Granite State College recently hosted a Career Information Workshop at the Portsmouth campus. It was a big success and attendees received valuable tips on job searching and career possibilities. There was a panel of faculty members who work in various professions in addition to teaching college evening classes. They are dedicated to facilitating the students taking adult college classes to excel in their coursework as well as explore potential new careers once they graduate.
Here are some brief tips they recommended when starting the job search process:
- Self-evaluation: Who are you? What are your interests? If you could have any job what would that be and where? What are your best skills? What skills need work? What would your current coworkers say about you if asked these same questions? This exercise may take you beyond your comfort zone but is invaluable in highlighting the path you take after college.
- Resume with Impact: The panel all agreed that crafting a powerful resume is very important. Employers receive a multitude of resumes every day so yours needs to set you apart in the first 30 seconds of being viewed. As you pursue your undergraduate education you may not be able to list a degree you have completed. Instead add specific courses to your resume: Communications, Critical Thinking, a Health Care Management course, a Leadership course in Management,or a Human Resource class. All of these show vital skills that can be put to use in a work environment. Highlight your skill set early in the resume and in a way that will show your distinction above other applicants.
- Informational Interview: Are you unsure if a particular job or company is right for you? Are you exploring career options and are undecided which direction to go? Set up an informational interview with a potential employer to gain insight into the type of careers they would offer. In this format, you are the interviewer asking the questions rather than the other way around. It not only gives you information but it may help get yourself recognized should you apply for a job at a later date.
- Internships: Do you need an elective in your major? Are you interested in earning college course credit for exploring career options? Do you want to learn more about a job and how your classroom learning can apply? Set up an internship during one of the terms and gain valuable experience as well as credits towards your degree. Talk with your Academic Coach about the details of this option.
- What all companies need: Business Management gives you broad professional capabilities. All areas of business need managers, whether Health Care, sales or marketing, government or public services. Every company and organization has a Human Resource department. Every department in a company or organization has a manager. At your informational interview, find out what that company needs.
- Job Fairs: Once you have a polished resume attend job fairs, dressing as though you were going to an interview. A job fair gives you the opportunity to distribute your resume, explore the companies that anticipate growth and therefore new jobs, network with others in your field, and practice communication skills. It also will help you to educate yourself on specific companies that you may have considered applying to. Knowing as much as possible about a potential employer before your interview if vital.
- Top industries with expected growth: Health Care is a growing industry and one that will remain vital to all communities. Management, marketing, human resources, social work, and case management were also discussed as occupations on the rise. Education related careers are prevelent. Find out what is available for someone with your degree and determine what areas interest you the most.
- Be open to all possibilities and to further education: As an adult college student you may think completing your bachelor's degree is the ultimate goal. You may also think that landing the perfect job is an important goal. However, in the job market today you must be open to all possibilities and even decide if continuing your education is going to be beneficial to obtaining that perfect job.
There is so much more on this topic and I encourage you to research, network, ask questions and get the help you need to make your job search successful.