The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently announced that results from the 2016 Job Outlook survey indicate a hiring increase for new college graduates of 11 percent over the class of 2015. With the market primed for job search success, college seniors can do three things before spring semester starts to prepare to take advantage of these upcoming opportunities.
1. Know your options
Begin researching potential employers and job titles ahead of time and learn about the company culture, required qualifications for the job, and if/when the employer will have representatives on campus for career fairs and interviews. Use Auburn’s job search database, Tiger Recruiting Link (TRL) at jobs.auburn.edu to find much of this information. You can also use the companies’ websites and glassdoor.com to do your research. Knowing what type of job you want and the companies for which you’d like to work will put you in the position to apply quickly when positions are posted.
2. Prep your resume
Having a resume that is tailored for each job description will help you stand out in a crowd of similarly qualified graduates, but you can prepare ahead of time by having your standard resume reviewed by a career center staff member or peer advisor. Use the resume resources on the Auburn Career Center website to view formatting options and gather ideas for how to highlight your skills and experiences. Cometo the Career Center during walk-in hours to have a peer advisor review your resume and offer suggestions for improvement. Also, reach out to faculty members and other advisors to gain additional feedback. When your ideal job is posted, you’ll be ready to tweak the standard resume to fit the individual specifications required by that employer.
3. Practice your interview skills
The prospect of interviewing can send many job seekers into a state of panic. Work out the jitters and gain confidence in your ability to nail the interview by practicing typical questions before spring career fair and on-campus interview season kicks off. For those with little interview experience or who are feel their skills are rusty can use an online tool such as Interview Stream to prepare in the comfort of their own rooms. The Career Center also offers mock interviews when you are ready to practice in person.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by an anticipated hiring increase for 2016. College graduates will still be competing for positions and employers aren’t lowering their standards. Adequate preparation requires early and on-going effort but definitely pays off when you start the career you’ve been working 4+ years for.