Since so many students have large college loans, they should be concerned concerning the employers and jobs that can likely be available to them once they graduate. Of course, that does not mean that the students who shouldn’t burdened with loans shouldn’t also concerned with landing good jobs. I’ve said this before, but it surely still holds true. In the tip, most college students only want three things:
1. A good college education
2. An enjoyable college experience
3. A great job once they graduate
Unfortunately, there are colleges that have trouble achieving all three. Some colleges are known for academic excellence. Others offer large numbers of activities, clubs and parties. Only a number of have a reputation for having systems in place to make sure that that big numbers of scholars obtain well-paying jobs with desirable employers that can have advancement opportunities.
Until college leaders change their minds and place a greater value on student employment success, they will not change their behavior. Nobody can effectively change their behavior before they alter their minds.
Skeptical leaders on a regular basis resist change. It scares them. Change normally scares us all until we understand it and consider that the change will make things better for us. That is the challenge.
How can college leaders identify and understand the changes that can both end in greater student employment success and make things better for themselves? Money, manpower and time are issues which are on a regular basis brought up. However, an necessary factors are “wanting to make things better” and “looking out for and identifying the things that have to be changed.” Colleges that will’t or won’t do one or both of those things will never improve the employment success of their students.
To improve student employment success, colleges must:
1. Recognize that students are quite limited of their knowledge about job search preparation activities and what, how, when and why they need to be done.
2. Accept the very fact that the school (a learning institution) is where students spend most of their time and where they expect to receive the info, help and guidance they might need for their employment search.
3. Agree that job search preparation instruction and guidance is largely the responsibility of the school as an entire, not just students and the people in Career Services.
4. Understand that students must compete against other candidates for the best jobs of their fields of interest. Simply having earned a degree with good grades is often not enough.
5. Believe that their college will benefit when larger numbers of scholars land desirable jobs with respected employers.
To Help Students Find Greater Employment Success, Colleges Should:
6. Help students identify and select a career direction that matches up with their capabilities and interests not later than their sophomore year. When students wait too long to identify a career direction, there may be little or no time left for clearly focused job search preparation activities. Late decisions may also require extra time in college and additional college loans.
7. In the first or 2nd year of college, ask students to purchase and read a book that explains all the employment process, including job search preparation strategies and efforts. Career Services should suggest one.
8. Early on, require students to draft a personal budget for independent living after college. That will make them take into consideration the approaching expenses and give them an idea concerning the minimum starting salary they might require. A sample budget form will be supplied by Career Services, so students can fill within the blanks.
Having a realistic budget, will encourage students to search out out two things: 1) Does the chosen career direction have desirable entry level jobs that can meet their budget requirements? and, 2) Do those jobs have good growth potential and a career path?
Qualified students shouldn’t blindly enter careers and accept employment offers that make it too difficult for them to live on their very own and pay back college loans or offer little salary and career growth potential.
9. Help students select a major and minor that can support their career direction and the roles which are of interest.
10. Help students prepare a written plan of action that features the activities and experiences they might participate in to make themselves more attractive to their target employers. Colleges can start by providing each student with a generic example of a step-by-step plan.
11. Offer job search preparation classes to students. These classes should cover every aspect of job search preparation, review the contents of the book that has been selected, help students build and utilize their job search network, create a résumé that’s focused on accomplishments and successes and likewise help students develop the stories and examples they might use during interviews.
12. Have each student research and identify a group of jobs of their selected field of interest. (Having a clear target will make the subsequent steps easier for students to realize.)
13. Have each student research and identify a list of employers that can have opportunities for students with their very own job interests. In that way, students can pursue opportunities with the actual employers which are of interest to them. In almost every case, students must chase employers not the reverse.
14. Help students identify the actual things that their target employers will need, want and expect of employment candidates. (Students are more attractive to their target employers once they have prepared for and addressed their needs, wants and expectations.)
15. Help students research, identify and retain lists of Job Banks, Search Firms and Web Sites which may be useful, as they conduct their searches for employment. Students with similar career directions can work together as a team and share their results. (Initial lists for students in every major should be available from Career Services.)
16. Coach and encourage students, as they execute their action plans. Every campus employee will help with this. In fact, everyone within the school community will help with this. However, college Alumni should be ideal for this aspect of job search preparation. That signifies that the school has to make a special effort to involve successful alumni on this process.
17. Work to build a larger and larger pool of employers that can provide part-time jobs, internships, co-op assignments, work-study programs and summer jobs for students in every major. Work experience and job performance are extremely necessary to interviewers and their hiring employers. Students with job-related work experience, highly rated job performance and solid work references will on a regular basis attract attention from potential employers.
18. Work to build a larger and larger pool of respected employers that can visit the campus to recruit students. The goal also needs to be to search out and invite all kinds of employers so some will likely be fascinated with students with the less recruited majors. Many colleges shouldn’t good at finding employers which are fascinated with students from the less recruited majors. In fact, on every campus there’ll likely be students who don’t have even one campus interview.
19. Develop a long list of employment opportunities for graduating students in every major by requiring everyone who is in any way associated with their institution (College Leaders, Professors, Administrators, Hourly Employees, Students, Parents, Alumni, Suppliers, Vendors, Local Employers and Community Leaders) to make use of their networks to identify jobs that pay well and have a substantial employee benefits package.
20. Help students pay close attention to their job search preparation activities, job performance and accomplishments. Students should be prepared to compete for the higher paying jobs with career potential.
Job offers shouldn’t won or lost during interviews. They are earned within the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of college. As students get involved, participate, perform, lead and work, they’ll take advantage of of opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities and add to their list of impressive accomplishments. The best candidates discuss their performance and offer examples during interviews.
21. As students enter their senior year, they need to be given multiple opportunities to participate in mock interviews. They might want to practice presenting their selling points, successes and accomplishments. When students tell compelling stories about their college and work experiences and performance, employers pays attention.
These suggestions will end in a new culture on campus. Students who land great jobs will speak highly of the school and will likely be better able and more prone to make donations. Furthermore, as high potential applicants learn concerning the employment successes of your students, they might want to attend your college.
Student employment success is a win-win for students and colleges alike. That’s why colleges should give more consideration to the efforts and services that can end in more and better jobs for their students.