Career coordinator gives tips for the postgraduate job search

Wendy Sloan

In about a week, thousands of graduating seniors will receive their degrees and embark on a new journey in the real world. Some might be fortunate enough to already have a job lined up, but what about everyone else? What do you do if you don’t have a job yet?

It’s not the end of the world, even though it might feel that way sometimes. All you need is a plan of action.

Visit with career services 

The first things graduating seniors should do is “make sure they have visited or plan to visit their college’s career services office,” said Tammy Stegman, career coordinator at the Raisbeck Career Services Building.

Even though the semester is almost over, Stegman said it isn’t too late to stop in for some advice. “The offices are open in the summer and they’re open right now,” Stegman said.

Stegman stated that a career services office will be able to give students specific advice on their job search.

Connect with professional organizations 

Next Stegman suggested graduating seniors find and connect with any professional organizations related to their industry. Many industries have professional organizations, including human resources, marketing, construction, engineering, etc. She said that these organizations or places can help provide leads on possible jobs.

For example, “if you’re interested in human resources, figure out where people in human resources hang out,” Stegman said. For human resources, job seekers should connect with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

“Find out where these groups meet, who belongs, what kinds of meeting they have and if you could attend,” she said.

Tips for the application process

Stegman said recent graduates need to be more assertive. If you find a company that you’d like to work for and they don’t have any job openings, “don’t shut the door” on them.

“Take that step and contact them. See if they might have any upcoming job opportunities,” she said.

With cover letters and resumes, it’s important to make sure these documents are specific to the job for which you are applying.

“You can’t write the same cover letter for every job,” Stegman said.

Stegman suggested using the job description to help tailor cover letters. “If it states that you need public speaking experience, make sure you talk about that in your cover letter and resume,” said Stegman.

With resumes, Stegman said to focus the job descriptions on your accomplishments, not the task you performed.

Final tips

Stegman stated that a good goal for graduating seniors is to send out 10-to-15 job applications and resumes a week. “If you’re not hearing back at all at that point, take a look at your resume,” she said.

Graduating seniors can contact a staffing company or temp organization if they feel like they’ve exhausted their resources at the moment.

Stegman also suggested recent graduates consider a post-graduation internship or any temporary job opportunities that will allow them to gain experience or education in their area of interest.