Get a Job
By Mauri Schwartz
Q: My son, Sam, graduated from Cal State Hayward two years ago and is still working in the book store job he had during school breaks. He did well in school, and given all the money we paid, I thought that he’d be able to get started in a career oriented role, hopefully in his chosen field of marketing. What should he do?
Two factors have lessened career centers’ effectiveness. One is that since there are fewer jobs available, there’s much less campus recruitment activity. The other is that budget strapped universities have slashed funding for career services.
Despite the fact that it’s been a couple of years since he graduated, your son should consult Cal State Hayward’s career center. Most schools offer some services to alumni, and should certainly accommodate a request from a recent graduate.
Unless Sam has made an exhaustive effort to pursue marketing himself, he shouldn’t give up yet. I recommend that he look at several job sites to identify positions that could be launching points for his career. A Google search on “entry level jobs” will provide a good list of these sites. My favorite job search engine, Indeed.com, has a section that focuses on entry level positions. Using these sites, Sam should search on the keyword “marketing.” He may find a full-time marketing job or internship, but he should also watch for more administrative/assistant type roles that are in the marketing or internal communications department. Sam should also be open to an administrative/assistant type role in almost any department in a major corporation. Once inside, he can be on the lookout as positions open up, and after proving himself, make an internal move.
Once Sam has identified positions of interest, he needs to ensure that his resume is professional and highlights his strengths, especially those that are relevant to the positions he’s targeted. All companies today are seeking employees with skills in social media. As a young man, these should be a no brainer for Sam, and he should make sure that they’re detailed on his resume. He should also make sure that his own Facebook profile can withstand scrutiny by a potential employer.
A factor that will help Sam is that he has had a reasonable amount of professional work experience. Even for entry level positions, employers will consider an applicant with almost any work experience before looking at someone with none. This is why I highly recommend that parents insist that their children work during the summer and school breaks, whether they need the money or not.
Sam should also include on his resume details of class projects that required him to use skills that will be used in the jobs he’s targeted, and the same goes for volunteer work.
When he does get called in to interview, make sure that he’s prepared. Encourage him to write out answers to anticipated questions as well as descriptions of the experiences he’ll want to present, and help him practice.
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