U seniors jump-start job searches

Lacey Crisp

The unemployment rate decreased both nationally and in Minnesota during October, but that is not reassuring to some University seniors who are about to enter the job market.

To help get them started toward finding a job, the Career and Community Learning Center sponsored Job Search Jump Start for CLA Seniors Thursday to help seniors with resume-building, job-searching, interviewing and networking.

Raya Jewell, a journalism student, scheduled to graduate in May, said that she has used the center’s office for help before and thought the seminar would benefit her this spring.

“I’m a big fan of (the learning center),” Jewell said. “I have gone to a lot of their workshops, and this is the capstone that brings it all together.”

Jewell is looking to stay in the Twin Cities area and said her biggest fear about graduating is being unable to find a job.

Jewell has a head start because she has a few internships under her belt.

“I’ll start applying for jobs next semester,” Jewell said.

She said that besides her internships, she has tried to get involved on campus and in volunteering.

“The (center’s) people are also helping me with job-search strategies so that I am not just searching the paper looking for jobs,” Jewell said.

Paul Timmins, coordinator of the center, said approximately 60 students participated in the event.

“This is the second year we have had this,” Timmins said. “We started it last year and had one each semester.”

Matt Greenhoe, a psychology major, is also scheduled to graduate in May.

“I am actually looking into going into graduate school for psychology,” he said.

Finding a job“I am starting to look for volunteer work, hopefully an after-school program, to help boost my resume,” Greenhoe said.

He said the most important thing he got out of the job-search event was interviewing skills and learning how to search for jobs.

Kathie Kosharek, an unemployment caseworker for the Minnesota WorkForce, said Minnesota is usually below the national unemployment rate.

Kosharek said that in October, Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, while the national average was 5.5 percent.

“The job market is the same for college graduates as it is for anyone else,” Kosharek said. “That is better than it was a year ago and much better than it was two years ago.”

Kosharek said that employers are still cautious of hiring new employees because the economy keeps stalling.

“I actually think some college students could have an advantage because there are still a fair amount of employers who like to hire fresh college grads,” Kosharek said.

She said those companies are typically the larger ones in the area. 

Kosharek said the health-care field is one of the best fields to go into right now.

“Computer jobs are also coming back,” she said.

She said the best advice is to network when looking for a job.

“Only about 25 percent of jobs are found through advertisements, and that includes the Internet,” Kosharek said. “Recent studies have found that it is a combination of putting an application on the Internet but also working the networking and try to find an inside contact that works best.”

She said spending most of a job hunt on the Internet is a waste of time.

The center will be hosting a job fair Feb. 14, in which

approximately 100 employers will come to meet University students.