Aug 13, 2020

Nabbing a first job

The sound of the real world beckons, calling from the horizon.

With graduation two weeks away, now is the time many college seniors begin pondering about just where they want to go in life and what steps they need to take to get there.

“I think students underestimate how long it takes to get the position they really want,” Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen, director of career services, said. “Many students think they will get job offers immediately, but the typical job search means sending out about 20 résumés a week and at least a month of searching.”

When surveyed around campus, however, many students said that they weren’t concerned about graduating with a job and that some even planned on taking a break before sending out applications.

“When I went to Fresno State, I was a special case,” alumnus David Martinez said. “I wasn’t planning on using my major after I finished, so I didn’t put a lot of effort into finding internships and applying to places.

“However, the job market is very difficult to go into if you take that route.”

Bocchinfuso-Cohen said many students undergo culture shock after graduating, since many don’t give themselves enough time to move through the application process before student debts start “knocking at the door.”

“The expectations [in the job market] are very different,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “You need to be timely with your work, honor commitments, meet deadlines, learn the daily pace at your place of employment and do plenty of research before you even start your position so you can be ready to hit the ground running.

“It is a lot to think about and many students don’t.”

For the student or recent graduate that hasn’t found a job yet, Fresno State Career Services has begun a new web-based program called Optimal Resume.

This service, which debuted this semester, can help students and graduates construct a résumé by providing tips, examples and even reviews by career counselors.

“We also offer a mock interview service for students,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “You can schedule a time with a counselor and get the experience of really being interviewed.

Lucia Vega, a 19-year-old undergraduate, said if students can get this far along in their college career, they should be responsible enough to get a job once they have graduated.

“Hunting for jobs is very difficult, especially when you don’t know what you want to do,” Martinez said. “You need to be prepared and have an idea about what you want to do, because you may find yourself at a disadvantage compared to other job applicants just out of college.”

Recent career fairs at Fresno State have shown a sharp increase in the number of employers recruiting, according to the Career Services Department, meaning the job market may be expanding in the future.

“Honestly, this is the best time for a student or graduate to consider applying for a job, especially one that allows you to relocate,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “There has been a recent trend amongst job recruiters to look for people willing to change locations.

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