How Your School Can Help You Get a Job

From career counseling to job placement programs, colleges and universities often provide critical access to employment opportunities. Read on for more details.

jobs for college grads entry-level careers

Securing a Job

While the employment market has improved in recent months, securing a job remains difficult for many candidates. For prospective college graduates, who often lack extensive professional experience, finding work can be especially difficult. Fortunately, colleges provide students and alumni with many tools that can improve career prospects. Learn about ten resources schools can provide in the job search.

1. Career counseling services

Campus career centers typically offer counseling to students interested in exploring their professional options. Whether you're uncertain about what career area you'd like to enter or just unsure about how to approach a particular field, career counselors at your school can help demystify the employment search.

2. Recruiting and job placement programs

Many schools feature job placement and recruiting programs that can allow students to pursue employment, internship and externship opportunities with businesses and other organizations. Some colleges even have partnerships with employers that offer students exclusive knowledge of open positions.

3. Job fairs

Colleges routinely hold career fairs at which students can meet prospective employers, get advice from hiring managers and expand networks of professional contacts. Attendees can learn about positions available at companies, nonprofits and other organizations - and perhaps even apply for jobs on the spot.

4. Job boards

Most colleges have job boards on which businesses post available positions. Job listings typically appear at the career center page of college websites, often with direct links to a company's human resources department. Jobs are often categorized by discipline so students can easily peruse relevant opportunities.

5. Skills workshops

Career centers on campus offer students guidance on job-seeking skills, including resume and cover letter writing. Trained staff can also help individuals put together portfolios and prepare for job interviews. These resources may be available within designated workshops, in one-on-one settings and at a career center website.

6. Online and social media

Staff members at college career centers usually maintain a website with links to job postings, workshop dates and other useful information for students. Many schools also provide updates via Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Subscribing can allow students to learn about new job opportunities well before other potential candidates.

7. Faculty

College instructors often have keen insight into the job market that awaits students after graduation. Often professors and staff members can provide prospective grads with advice on where to pursue careers. Faculty members, of course, also make excellent references for those entering the job market.

8. College departments

It's also a good idea for students to check in with academic departments for career opportunities. Staff in these offices may be aware of opportunities not mentioned by professors or advertised on a college's general job listing site. Some departments have partnerships with industry that can serve as a springboard for graduates' careers.

9. Career resource library

College career centers typically provide access to a wide range of job-search tools. Students can usually access these resources in person on campus or at a career center website. Resume guides, skills inventories and personality assessments are only a few available resources that could help in a job search.

10. Alumni association

Colleges endeavor to inspire school loyalty in graduates, including through alumni associations. Membership in an alumni association can be an effective means by which to network with professionals plugged into the local economy as well as national corporations and other organizations.

Need another resource in your job search? Learn why you should attend a virtual career fair.

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