Finding a job can be challenging in today's economy, so Kansas State University's career and employment services has launched a new Web site with advice tailored to job seekers from each of K-State's colleges.
Kerri Day Keller, director of career and employment services, said that the new site is an effort to give students a resource for deciding how to conduct a job search in this difficult economy. Her top piece of advice: be vigilant.
"Graduates across all disciplines have been affected by the down economy," Keller said. "Some will experience a longer job search, some won't receive as many offers from which to choose and some will decide to go straight on to graduate school."
The economic situation is evident as the number of full-time jobs posted with career and employment services during the first quarter of 2009 is down compared to the same period in 2008. But the office has had a steady stream of internship listings. Students can access roughly 200 internships and more than 500 full-time job listings in their online "CES Account" system, Keller said.
The new "CES Responds" Web site is full of information specific to a student's college and major. Features include job and internship listings, advice from employers, tips from each of K-State's career advisers and news relating to current employment issues.
Along with keeping up with the information posted on the "CES Responds" Web site, Keller also recommends that students seeking jobs or internships:
* Make sure their resumes are flawless. "With fierce competition for limited openings, graduates need to be sure they are making a strong presentation of their skills and talents to employers," Keller said. This means your resume should be impeccable and emphasize accomplishments whether they have been demonstrated in the classroom, through extracurricular activities, internships, part-time employment or other experiences. Job seekers should be prepared to provide specific examples and the results of their college career experiences, she said.
* Network, network, network. "Graduates must utilize networking for any chance of rising to the top of the heap," Keller said. "According to a recent survey, nearly one-third of jobs are filled by referrals. You get jobs by talking to people." She suggested starting with people you know best -- perhaps a friend, family member or professor -- then expanding to alumni and friends of family. "It's in those 'knowing someone who knows someone else' levels that hiring breakthroughs happen," Keller said. She also suggested joining the K-State Alumni Association's LinkedIn group to make connections with others who share common interests and passion for K-State.
* Identify your job targets. If you're not sure how to translate your major and interests into viable career options, a variety of career information is available from career and employment services and K-State's Academic and Career Information Center. "Think about what work needs to be done in our world today," Keller said. "Jobs are problems to be solved and you can be part of the solutions in areas like health care, energy, security, youth work and more."
* Don't let fear paralyze your search. Get regular exercise, plenty of sleep and talk about your concerns with friends and family. Be open to experiences that might not be part of your plan. "Remember, luck is where hard work and opportunity meet, so keep focused and be ready to take advantage of that lucky break," Keller said.