Most people attend two- or four-year colleges in order to find a good career. Unfortunately, many struggle to achieve this goal right after graduation. Research from Gallup shows that only 27 percent of graduates have a job ready and waiting for them. Meanwhile, more than one in five take seven months or longer to find a good position.
In a perfect world, every student would immediately fulfill his or her post-degree dreams – whether that’s entering the workforce or pursuing additional education. Yet many struggle to take their first steps off campus. It’s up to colleges to help them.
Here are 5 ways school staff can help their students find fulfilling careers as soon as they graduate:
1. Teach students about their career options
According to a survey from Avenica, formerly GradStaff, a company that matches college graduates to their ideal careers, 75 percent of respondents said one of the top obstacles in their job search was “I don’t know what positions are a fit for me.” This isn’t surprising, as employers often post vague or confusing job descriptions. It’s up to college staff to educate students on the many ways they can use their degrees to find or build a successful career.
2. Coach students through writing resumes
Traditional resume writing tips don’t work anymore. Most employers rely on computerized applicant tracking systems and artificial intelligence to automatically scan resumes for keywords. So, when teaching students how to write a resume, career services staff should make sure to emphasize the following two points:
- Fancy formatting and text can confuse ATS software. This doesn’t mean resumes should be boring, but they shouldn’t be overly elaborate.
- Most ATS are programmed to search resumes for specific keywords, which are usually found in the job listing. This is why students should tailor their resumes to every individual position they apply for.
3. Help students improve their interview technique
The importance of a first impression is incredibly significant, but most students have no real idea how to handle one. Help them by holding practice sessions and giving constructive feedback. Also, remind students that handshakes are always important. They don’t have to do the ’80s businessman power shake, but a simple grasp is a sign of respect toward the interviewer. Similarly, focus on building confidence, maintaining eye contact and proper posture, and speaking clearly and coherently. Simple tips like this go a long way toward making a better interviewee.
4. Create credentials for soft skills
Research from PayScale found 60 percent of managers feel like new graduates lack critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Fifty-six think grads lack attention to detail, while 46 believe they are poor communicators.
The soft skills gap has persisted for some time, and simply listing “great communicator” on a cover letter may not convince a hiring manager. Colleges can help by creating verified digital credentials that prove students have the people skills necessary to work in today’s highly collaborative business environments.
5. Offer digital diplomas and transcripts for better efficiency
Digital credentials give learners more power over their student transcripts and diplomas than paper ones. They’re accessed and delivered instantly, so students don’t have to worry about if and when an employer will receive this crucial information. What’s more, with Parchment’s verified services, hiring managers can rest assured that the credentials they receive are true, accurate testaments of the student’s abilities.
To learn more about how your school can help learners succeed, contact Parchment!