What’s the number one job search secret? Go to the Internship and Career Center to find out.
Today the Internship and Career Center, located in South Hall, held the last sessions of its Hire Me! Academy, a series of workshops meant to help graduating seniors and recent alumni become job search experts by learning the “six keys to job search success,” according to the program’s website.
“[The program] is designed for recent graduates to, in a quick amount of time, get the basics of job search covered,” said Naomi Kinert, a coordinator and advisor at the ICC.
Workshops such as “#1 Job Search Secret,” as well as “Know Yourself/Promote Yourself” and “Online Job Search” gave professional advice on how to conquer the job market.
According to Kinert, a recent graduate’s resume and interviewing skills are the “pillars of any job search campaign.“
“You have to have a good strong, marketable resume in order for you to get your foot in the door, and you need to interview well in order to get the job,” said Kinert. She shared a few tips students can learn in the workshops as well as in the one-on-one counseling available at the center year-round.
Kinert recommended against having a one-size fits all resume, a common mistake among job applicants. Instead, she suggested customizing a resume for each job position. She also refuted the belief that the internet, while useful, was the best way to find potential careers.
“I would not spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet … it represents a fairly low percentage of how people actually land their jobs,” she said.
The number one job search secret, said Kinert, was networking. And while blindly searching job postings online may not represent the best use of one’s time, using the internet smartly to network with others – particularly UC Davis alumni – is an excellent way to establish relationships with potential employers.
“The first thing I would take a look at is to get on sites like LinkedIn (linkedin.com) … you can pull up alumni, and find groups and companies as well as people. It’s relatively painless and doesn’t cost money,” Kinert said. “Aggie Job Link is good, because when students go to [it], they know that they are employers specifically interested in them as UC Davis students.“
Overall, Kinert described finding a career position as a full-time job in and of itself, consuming the hours of a full work week for a dedicated applicant, and taking months, even years, to complete.
In the current economy, said Kinert, the search could take even longer than usual.
Brett Logan, a 2009 UC Davis alumnus who graduated with a degree in psychology, said his decision to continue immediately on to graduate school was, in part, influenced by the current state of the job market.
“I had the economy in the back of my head, and thought, ‘go to school as long as you can,‘” Logan said.
As a student, Logan held a part-time job working as a student assistant at the College of Letters and Sciences, which he found through Aggie Job Link. Now he is looking for another job – this time, in Chicago, where he will be studying industrial organizational psychology at Roosevelt University.
“I’m going to do something in psychology, either in consulting or human resources,” said Logan, who is currently sifting through online job listings for work in the area.
Jessica Real is also a recent 2009 graduate. Like many others in her position, she too is hard-pressed to find a job, and eventually a career, that will help pay off thousands of dollars in loans.
“I’m going to be paying my student loans for at least 15 to 20 years,” said Real, who graduated with a degree in sociology. “Right now, I’m kind of limiting myself to short-term jobs; I’m trying to focus on just having money right now.“
The problem, according to Real, is how to gather pertinent experience without going broke.
“I’m hoping to find a job in human resources that would be somewhere between entry-level and mid-level, but still financially supportive of someone who has recently graduated,” said Real. “Unless you have experience, it’s going to be an intern position, and it’s very hard to find a paid internship.“
Based on Kinert’s observations, former students like Real face a challenge.
“It has been a more challenging market, because people who used to be able to get a job where they are mid-career, are looking at entry level positions because there are fewer jobs going around, so students have to compete with people who have more experience than they do,” Kinert said.
“It’s been stressful,” said Real, who admitted she feared not being able to find career position in the near future.
Today the ICC will host its final Hire Me! Academy workshops: “Interviewing and Negotiating” at 10 a.m. and “Resumes and Cover Letters” at 2 p.m.
For more information visit iccweb.ucdavis.edu.
ANDRE LEE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.