Job search toughens for grads

  • Follow Metro

College seniors are learning a hard lesson: It's tough to find a job when there are few available in a down economy.

The anemic job market for new grads is reflected in the drop in employer participation in local career fairs.

Paine College's career fair today will have representatives from 27 employers, down from 46 last year, said Deloris Croom, Paine's director of career services.

At Augusta State University, the Employer Expo on Feb. 20 usually features 75 to 100 employers, but this year, it's 55, said Julie Goley, the director of ASU's career center.

There are fewer opportunities for new teachers also: ASU's Educator Expo, set for Feb. 19, usually features representatives from 60 school systems, but this year 45 are signed up.

Students are having to step up their own efforts and take advantage of the career center and workshops more, Ms. Goley said.

Strategies include mapping out strengths, learning to use traditional networking opportunities such as inside contacts and using new online professional social networks such as LinkedIn to get a foot in the door.

In a move to get more access to job opportunities, Paine signed up for College Central Network, an online job posting site. Local job postings are administered through the college and national jobs are posted through the hosting site, Ms. Croom said.

Sharon Honore, a professor of mass communications at Paine, said students are being encouraged to get internships at a younger age -- starting in their freshman and sophomore years.

Lauren Crump, a sophomore in psychology at Paine, is confident that if she has enough experience, she'll land a job. She started as an industrial engineering major, but after trying it out at an internship, she switched to psychology.

Scott Shaw, a Paine economics professor, said students should focus on preparing for jobs that are available and making sure they have required credentials.

At Augusta Technical College, President Terry Elam said they've focused on long-term growing industries, such as health care and energy.

"We tell them you have to be at the top of the list now. Being a graduate is not enough," he said.

Ms. Goley said students can expect a three to four month search process in a good economy, but now she predicts six to 12 months. You have to be persistent, she said. "If you don't consistently put forth an effort, you won't see results."

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or sarah.owen@augustachronicle.com.

THE OUTLOOK

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics offers its Occupational Outlook Handbook online for free at www.bls.gov/oco. The handbook, published every two years, gives information about training and education needed for certain jobs, earnings and more.

CAREER FAIRS

PAINE COLLEGE

CAREER FAIR: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, second floor of Peters Campus Center; bring résumés and dress professionally; open to the public

AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY will hold an Employer Expo and an Educator Expo. Aimed at Augusta State University students and alumni but open to the public. Bring résumés and dress professionally.

EDUCATOR EXPO: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 19, Christenberry Fieldhouse, 3109 Wrightsboro Road; find a list of school systems attending at www.aug.edu/career_center

EMPLOYER EXPO : 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 20, Christenberry Field House, 3109 Wrightsboro Road; find a list of employers attending at www.aug.edu/career_center

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 02/05/09 - 08:43 am
0
0
People keep misusing the 1

People keep misusing the 1 million more in pay too when you are a college graduate...

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
Points
BakersfieldCityLimits 02/05/09 - 02:09 pm
0
0
Since the majority of college

Since the majority of college age children voted for president Obama, I suggest that they all sack up and volunteer for a year as he proposed. Time to see if the adherants to President Obama will practice what they preach, or let the little people do it. You know, kinda like their attitude on paying taxes. Peace out Crackerwood.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs