As students finish up their last few weeks of school, many seniors will graduate and go on to work in the “real world”- a place where buying necessities and essentials require a job.
To prepare for post-graduation, seniors should think about preparing for their careers while finishing up their last semester. The University of West Florida has Career Services that has professionals to meet with for all such information.
Career Services offers appointment slots to help review resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills. In a mock interview a Career Services employee will ask the student questions similar to those employers use.
“Mock interviews are really important when getting ready to job hunt,” said Kathleen Hudon, career planning coordinator. “You could be the best public speaker, but unless you know what employers want to hear and how to present yourself, you’ll always fumble around when coming up with a response.”
To help with any questions pertaining to interviews and other job-related topics, Career Services publishes the “Career Development Guide.” This free guide covers topics from social media and job searching strategies to dining etiquette and how to write a thank you letter to interviewers.
“Current seniors should be thinking about their job field of interest and career goals,” said Jenny Schisler, assistant director of graduate recruitment and marketing, in an email. “Career specific coursework and training give graduating students career opportunity advantages.”
According to Hudon, over 70 percent of jobs are found through networking. They recommend that students ask professors for referrals and help along the way of finding a job post-graduation.
“Having a Facebook or other social media tool is a good thing,” Hudon said. “If an employer searches you on the Internet, it could be a disadvantage because they don’t see you communicate online at all.
“LinkedIn is a more professional social media website. It allows others to refer to you for jobs and even open up an opportunity for a job interview.”
JasonQuest, which is an online database offered through UWF, has volunteer, full-time and part-time job and internship postings.
JasonQuest also posts career events that take place at UWF’s main campus. This give students a way to present the best version of themselves to potential employers while getting interviewing experience.
Transferable skills are skills that can be adapted to a multitudes of situations. The top five transferable skills listed in the Career Development Guide are teamwork skills, verbal communication skills, decision making and problem-solving skills, research skills, and organizational skills.
“For many students, the need to think independently, and charting their own course will be a difficult transition,” said David Kane, graduation coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, in an email. “In school many things, options and paths are neatly packaged, clearly labeled, and laid out for them.
“Life [while in school] comes at students in easily digestible semester-sized bites. Once students graduate, life won’t be like that ever again.”
To schedule an appointment with Career Services call 850-474-2254.