Getting a Job After College

Brittany Cooper
Assistant Editor

hire-meAs the end of the semester quickly approaches, upcoming graduates are scrambling to put the finishing touches on their resumes, and build a portfolio ready to present to any and all potential employers. The struggle is all the more real for students in areas of study that are general, like many of the Liberal Arts degrees. With December commencement right around the corner, many Seniors at Upstate have expressed their growing concerns for finding a job out in the real world, that not only represents their interests and expertise, but that is also intriguing.

Psychology major Monique Austin stated, “I’m going to apply to as many places as I can. It is a really stressful ordeal, and I’m just trying to take it all in stride.” Many of you that we spoke to share her concerns, but hope is in sight.

While the economy may not be what it once was, there are jobs out there. Hundreds of them in fact, waiting anxiously for your resume to slide across their desk. The trouble for us, is finding them. Stephanie Denchak, a 2012 graduate of Penn State, landed her dream job at Whipp, a local advertising company. She shared with us how she acquired a job out of college:

“Honestly, I would spend hours everyday applying to anywhere that I could find within an hour radius. I used tools like LinkedIn and Indeed to match up with potential employers, and I went to two or three interviews a week before I settled at Whipp. You have to remember, you are interviewing them, just as much as they are interviewing you. If you walk into a potential job opportunity, and you don’t feel connected to the work or the employers, chances are it isn’t a great fit for you.”

Denchak suggests building a cover letter and resume that stands out. Especially if you are in a creative field such as English, Journalism, or visual arts. Utilize your portfolio to display your creativity, and job offers will start to come in. She also expressed that patience and diligence are key. There ARE jobs out there. In fact, according to a study conducted by the UCLA, only 6% of recent college grads are unemployed! Just because offers are not pouring in does not mean you should get discourage. Make light of the time that you spend between college and career, by spending it with friends and family, and keeping yourself busy.

You may also consider taking an entry level position or paid internship. These can be great alternatives that hone your skills and add to your resume. Never underestimate the value of a good internship, or yourself for that matter. Learn new skills, familiarize yourself with alternative career options, and be prepared to accept a job that you may not have considered in your studies. What you find just may surprise you.