For all Keene State College students, an important part of the experience is figuring out what to do after graduation. There are many opportunities in college for students to prepare for the post-graduation life of finding a career.
Director of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives at KSC Daniel Henderson said it is important to start thinking about post-college during a student’s first year of college. Henderson said freshman year is an important time to lay the foundation for careers by doing things such as creating a resume and attending career fairs. “The first thing students should do is go to the Academic and Career advising Center. They have resources on how to set up a resume, how to set up a LinkedIn,” Henderson said.
The Academic and Career Advising (ACA) Center on the third floor of the Elliot Center allows all students to help students feel more comfortable and prepared for life after college. Academic and Career Advisor Beverly Behrmann said the main goal of the ACA is to help students develop skills that they need in order to be successful in future endeavors.
Behrmann said JobWISE.com is an important resource for students as it gives students the opportunity to look at resumes and cover letters from KSC alumni as well as help students connect with job opportunities. Behrmann said JobWISE is a job and internship posting board in which many employers that are geographically close to KSC look for students who are about to graduate.
Having a LinkedIn profile is something that is also important to the career process, Behrmann said, as it helps as a tool for students and employers to connect with each other. “Recruiters are using LinkedIn more and more to recruit. If they see students graduating in certain geographic areas with skills and experiences that meet their criteria they will recruit you and ask to apply for job,” Behrmann said.
Senior James Schaefer said he had some strong resume building in the past year and had some help to get it more professional. “Every position you apply for you need to fit your resume for that position…resumes change over time,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer said he recently took part in the Mock Interviews with C&S which took place on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and said the event helped him feel more prepared for what the interview process is like.
Behrmann said finding internships during college is an important way to prepare for after college and some majors’ classes that include an internship. Two of the majors that allow internship classes include communication and health science.
Behrmann said the other important part of preparing for jobs after college is learning how to negotiate a salary after a job has been given. “We talk about salary range in the career advising center. Even if the salary isn’t negotiable there may be certain benefits that are,” Behrmann said.
Behrmann said that an employer won’t take the job offer away from someone just because there is a negotiation happening, in fact they will typically understand that there is some going on.
One aspect of the career center is that they help women negotiate salaries as Behrmann said statistics have shown that men are more likely to negotiate salaries than women.
The academic and career advising checklist on the KSC website gives advice on how to set up a LinkedIn profile so that it is professional and all information is included that employers are looking for. Behrmann said that the types of things that should be included in the LinkedIn profile include experience, education, skills, recommendations and the profile being public.
The LinkedIn checklist includes advice such as, “Tell a short story: describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, and what’s next. Explain why you want to do what you want to do. Mention adversities overcome, if any, or opportunities you seized.”
Senior Sarah Doubleday said it is important to participate in multiple opportunities throughout college as a resume builder.
“I have been a tutor and a part of the math honor society. I went from being a tutor to a peer course assistant. It is important to not wait until the last minute. Preparing has made me less nervous,” Doubleday said.
Colby Dudal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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