Student Voice

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Graduates urged to begin job search

March 9, 2012

Students’ career search should begin well before they graduate. Unemployment rates in Wisconsin are declining, but there is still a lot of competition for jobs right now and it is not enough to just have a degree anymore. Students looking to gain employment still need to be a step ahead of the competition and need to be able to be well prepared before they graduate.

“New college graduates need to be thinking about their job searches prior to walking across the stage at commencement,” said Melissa Wilson, director of Career Services at UW-River Falls. The peak hiring months for soon-to-be graduates are October and February. One of the ways that students can get prepared before hand is through internships and summer jobs.

There are numerous internships and summer jobs available depending on where students wish to work and what kind of work they are looking to obtain. There are also several resources to assist students who are looking to gain valuable experience this summer.

“I would encourage students to make an appointment with someone in the Career Services office so that they can gain valuable information on internship and summer job searching,” Wilson said. Students can also go to career services website at http://www. uwrf.edu/CareerServices/MissionAndVision. cfm.

Some of the other services that Career Services offers are interview preparation, how to succeed on the job, building a cover letter or resume and many other services that will helps students get prepared.

“College graduates are finding jobs,” said Wilson, but some students tend to procrastinate. “Although this is not what we advise, seniors tend to wait till after spring break to start looking for a job.” Our office would like to see many of those students graduating in the next few months in our office looking for job searching assistance. If students do procrastinate their job search until after they walk across the stage at commencement, alumni will still be able to utilize the help at Career Services at no charge to them.

“Many of the senior-level students that we are seeing in Career Services who are concerned about their future are those applying for graduate school and are requesting assistance with their graduate school applications and letters of intent and personal statements,” Wilson said.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Wisconsin unemployment rate has dropped to 7.1 percent from 7.3 percent in November 2011 and 7.5 percent in December 2010. The number of Wisconsinites working increased by 6,900 over the month and by 21,400 since December 2010.

Findings from a different report show that the unemployment rate for college graduates (those holding a Bachelor’s degree) was 4.3 percent in 2011. This figure is down from 2010 when it was 5 percent. Workers with an associate degree face an 8.2 percent unemployment rate; high school graduates with no college degree have a 9.6 percent unemployment rate, and high school dropouts have a 14.6 unemployment rate.

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