Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Connect with Your College Career Center
If you are heading back to college soon, it is a good time to start preparing for interviews on your college campus this spring. Chances are your college career center has already scheduled several big events for you to meet employers. Use these opportunities to learn more about companies, careers and internship programs they offer.
The recent Job Outlook 2008 survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers are expecting to increase college hiring by 16 %. Employers are projecting that the 2007-08 recruiting season will be highly competitive for this year’s crop of new graduates. This is the fifth consecutive year in which employers have projected double-digit increases which is exciting news for the class of 2008.
As you prepare return to school, go online and take a look at your college career center calendar for some of the following types of events already scheduled:
- On campus job fairs, career fairs and internship fairs - These events allow organizations to come to campus for a big recruiting event. Usually held in a central campus location and open to students of all years, alumni and sometimes even community members.
- Employer Information Tables - Organizations, usually one at a time, visit your campus to meet students and sometimes alumni. The typically are sharing general company information, but might also be doing positive recruiting for internships, part time jobs and entry level careers open at that time.
- Campus interviews - College students have an amazing opportunity to meet recruiters and HR Managers right there on campus, conveniently between classes.
- Employer panel discussions - Usually comprised of 3 to 5 different company representatives speaking to a specific career development issue.
Here are some ways you can use the rest of your time at home to prepare:
1. Get important dates on your calendar. Whether you use your phone, a paper calendar or an online calendar - get important dates on your calendar immediately. Before you know it the semester has started and your schedule is out of hand.
2. Register online with the career center. Registration gives college students access to the latest information about employer campus visits and layout the process for participating in interviews. Whether you college career center uses MonsterTrak, eRecruiting, NaceLink, Simplicity or a custom program designed for them, this is probably the best way for them to communicate with you.
3. If you don't already have a suit or other professional attire, get one. (Read - Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions When Dressing For The Interview) It is important that you put your best foot forward during on campus interviews and a good suit that fits you well, is one sure way to do that.
4. Take a look at who is coming to campus to conduct interviews and pay attention to job application deadlines or GPA requirements.
5. Get your resume, cover letter and thank you letter ready. Your campus career center offers free resources to help you with all of these. In many cases you can download resume samples from your career center website. Once you have completed your resume, drop in to your career center for a free critique or even get your resume critiqued via email.
College students should know they have real advocates working on their behalf in their college career centers. Their goal is to help students with their career development process and to make facilitate meetings between students and employers. Make a visit to your college career center as soon as you return to school.