Spring semester is graduation semester for most of our seniors, and it can be both an exhilarating and a scary time. Finally earning your degree is wonderful, but trying to land a job, especially in this economy, can seem like a hopeless exercise.
If you’re teaching a course that has a job-search component (or, like me, teaching your program’s capstone course for graduating seniors), take a look at the following resources. They can give your students more optimism and increase their odds of job-search success.
Each year, Forbes.com combs through hundreds of websites and solicits input from readers to produce its list of career-boosting websites. This year’s list, ‘The Top 100 Websites for Your Career,” includes some classic sites—e.g., CareerBuilder.com and the website of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics—as well as sites to help particular groups (e.g., work-at-home women and those seeking employment in the nonprofit sector).*
A companion article, “The 10 Best Websites for Your Career—2013,”** narrows the big list down to the 10 most helpful sites. Your students will enjoy the slide show and learn why each source is particularly valuable. (Spoiler alert: LinkedIn leads off the list.)
Training+Development magazine, published by the American Society for Training and Development, also published “A Top 10 List of Resources to Launch Your Career.” But this is a list of top tips, not a list of resources. Only ASTD members have access to the full article (though it appears you can access it through EBSCOhost), so I’ll quote the gist of their advice here:***
10. Follow news and developments in your career field
9. Use the resources at your alma mater
8. Promote your internships and volunteer experiences
7. Network in person
6. Arrange informational meetings
5. Be persistent: follow up
4. Use online business networking
3. Manage your online presence
2. Customize your résumé
1. Get support (from a “buddy” who keeps you on track)
These tips probably repeat what you’re already telling your students, but it helps your “cred” that the leading organization in professional development reinforces your advice.
I particularly like tip #7: Network in person. It seems that today’s students would rather do anything than physically go to an informational interview, a research interview, or a professional meeting. (I’m remembering a comment one of my seniors made just last week, when we were discussing the client interviews they were going to conduct: “Can’t we just email them?”)
Yes, it’s tough out there, but using these resources, an assiduous job seeker can hugely increase his/her chances of employment success.
*Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes.com LLC, 18 Sept. 2013, Web, 22 Feb. 2014.
**Susan Adams, Forbes.com LLC, 18 Sept. 2013, Web, 22 Feb. 2014.
***Alan De Back, Sept. 2011: 78-80, print.