s important for students to get a good idea of what they want and where they want to be before beginning to apply for jobs,” said Stevenson.
Marshall, like other graduating seniors, relies on career search websites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com to find opportunities that meet her interests. But it may not be the most effective way to find available jobs in the field you want to work in.
“Job search engines only show 10 percent of the available jobs out there,” said Stevenson. “I recommend researching companies you like and using their website directly to find job opportunities.”
Preffer recommends finding professional organizations in your particular field.
“You can sign up for a student membership, which can cost anywhere from $25 to $60 and have access to their job boards,” she said.
More and more people are using social networking sites to look for jobs.
“I’ve created a LinkedIn account so recruiters can easily access my resume,” Marshall said.
According to Mashable.com, LinkedIn is the top social networking site with 35 million employers searching for employees. Although LinkedIn is a great tool for getting jobseekers’ names out there in a positive way, other social networking sites can be harmful to their hiring potential.
“A lot of professionals are using LinkedIn to recruit employees,” said Preffer. “Facebook and Myspace will kill you. Even if you’ve closed your accounts so only your friends can access the information, pictures can still be linked through other sites.”
Unfortunately, graduating seniors are facing a rocky road to success.
“Students expectations are too high for what they’ll find,” said Preffer. “My advice is to be realistic. Even if all you can find is a paid internship, it can potentially morph into a career with that company.”