Career Advice for Job Seekers

4 tips for college students beginning the job search

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
January 18, 2016

College students graduating this May will be competing for entry level jobs. While these soon-to-be graduates may believe they’re the perfect candidates, they must learn how to find jobs. Ray Rogers, Director of Career & Professional Development at St. Edward’s University, shares four tips as college students begin their job searches.

ray rogers

Ray Rogers, Director of Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s University

“1) Use a multi-pronged approach. Research shows that recent college graduates find their first opportunities using a variety of resources. These include leads from family and friends, prior work/internship employers, career fairs, job posting sites, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. Use all the methods that are reasonably available to you, increasing your exposure to as many opportunities as possible.

2) Cast a wide net. Rather than focusing on relatively few or a very narrowly defined set of opportunities, apply to a variety of different types of jobs that are within your skill set and areas of interest. Many recent graduates alter their career focus quite considerably during their first year or two after graduation as they explore the landscape of opportunities available to them. There are so many career options available to graduates today; it only makes sense to remain open to unexplored opportunities that unfold during the job search.

3) Develop a targeted application approach. While applying for jobs in multiple fields, it is important to adopt a targeted approach for each job opportunity. Rather than creating a single generic resume and cover letter, develop a unique version of each for specific types of jobs. Targeted application materials will help the employer see experience and skills most relevant to the opportunities they are filling rather than generic information that could easily miss the focus of any job description. Employers want to hire applicants who appear eager to do the type of work present in the job description rather than one who appears to be searching for just any job.

4) Develop a professional online presence. Resumes and cover letters are only part of the story. Hiring managers often research applicants through social media, most often LinkedIn. In fact, some studies suggest as many as 70% of recruiters use social media as part of their screening process, before the interview even begins.”

Ray Rogers is the Director of Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Ray began working in career services in 1998, gaining experience in internship development, employer relations, student and alumni career counseling, career assessment instruments and development of career course curriculum. He has accumulated 17 years of working in liberal arts career centers, first at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and, most recently, as Director of Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s University. Ray has worked in student affairs since 1994 and held staff positions in student activities, fraternity and sorority advising and residential life.

During the month of January, College Recruiter will share the advice and opinions of employers and career services professionals in an effort to assist students connect the dots on their path to career success. Follow College Recruiter’s blog and connect with College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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