nce students graduate from college, they are looking towards the next step in their lives, which is finding a job. Being a job seeker can sometimes be a difficult and tedious process, and often times students and college graduates may lack the skills that can get them to their goal.
To make their place in the job market, there's many things college grads may need such as work experience, application writing skills and knowing how to be an approachable candidate. As well, they should know how to build their professional network.
These are all things that colleges should be helping their students with, so they can land the right jobs in their field.
Colleges need to put in more effort into helping their students because that is their business model — to teach students, give them their diploma, so they can get the full time job they worked hard for.
That’s why colleges need employment counselors or other career coaches. They play an important role in helping bridge the gap between graduating and getting a relevant job for new grads. In essence, your college should be there to help you every step of the way.
Dylan McBride, employment counselor at ABM College, says that students are looking for career advice. While they are taking their program that prepares them for their new career, they still need the skills and guidance to help them find that right job.
“Our emphasis on getting our students jobs is very essential to our model — education that gets you hired,” he said. “We're going to give them every chance to be successful.”
There’s many ways that employment counselors can help in the job search process. It’s not just about finding the jobs, but knowing what the employers are looking for and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
McBride says that at ABM College, employment counselors help students by giving them detailed lessons on resume and cover letter writing, how to ace the job interview, coaching students and even role playing.
“The student really gets immersed into learning the small, little tangible things that will give them a little bit of an extra advantage over their competition when it comes to a job interview,” he said.
He also talks about why going through and learning all these skills is important.
“Anyone can just say, ‘Google Calgary jobs,’ — but to actually have true direction is to have tips and techniques supplied by the employment counselors here where the students can find all jobs quickly by the various search tips that we give them.”
Getting career tips and help from your college doesn’t just have to be when you’re graduating, you should have the option of getting job search advice immediately and throughout your program.
McBride says that employment counselors at ABM are introduced to students on their orientation day and make contact within the first three weeks of their classes, and that communication continues on a bi-weekly basis.
While this is the time that many students will require employment guidance, there’s also alumni who will need guidance perhaps many years after they have graduated.
“Whether it's five years down the road, 10 years after the road — we will help them with their career goals,” says McBride
“They can always lean on ABM College, any time for any additional help or questions or whatnot. So we give them the tools to be successful, and we're always going to be available to help them.”
To reach their employment goals, students or alumni can take everything they’ve learned from their employment counselor and continuously apply it to find success.
“Of course, they will have the experience, and they would have the knowledge and even the confidence to go out there and to write good resumes and cover letters and have great communication with their prospective companies, and get jobs,” says McBride.
“So they will be able to manage themselves.”
While job seekers can apply these skills, there’s things that can make the job search even harder, such as the economy and factors outside our control like COVID-19. But sometimes, these issues can increase jobs needed in certain industries, or acknowledge the constant need for some.
“During the time of the COVID pandemic, there certainly has been an increase in some areas, like for instance, health care aide,” says McBride.
“There's always going to be a need for law, So legal assistant demand is always there. And actually, IT recruiting has actually been very steady throughout the pandemic, it's been quite busy.”
So while there’s factors that may make the job search more difficult, that may not necessarily mean there’s less opportunities.
“We should have no problems at all, in the pandemic, and then especially now that we're at the tail end of it.”
Career services play a crucial role to help graduates with the stepping stone to getting a job. Colleges should have these services and make it clear and accessible that they offer them, so that after graduation, you can land your dream job.