Photo: NazarethCollege via flickr
In the next few weeks, there will be a new batch of young and energetic graduates ready to delve into the job market. Although the class of 2012 will have better job opportunities than graduates in recent years, hiring is still not where it was pre-recession.
To gain a better understanding of how students can prepare for the real world, we spoke to Trudy Steinfeld, assistant vice president at NYU’s Career Development centre. Here is the most useful advice she gave us:
1. Keep up with market trends. “The world is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends, but this is exactly what recent graduates need to do,” Steinfeld told us. What was edgy when you started college could be mainstream by now, so students need to network and talk with people continuously to find out the latest job trends.
Also, figure out how you fit into the bigger picture. What skills does the job market need, and how does this align with the skills you can offer?
2. Think about the job, not the industry. Industries are changing so much, it’s hard to predict where it’s going to go in the future, Steinfeld said. So instead, students need to focus on the specific jobs they’re targeting.
For example, if you want to produce videos, don’t just target broadcast stations, but also take a look at tech sites that may need a video producer. If you have a law degree, you don’t necessarily have to go work at a law firm. There are plenty of other industries that need lawyers on their side. “All kinds of banks have to deal with political and environment challenges all the time, and need someone with a law degree,” said Steinfeld.
3. Highlight any experience you’ve had abroad. If you studied abroad during college, play up this experience when applying for jobs. More companies want to appeal internationally now, so it benefits students to have gained language and culture skills. If you didn’t study abroad, and you’re about to graduate, it’s probably too late now, but if you did travel internationally on your own terms, it doesn’t hurt to mention that during the job interview.
Although these skills have always mattered, they are more important now and are selling points students can use with prospective employers.
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