According to a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 9.6 percent more new U.S. college graduates this year than they did last year.
While the announcement will come as welcome news to graduates of Georgian Court University’s Class of 2015 and others nationwide, students will still face challenges during their job search, according to Kathleen Brady, a veteran advisor to job seekers and GCU director of career services.
“The jobs are there, but you still have to figure out how to get to the right person,” said Brady. “Students still need to focus on networking and on articulating what it is they have to offer. Employers always want to know how a new hire can help them achieve their mission.”
Networking skills and the self-knowledge required for a successful job search are skills that take time to acquire, and the best-prepared graduates are those who have been preparing themselves throughout their academic career, said Brady.
“Some students wait until the first warm day in March of their senior year to come to the Office of Career Services for help in finding a job,” asserted Brady, who recently released “Get a Job! 10 Steps to Career Success.” “But that is too late. We want to engage students in their first year and connect with them throughout their four-year academic career here.”
Four years may seem like a long time to prepare for a job search, but the GCU Office of Career Services aims to interact with students in specific ways at each stage of their academic career, Brady said.
“For first-year students, we just get them to think about their dreams; to envision their future selves. Then in their sophomore year, we talk to them about how their activities and decisions today are going to impact their long-term goals, she said.
“The jobs are there, but you still have to figure out how to get to the right person.”
“Junior year is when we talking to them about all the skills they’ll need for the workplace, like communication, leadership, teamwork,” Brady continued. “By their senior year, students are ready to get down to the mechanics of finding a job.”
The job search methods that the GCU seniors are learning in 2015 are dramatically different from those of a decade ago. The new job search landscape relies heavily on both technology and person-to-person relationships, according to Brady. “Those in the Class of 2015 who have mastered skills in both areas are well positioned to find jobs when they graduate,” she said, emphasizing that it is another important element that makes the difference between someone who is or is not successful in the job market.