Recent college graduates were more likely than those in prior decades to visit a career center while in college but are less likely to view their interactions as “very helpful,” according to the newest data from an annual Gallup-Purdue University study of college graduates.
Only 17 percent of those who graduated from 2010 to 2016 said they found their college career centers to be “very helpful,” with another 26 percent reporting that the career office was “helpful.” Less than 40 percent said they found career centers to be “somewhat helpful,” and 17 percent said the interactions were not helpful at all.
Despite the improving entry-level job market, a new survey shows that many new grads still struggle to find the right fit for their skills and interests.
Why? New graduates are often leaving college without the knowledge necessary to conduct an effective job search. Not knowing what jobs are a fit or what can be done with a specific major is clearly an obstacle. Career services departments are not connecting with students
The data highlights a clear need for third-party innovators like Campus to Career Solutions to assist students in making the pathway to the first job more successful.
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Your college student is coming home for break; at some point, you’re going to ask what they’re going to do with their life or what their plans are for the summer or after graduation. Before they scream “Aaahhhh, I don’t know, leave me alone” – here are some tips to help guide you through the process.
1. Listen First
Tell them you’d like to talk about what they are enjoying learning in school and how that may tie in to career choices. It’s important for you to hear them out with an open mind, and then ask them to do the same. Ask them what they enjoy the most about their major and if they have given any thought to what type of work they would like to. Ask them if they have a resume and if you can see it. If they don’t, offer to help them create one. Remember, they have spent almost their whole lives in school. Don’t be surprised if they don’t know yet what job opportunities are available to them, or what they want to do.
- Speak Second
They know you want what’s best for them. Given the statistics you have every reason to be concerned that your children will not be able to find a good job, let alone a job in their field. You may even feel strongly that they pursue a particular career. Share your thoughts about why a certain career path might be good for them. Is there any way you could tie it in to their strengths and interests? They value your opinion and advice, just remember, ultimately, the decision is theirs. Be their greatest supporter and cheerleader as you have been for their entire life.
3. Offer to Help
Help your student learn about what type of jobs are out there. Could you bring them to work for a shadow day? Do you have a friend or colleague working in their field of interest they could speak with? Use your own LinkedIn connections to find folks they could network with. Do you know what career paths are available to them? Use job aggregators like www.indeed.com to research jobs by function or geography. Print out interesting job descriptions for them and let them come to their own conclusions.
- Acknowledge Their Stress
Often students are so busy with school work, part time jobs, sports, and clubs that there isn’t much time to think about anything else. This creates a high level of stress for them and puts thinking about their future on the bottom of their list. They know that they need an internship or to begin a full time job search, they just don’t know how, when, or where to start and are too stressed to begin to look into it.
- Help Them Learn the Skills to Be Successful in their Job Search
Having a strategy will help alleviate everyone’s stress! A concrete plan will improve their chances of landing a great job or internship. The comprehensive plan should include:
- Researching jobs, companies, and industries
- Writing job specific resumes and cover letters
- Networking, including how to use LinkedIn
- Interview practice
- Learning how to negotiate an offer
Not a career planning guru yourself? No problem! Campus to Career Solutions can help!
We use proven techniques to help college students, recent graduates and young professionals find great jobs.
We are looking for a Marketing and Social Media intern to start now and work through Spring 2017 semester. This is a great part-time, paid, internship opportunity. Local Burlington VT area candidates only, please. Accepting applications through 11/21