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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Career Services Offers Tips for Job-Seeking Graduates

James Tarbox, SDSU’s executive director of Career Services, offers advice on career development for those entering the job market.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University students graduating in May 2020 enter a job market and an economy defined by monumental and ogoing change, said James Tarbox, executive director of SDSU’s Career Services

The transition from campus to workforce is going to be tougher than the last several years. To assist, SDSU’s Career Services office offers these seven tips for navigating the choppy employment waters:

1. Pause and assess. The news about downsizing and high unemployment is discouraging, but industries and regions may differ. Consider what you are facing in managing your specific job search. 

2. Identify your transferable skills. Many employers are eager to recruit new graduates who can pivot and use their skills in industries and jobs that weren’t in the picture three months ago. These include core competencies such as the ability to research, assess, analyze and report; the ability to communicate effectively; and to apply knowledge in managing projects.

3. Leverage your native knowledge of the virtual space. Employers are migrating their recruitment to the virtual space, and are testing options such as virtual information sessions, career fairs and interviewing. The great news for May 2020 graduates is that you have been in the virtual space your entire lives, and know how to anticipate, identify, and respond to new trends. Use your access to SDSU Handshake to review how employers are engaging you. Participate, and leverage the social networking skills you used to build a community of friends, and now build your professional community.

4. Take advantage of new resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new sites for job searchers. New vendors are entering this space often and expanding options for students and their job searches. For job seekers, these spaces are often free. Consider WayUp (job search) and Parker Dewy (micro-internships for recent graduates) as two options. SDSU Handshake is your home base resource that’s always available via SDSU Career Services. Also, SDSU alumni receive ongoing free access to Career Services.

5. Identify bridge options to get through the rough spell. What jobs can ensure an income, benefits, and a professional community to support your career development? Major online vendors now position their jobs as a place to be employed while the economy recovers. Learn more about job opportunities through SDSU Handshake.

6. Look beyond the pandemic. What is the career you want in five years, and what experiences will you need to have to show  you are ready? Focus on developing current transferable skills, and attaining new skills and knowledge.

7. Remember KSAs. The primary method organizations use to describe job opportunities and manage recruiting is known as Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). As you assess your transferable skills, consider how you will translate these into this concept. With a clear understanding of your KSAs, you can develop your résumé, strengthen your interviewing, and be more effective when you start your new job.

Congratulations on completing your SDSU degree! The Career Services team is here to support your transition. Get started by contacting us on SDSU Handshake.