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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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SDSU Career Services’ career counselors share their key tips for job-seeking graduates. (Photo taken prior to March 2020) SDSU Career Services’ career counselors share their key tips for job-seeking graduates. (Photo taken prior to March 2020)

Tips for Job-Seeking 2021 Graduates

SDSU’s Career Services counselors offer advice for capitalizing on opportunities in today's job market.
By SDSU News Team

The class of 2021 enters a rebounding job market with optimism on the part of employers.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ latest Job Outlook Update, employers project 7.2%  greater hiring of new college graduates from the class of 2021 than the previous year. The increase is fueled by the reopening of businesses, distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and the addition of jobs to the economy. 

So how can 2021 graduates capitalize on the new opportunities? SDSU Career Services’ career counselors share their key tips for job-seeking graduates:

Learn to Network
Natalia Peddycoart, College of Education and College of Health and Human Services Career Development and Program Coordinator 

Start networking by finding those in your industry who do interesting work and reach out via email or LinkedIn. Be sure to connect authentically with them by finding things you have in common and requesting time to ask them questions about their career path. Remember, professionals want to connect. Networking is a critical part of the job search process and can help you practice articulating your skills, abilities, and experiences. Connecting with professionals can be your ticket to a job or a referral and give you critical information about your industry. Be respectful of their time, have questions prepared, and remember that you have a lot to offer to the conversation with your perspective.

Understand Your Qualifications and Customize Your Approach
Alejandro Rodriguez, STEM Career Counselor 

Applying aimlessly for any jobs without understanding how you meet the requirements may yield limited results. An effective job search requires identifying your interests and qualifications and matching them to your preferred types of positions. Once you are ready to apply, review the selected job announcements and understand how your qualifications meet the requirements. Make sure to include relevant keywords on your resume and application materials to match employers’ needs. Customizing your resume helps employers focus on relevant information which increases your chances to move forward in the process.

Create Opportunities to Market Your Skills
Eunice Flores, College of Arts and Letters and Professional Studies and Fine Arts Career Development and Program Coordinator 

Think beyond a resume. As you grow your network, think about the ways you can share your skills, interests, and passions. Leverage social media like LinkedIn to showcase your experiences, highlight achievements, and upload items such your best projects, artwork and presentations. Create a website, Facebook, or even a professional Instagram account to highlight some of your work. Use relevant keywords and information that matches the audience you are trying to attract. Finally, share your personalized account with your growing network to learn about what you have to offer. Most importantly be proactive, you must put in the work to pursue the job of your dreams.

Think About the Big Picture
Jill Lackey, Business Career Development Coordinator

Not everyone is able to land their dream job right out of college, in fact they seldom do. It is important to be flexible in your search, be resilient in your process, and stay determined to meet your goals. Keep your goals in mind as you identify the skills and qualifications  you will need to develop or expand upon to support your advancement and strengthen your candidacy. As you progress in your role, continually evaluate your experiences and values to determine if your progress aligns with your goals or if you need to pivot in your approach. Your first job out of college is not your career, it is just the beginning of your journey. 

Whether you are happily settled or navigating your professional path, Career Services is here to support you in the following ways and more:
  • Employers are still looking for talent. If you’ve not done so, activate your Handshake account by using your SDSUid login and begin searching for jobs and internships.
  • New grads and alumni can set up a virtual one-on-one career advising appointment to have your resume reviewed or discuss a range of career development topics. Schedule your appointment today on Handshake.  
  • Our Career Workshops are currently on Zoom including our “Life After SDSU” series. Find and register for all workshops and employer events via Handshake.
  • You can access the Career Guide Handbook, our complete career-readiness tool, at any time so you can master the career strategies that will help you secure your dream job.