Shortly after throwing their graduation caps in the air, Miami University graduates may begin to feel anxiety about how to approach their search for a job.
For many recent graduates, this will entail either producing or perfecting their resumes.
“Your resume should be customized to some extent, highlighting different aspects as they relate to the positions,” said Jennifer McLaughlin, assistant director for the Office of Career Services at Miami.
According to McLaughlin, related work that students should include in their resumes are experiences such as Highwire Brand Studio, PRSSA and class projects that they find to be directly related to the job for which they are applying.
In terms of formatting, she said the Optimal Resume tool, which walks students through creating a resume and gives them several different formatting options, can be accessed through CAREERlink.
“Oftentimes, their resume is a laundry list,” McLaughlin said. “(Students should) focus on the skills that they developed and their accomplishments rather than the laundry list.”
McLaughlin encourages students to make sure their resumes are in good order before leaving Miami.
“Its not quantity,” McLaughlin said. “It should be a couple of organizations that you can elaborate on.”
She said volunteering or getting some type of temporary job during the job search is a good idea.
“Don’t be afraid to use your network,” McLaughlin said. “Even in good times, that’s how people get jobs.”
McLaughlin said students should set up an account on linkedin.com.
Tom Dezell, author of the book Networking for the Novice, Nervous or Naive Job Seeker also said it is important for students to tailor their resumes for each job when they apply.
Dezell is a certified professional resume writer and career counselor.
“When employers are looking at new graduates, they will see plenty of people who need a job,” Dezell said. “If you have some definite ideas about what it is you’re looking for and about some of the goals that you have for your career and can articulate those, they are going to realize you are more invested in what you are doing.”
Dezell said students should choose which related experience to emphasize in their resumes according to the job they are pursuing.
McLaughlin said it is easy for students to be proactive about finding a job when they are at Miami, but once they graduate they may lose some of their morale.
For this reason, she said it is important for students to make a schedule of times they will square away each day to search for a job. She said it is also important for them to develop a good support system.
“It’s easy to sit there and say hey, I have spent the whole day on monster.com, but that is where everybody looks,” Dezell said. “Only 20 percent of the actual opportunities get listed there.”
Dezell said a lot of opportunities involve reaching out to people and looking for jobs before they are advertised.
“Smaller or medium sized companies are not going to want to advertise on the job board because they will get several hundred resumes,” Dezell said.
Instead, they will want to fill the positions by word of mouth or with someone who impressed them, Dezell said.
In addition to networking on the Internet, Dezell said students should attend alumni functions and ask family members and professors for assistance.
“Research companies so you understand what they do and what you can contribute,” McLaughlin said. “You want to make sure that in your cover letter you spell that specifically.”
“I went to the Career Fair and I definitely used the Career Services website, but it was really through networking, e-mails and getting my name out there that I ended up getting the job that I did,” said senior Logan Blake, a strategic communication major with a marketing minor.
Blake said a Miami graduate informed her about a job opportunity at News America Marketing in New York, which she then interviewed for and was hired.
“Even after they graduate, they can still use our services,” McLaughlin said. “They can also use the alumni career services too, as long as they are a member of the alumni association.”
Dezell encourages students not to rule out doing an internship.
“Having some experience right in there and doing some day-to-day stuff is more valuable to an employer than none,” Dezell said.
“Its tough,” McLaughlin said. “You will receive some rejections, but you have to work through it.”