Leveraging Your Alma Mater: The Solution to Your Job Search Struggle May Be Right in Front of You

This guest post is by Jesse Langley of Colorado Technical University.

You have just graduated, or are half of a semester away, and have had no luck or leads in the workforce. You’ve tried everything: local job fairs, a detailed and comprehensive LinkedIn account, a personalized resume for each of the 100 jobs you have applied for so far, but the phone still hasn’t rung. For many graduates in the U.S., this scenario is an everyday fact of life. If you feel like you have exhausted all of your resources, it’s possible that you have overlooked one very obvious place: your alma mater. Nearly all institutions have some sort of department designed specifically for helping students transition to the workforce. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the helpful resources available right on campus, consider all of the beneficial tools available at your alma mater.

Individual career counseling

It’s possible that you haven’t found a job yet simply because you haven’t been using your unique characteristics and credentials to your advantage. Through individual career counseling at your alma mater’s Career Services office, you can have a professional evaluate your credentials to determine the appropriate steps to take from there. You have likely heard and read plenty of advice regarding the job search in general, but a plan tailored to your unique professional advantage can greatly improve the efficacy of your search.

Seminars and workshops

Many colleges hold seminars and workshops devoted to helping graduates find success in the workforce. Usually, these programs give students the opportunity to meet with professionals who have the key to finding a job despite the current state of the economy. With these seminars, graduates and students alike can discover new opportunities and improve their preparedness for the job market.

Network of professors and peers

Chances are your college experience has already led to the development of professional contacts through your professors and classmates. These contacts are essentially your first professional network, and they can often provide references and leads for potential job opportunities. Each of these contacts can also help you broaden your network by introducing you to other professionals in your industry.

On-campus recruiting programs

Let the jobs come to you by participating in your alma mater’s on-campus recruiting programs. Many companies and businesses are looking for the best and the brightest at universities all over the country, and are willing to come right to the source to find them. Ask your counselor about both on-campus and off-campus recruiting programs available to improve your chances of finding a job.

Job and internship listings

Many colleges have job and internship listings available that can help you approach the market in a more effective way. Naturally, getting a paying job is preferred, but sometimes you may have to settle for an unpaid internship to prepare for something better down the road. Some internships actually pay small stipends for workers, while also providing valuable experience in your industry. Who knows? Your internship may even lead to a paid job if you leave a good enough impression.

The job market is improving, but progress is slow and the job market is still competitive. Working with your current resources, and finding new ones, can help you get a leg up on the competition.

Jesse Langley lives in the Midwest with his family where he loves reading, writing, and blogging. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

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