The unemployment rate in Fresno reached 16 percent this May while more than 5,000 students graduated from Fresno State and began looking for jobs.

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The unemployment rate in Fresno reached 16 percent this May while more than 5,000 students graduated from Fresno State and began looking for jobs.

To increase the probability of finding a job, a CQ Researcher article recommends students to start early, network, tailor cover letters and resumes, do summer internships, visit the career center early, engage in social networking and to be persistent when looking for a job.

With the current economic turmoil, it is not uncommon for students to have a hard time finding a job. Students can turn to professors, departments and internships to help them prepare for the job search.

“The social work department helped me find an internship which gave me the opportunity to learn more about the career I plan on going into,” Fresno State student Erica Sanchez said.

“I was told right before I left that I would be a great asset to them once I was done with school. But due to their hiring freeze, I wouldn’t be able to really apply for another two to three years,” Sanchez added.

She also stated that she has been applying for jobs, but had no luck yet. She believes that the university could offer more to graduating students. “I really feel like there should be more for us to be able to find a job once we’re done with our degree, but I am not too sure what exactly we can do,” Sanchez said.

Fresno State Career Services helps students with the transition from school to professional job. Fresno State Career Services program offers students career counseling, web job search, job fairs, and interviews for internship positions.

“Many students go through college without ever setting foot in their school’s career services office,” career service counselor Aleta Wolfe said. “Yet, outside of the academic realm, job seekers will pay hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for the very same services that are included free with the cost of tuition.”

To increase their job opportunities, students are encouraged to do internships to expand their workplace experience.

A study done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found 61 percent of students with paid internships received a full-time job offers after graduation, compared to only 38 percent of students who participated in unpaid internships being offered a full-time position.

Another option students have is to pursue a postgraduate education. An article by CQ Researcher published in 2005 showed each year of college raises a person’s average salary by 12.9 percent.

Although a degree is not guaranteed immediately after graduation, it does hold a lot of value. “Most students will eventually succeed in getting a full-time job. It’s just going to be slower and not as smooth a process as it might have been five or ten years ago,” Wolfe said.

“I don’t have a plan regarding work, but I want to continue with my master’s degree,” Sanchez said.

“Basically students today have the misfortune of graduating during the worst economy in 60 years. A lot is beyond their control, but there are ways to adjust to this reality and students can overcome it in ways that they probably didn’t consider when they entered college,” Wolfe added. “There are jobs out there; there are opportunities.”

The key to success is to stand out from the crowd when looking for a job. Take the time to network, use the services provided and pursue a higher degree.