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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Education and healthcare are among the top five job sectors that will hire the most new graduates this year. Education and healthcare are among the top five job sectors that will hire the most new graduates this year.

7 Tips for Job-Seeking Graduates

SDSU’s executive director of Career Services has advice for graduates heading into the job market.
By Natalia Elko

This year, San Diego State University is sending nearly 9,300 graduates into the workforce. Though James Tarbox, executive director of SDSU’s Career Services, is optimistic about the job market the Class of 2014 is heading into, he has some advice on what new graduates should keep top of mind.

7. Learn career basics to jump start your job search
SDSU Career Services offers a month-long workshop series called “Life After SDSU.” Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of June, new graduates and alumni can learn how to advertise themselves, impress employers, conduct effective job searches and negotiate salaries.

6. Disconnect from nay-sayers
Job searching takes time and requires a can-do attitude. Tarbox says the key to keeping motivated is to try not to buy into the idea that “it can’t be done” and focus instead on “I’m working toward my goal of getting a job.”

5. Pay attention to industries that are hiring
According to the April 2014 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, the top five job sectors that will hire the most new graduates this year are education; healthcare; professional, scientific and technical services; federal, state and local governments; and finance and insurance.

Tarbox also says SDSU students may have belonged to a professional on-campus organization — for example the American Marketing Association — whose membership may provide contacts to industry professionals who have valuable job leads.

4. Use your strengths
Decide on your top three to five strengths as a job candidate and use them. Sharpen your ability to communicate through networking, write a clear and concise resume, tailor your cover letter and prepare for interviewing. The overall message here, Tarbox says, is to be able to communicate who you are and what value you add to an organization using your strengths.

3. Use social media to your advantage
Have all of your career development tools — from a personal web page to a LinkedIn profile — ready to go so you don’t miss any opportunities. Tarbox suggests using Twitter accounts to appropriately engage companies you are interested in, maintain respectable social media profiles and craft a LinkedIn page that is professional.

“Your LinkedIn should include important information such as education, a professional summary, diverse recommendations and a display of relevant group connections,” Tarbox says. 

2. Network with alumni
Be interested (ask questions) and interesting (see item No. 4). Tarbox encourages students to make the most of their relationship to the university by attending networking events and alumni functions. Aside from Aztec athletic games, SDSU’s Alumni Association supports several chapters that hold a range of events. Be sure to get business cards, connect on social media and consider asking to set up an informational interview.

According to Tarbox, the most important thing to remember is …

1. Perseverance and persistence pay off
If you are taking advantage of networking opportunities, checking job web sites and making appropriate use of social media, your professional image will shine and an employer is bound to see you are a catch.

“Don't be discouraged by rejection, use it to motivate you,” Tarbox says. “Don't be afraid to ask for what you want and learn from your experience. Persistence does pay off in job searches so keep at it. And always remember, you are an Aztec for Life!”

Resources for grads

SDSU Career Services provides services to graduates for 90 days post-graduation including career counseling, assessment, job postings on Aztec Career Connection and the Career Resource Room.