Author Topic: Groom Yourself Into the Tight Job Market  (Read 1654 times)

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Groom Yourself Into the Tight Job Market
« on: October 19, 2010, 02:41:52 PM »
Skills employers want and new graduates lack

It’s important that you are knowledgeable in your field: an engineer must have engineering knowledge; an accountant needs an accounting background; a nurse needs a medical education. Your GPA is indicative of what you have learned in your field. More than half of employers recognize this by screening applicants by GPA, using a cutoff of 3.0. Add an internship or two in your field and you show an employer that you’ve tested your new knowledge.

However, employers say other skills and abilities help job seekers stand out from the crowd of degree-holders. They want new hires who will fit in with co-workers and into the workplace, and are able to get the job done.

Unfortunately—and ironically—the very qualities employers look for are the qualities they find lacking in many new graduates. Employers say new graduates lack face-to-face communication skills, especially writing skills. They say many students tend to lack presentation skills, teamwork skills, and overall interpersonal (gets along well with others) skills.

Employers also note that new grads tend to lack a good work ethic. Some say students have trouble with time management and are unable to multitask in order to meet deadlines. Some new hires do not have realistic expectations for their new positions: they are not loyal to the organization and they “have a high sense of urgency and want to climb the ladder overnight.” Other employers say new hires lack professionalism: they lack maturity and knowledge of business etiquette, including how to dress appropriately.

Start Now. Call on Campus Resources for Help.

It’s a buyer’s market, meaning, employers have a minimum number of positions to fill, so they’re going to be rather picky about the credentials of the new graduates they hire.

Here’s failsafe advice: Start today. Stop in at your college/university career center. Trained, professional staff members are available to guide you through the job-search process and teach you how to take the various steps with success.

These experts can critique your resume; help you put together an award-winning cover letter; practice interviewing with you; teach you the etiquette necessary to make it through a luncheon interview; show you how to dress professionally for face-to-face conversations with employers; and give you ideas for how to demonstrate those much needed qualities and skills employers look for.

Plus, these career counselors know the employers—they work with them on a regular basis—and can put you in touch with the organizations looking for new hires. (Note: A recent online ad for “career advice” put the cost at more than $800. Students will find these services are free or very low cost on campus.)

Don’t be fooled. A career counselor won’t find you a job or “place” you in a position. They’re on campus to teach you something more important: the knowledge to successfully find a job today—and in the future when you’re looking for your second, third, or 10th position!

Beginning your search early is smart. According to an early 2008 survey, of those graduates who began their job searches before March 1, more than half had secured a post-graduate job by April 30. With the tight job market, it may pay to be an early bird!

Get experience—it pays!

Work experience adds considerable value to your resume. Ninety-five percent of employers prefer to hire new graduates who have some work experience.

When employers want to hire someone for a full-time position, many look first to their own intern pools. But besides a potential job offer, internships pay in other ways, including in actual compensation.

Among employers who pay their interns, the average hourly wage at the bachelor’s degree level is $15.99 to $17.79. This amount could be higher or lower depending on the employer, your degree, and the location of the internship.

 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:05:17 PM by Shamim Ansary »
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Groom Yourself Into the Tight Job Market
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 02:42:25 PM »
Employers rank the importance of skills/qualities

   1. Communication skills
   2. Strong work ethic
   3. Teamwork skills (works well with others)
   4. Initiative
   5. Analytical skills
   6. Computer skills
   7. Flexibility/adaptability
   8. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
   9. Problem-solving skills
  10. Technical skills
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:05:29 PM by Shamim Ansary »
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Groom Yourself Into the Tight Job Market
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 02:43:17 PM »
Go where employers are looking

If you know where employers will be looking for new hires (and interns), you can be there for them to find. When employers rate the effectiveness of recruiting methods, they rank the following places as their top 10 picks:

   1. On-campus recruiting
   2. Organization’s internship program
   3. Employee referrals
   4. Organization’s co-op program
   5. Career/job fairs
   6. Faculty contacts
   7. Job postings on the company web site
   8. Job postings on the campus web site
   9. Student organizations/clubs
  10. Job postings on commercial web sites

This means you should be sure to participate in on-campus activities such as information sessions, on-campus interviews, career fairs, and student organizations—especially those related to your field. Get experience by taking an internship (or two) or getting involved in a co-op program in your field.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:05:39 PM by Shamim Ansary »
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Groom Yourself Into the Tight Job Market
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 02:44:30 PM »
Prepare three things

Repeat after me (we say this in the Job Outlook-Student Version every year). Employers tell students to go to interviews armed with three things that can improve the outcome of your job (or internship) search:

   1. Research

      Take 60 minutes, go online, and learn everything you can about any company you might want to work for. Your goal is to be able to articulate how you will be a good fit within the company. If you have trouble putting your research into words, ask a career services counselor for help. This is the easiest step of them all—and often the most neglected!
      
       2. Experience

      An internship or co-op experience (or several of these positions) on your resume will tell an interested employer that you’ve tested your career up close and you’ve learned some of the basics of the workplace.

      Employers see internship programs as their organizational talent pools. Employers prize relevant work experience even if it’s with another organization.
      
          3. Have a little class

      Just because you put together a rudimentary resume in “career class” in high school doesn’t mean you have the skill to crank out a resume now. Among the skills you need to learn in career center workshops:
          * how to write a cover letter that markets you to employers.
          * how to compose a well-written, error-free resume that articulates your skills and course work as a match for the company and position.
          * how to interview and explain the value you can bring to a potential employer.

Research, experience, and preparation: Once you have these, you’re going to be a better fit in the job market.


From the source: http://www.jobweb.org/studentarticles.aspx?id=2121
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:05:50 PM by Shamim Ansary »
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"