4 Ways Colleges Can Prepare Students for their Post-Graduate Job Search

Drew Whitehurst | December 20, 2021

New job seekers need to be well versed in the art of the job search and there are actionable steps you can take to set them up for successIn just a short 5 months, the class of 2022 will enter the workforce.  They have spent the last years of their college careers navigating the pandemic and their job search will look different than those who graduated a few years back. 

As colleges and universities prepare to send their graduates out into the workforce, they must prepare them for this new and very different job landscape. It often takes a college graduate three to six months to lock down a job after graduation, a timeframe that could be extended if students are not well versed in the art of today’s job search. Luckily for you and them, there are actionable steps you can take to set them up for success. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of ways to help universities prepare graduates for their first job search. 

1. Prepare for Virtual Recruiting  

Virtual recruiting is here and it is here to stay. From virtual career fairs to video interviews, students need to learn how to stand out in the sea of candidates, and they might need more practice doing so through a computer screen. The best way to guarantee success is to become familiar with the technology companies are using. And what better way to gain the experience needed than using a tool designed just for that? 

Mock interview tools, like interview prep, will help your students learn the soft skills and characteristics most valuable to organizations and teach them how to effectively project their strengths over video. Creating coursework around interviewing and engaging students by giving feedback further enables your soon-to-be graduates to excel in their job search.

2. Focus on digital literacy skills

In our current virtual world, digital literacy skills are a top priority for organizations and companies looking to hire. Digital literacy skills include creativity, communication, research, and information fluency, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making, and knowledge of technological operations.

Colleges and universities can prepare students for life after college by ensuring their students have mastered these skills. Assign projects focused on growing digital literacy – like collaborating with groups through LinkedIn, writing projects that require additional reading out-of-class, and using social media posts as pre-writing assignments and presentation prep. There are an abundance of approaches to integrate digital literacy skills into your students’ education and the stronger their skills, the more prepared they will be for their job search. 

3. Teach them what to look for (and what to avoid)

College students do not necessarily know to look beyond title and salary, and we all know there is much more to a job than those two things. This is where your career center can step up to educate your students on their first job search. Give students access to examples of what to look for, including:

  • Company history. A company’s history can give the applicant a good idea of its stability, values, and culture – all factors that point to whether or not the company is a good fit. 
  • Growth opportunities. This is especially important because students are in the early years of their careers. Advise them to look for companies that actively promote on-site training or pay for professional development. These are the companies that will help them move toward their career goals. 
  • The company’s mission statement. When your students are researching a potential company, their values are important. We recommend reading their mission statement to find out if your student and their potential employer’s values and goals are aligned. 

And don’t forget to show them what to avoid:

  • Is there information about the company available? If you come across a company with a website under construction or reviews that shed a negative light, these should be massive red flags to any applicant. A first-time candidate might not look for a company’s rating, so make sure you emphasize the value of doing a bit of research before accepting that offer.
  • Does the company have a structured recruitment process? If a company asks the applicant to submit their resume via three different platforms and then fill in all the information again, raise a red flag. A company should also have a structured interview process so the candidates are not facing bias or a poor candidate experience.
  • Is the position compromising your career objectives? Ask your students to write down what three qualities their job must-have. If a prospective position does not fit the bill, they should not accept. 

4. Use the Alumni Network to Connect Students with Alumni in Their Industry

While virtual technology has taken over, push your students to take advantage of the opportunities they have at their fingertips. Virtual events are now commonplace and are a convenient tool for candidates to reach beyond social media networking and connect with others in their preferred industry. Pulling alumni together to support networking and even place students with alumni mentors is an excellent way to set up students for networking success.

Increase your new graduate employment placements with interviewstream

As we slowly progress toward a post-pandemic world and the job market begins to stabilize, your soon-to-be graduates need to know what they really want moving forward, and how to get it. 

Our goal at interviewstream is to help you set your students up for success. We make it easier for you by giving them the tools they need to be ready for their first job search with interview prep. Talk to an expert today about how to integrate interviewstream into your university and start preparing your students now for their lives post graduation.

About The Author

Drew Whitehurst is the Content & Implementation Specialist at interviewstream. He's been with the company since 2014 working in client services and marketing. He is an analytical thinker, coffee enthusiast, and hobbyist at heart.

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