On Monday, Glenn Bernstein, Chief Operating Officer of The Execu|Search Group’s Temporary Staffing division, was featured in a CBS News segment on the state of the job market for new grads. The segment covered a press conference Senator Chuck Schumer held at Hofstra University to cover the imbalance of student debt and interest rates to the likelihood that they’ll get a job after graduation. The segment then turned to Glenn for insight on job market trends and what they mean for recent or soon-to-be grads.
According to Glenn, there are still opportunities for new graduates in a number of fields. “Healthcare, specifically,” he said. “We see a lot in the information technology area. Digital media is a popular area right now. So there are jobs available; there’s just more competition for them.”
To stand out against the competition, Glenn’s advice for students is to begin the job search well before senior year and to think outside of the box when it comes to your search. Connections are key, so students should begin making new business and industry relationships through social media, internships, and networking early on in their college years. The following are a few steps they can take to do so successfully:
- Connect with your fellow alumni/current classmates. Whether you meet someone through a class or your university’s Alumni Database, knowing those who are actively pursuing or already submerged in your industry can only be of help. Similarly, attending networking events at your university or college can help introduce you to professionals at all levels of the industry. These new connections can potentially help you find an internship or job opportunity in the future.
- Build your own brand. Blog about your industry or create a personal website. Find a creative way to stand out and create an image for yourself as a professional that companies can align with their culture. Most importantly, when building your own brand, be consistent so future employers and connections always know exactly who you are and what your goal is.
- Have a plan. Of course, it’s important to have a goal in mind to begin with. Hoping to vaguely “get a job after graduation” is a trap many fall into, while having a strategic plan to acquire the specific position or career path you want is often the key to achieving it. By knowing what sector of your industry you’re interested in and what you need in order to thrive in it, you’ll have a leg up on the competition simply by being prepared. Likewise, having a target with measurable goals is much more effective in that you can communicate what your goals are to connections and gauge whether or not you’re on track.
- Create and hone your LinkedIn profile. Every professional should have one, and once you have yours set up, you can take each of the previous tips a step further. Having a LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with your network, build and promote your brand, and present and track your goals all on one platform. In addition, there are a number of ways you can make your LinkedIn work for you to attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, such as including helpful keywords and participating in industry-related discussions.