Deliberate—Not Desperate: Tips on Cracking the Job Market for Today’s Graduating College Students

May 13, 2014 7 AM

As spring commencement nears, college students throughout the U.S. prepare to enter a challenging and competitive job market. Many of those students, fearing that they are behind in the process, might make crucial mistakes that actually inhibit their likelihood of securing a job.

“The key for college seniors is being deliberate, not desperate, in their job searches,” says Anne Scholl-Fiedler, Vice President for Career Services at Stevenson University. Here is her list of the Top 4 “DON’Ts” that can hinder a student’s job search process.

  1. Don’t blindly apply for positions. A shotgun approach doesn’t help. Applying for jobs for which you are not qualified diminishes your reputation among prospective employers and recruiters, a small and elite group who often communicate with one another about jobseekers in their local markets.
  2. Don’t just apply online. Many jobseekers assume that they are doing enough by filling out online applications. Applying online is just one element. It’s crucial to network, with the goal of establishing at least two contacts per day. Establishing networks can help you to know about jobs before they even become available.
  3. Don’t go to a networking event or career fair unprepared. Be well-versed in your own professional brand prior to a networking event or career fair. What’s your professional brand? It’s your strengths, interests, academic studies, and internship experiences integrated and articulated in a way that relates them to a specific job or career path. Also, make sure to research the companies that will be represented and know who you want to connect with beforehand. Be strategic in your approach.
  4. Don’t be discouraged if your first job isn’t your dream job. Your first job is extremely important because it’s where you’re starting to establish your professional reputation. But know that you’re going to change positions and maybe even careers several times throughout your lifetime. You have to manage your expectations and focus on what you can take away from the short term to advance your long-term goals.

Stevenson University is a national leader in career education with a 91% job and/or graduate school placement rate for its graduates. The University has developed its own process, Career Architecture SM, to help its students prepare for a lifetime of career success through an emphasis on developing students’ personal direction, discipline expertise, and professional know-how integrated with their academic and co-curricular experiences.

Learn more about Stevenson’s Career Architecture program here.

Anne Scholl-Fiedler has led Stevenson University’s Office of Career Services since 2012 and brings more than two decades of collegiate career development experience to her position. Her professional background includes employer and alumni relations, developing collaborative partnerships, and leading strategic development initiatives for university career centers.

Topics: Career Students