The art of the job hunt
Director of internships in communication department offers advice on job searching
Unemployment after college remains a fear in the eyes of many soon-to-be graduates, as students begin to face the pressures of the dreaded process of finding a job.
Undoubtedly, joblessness and underemployment is an unfortunate reality for many new graduates. The Labor Department reported the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates was 10.9 percent, according to the Dallas News.
Dr. Vivian Williams, the director of internships in the communication department, shared advice and strategies for students who are graduating.
Focused job search
Williams believes one of the biggest challenges for students after graduation is organizing and sustaining a focused job search.
"It isn't merely a matter of what you'd like to do, where you'd like to do it, or for whom you'd like to work," Williams said in an email. "But in preparing yourself for the job search."
Williams said a well-run job search is a lot of work - in fact, she believes it's a full-time job - and too often, new graduates are "taken aback at the scope of the challenge."
Williams urges students to turn to multiple strategies in finding a job. There are many useful resources available at UB's Career Services. From interviewing skills to salary negotiation, the center can help students carry out a successful job search.
"Students should use those resources before they graduate," Williams said.
"Your r?(c)sum?(c), the most financially important document that you'll ever write, needs to be in top form," Williams said.
She encourages students to reach out to career services while creating their r?(c)sum?(c)s. More goes into these documents than lists of skills, previous jobs and internships and years each position was held. A r?(c)sum?(c) is ultimately what earns an applicant an interview.
And when one gets an interview, Williams recommends going in prepared. She said there are different types of interviews, and each kind requires listening carefully and responding appropriately.
"Read about interviewing in its various forms: face-to-face, Skype, telephone and 'pre-packaged' online screening interviews," Williams said. "Practice your interview skills for the various interview types because different skills are used in each. For example, you need to enunciate clearly and put more energy in your voice for a telephone interview so standing up and smiling as you speak can help you to communicate more effectively."
Researching and learning about the company before an interview is vital. l.
Some of the most simple, day-to-day things students do may negatively affect their chances of getting a job. For instance, saying "yeah" in casual conversation is acceptable, but not in an interview. Williams calls it the "four-letter Y-word," that may cause a business professional to decide against hiring an applicant.
"It's important that job candidates look and sound polished and professional," Wiliams said.
Online profiles and networking
Williams cautions students that companies search for online profiles - so students should make sure their online presence is appropriate. Some of Williams' students told her they were surprised upon entering a job interview and seeing their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts on the interviewer's computer screen.
Lastly, Williams' places great importance in developing and using networks.
"Let your friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates and LinkedIn connections know that you are looking for a particular kind of job," Williams said. "Also, be sure to share with others information about jobs you've found (but in which you have no interest) in the hope that you can help someone else. Becoming a professional means that you look out for others as well as your own needs."
Job-hunting can be a time-consuming and emotionally draining task, but keeping these strategies in mind can help relieve some of the inevitable anxiety that accompanies applying and interviewing for jobs.
"And remember, you only need one firm to say 'yes' to you, so never give up," Williams said.