5 tips for seniors to secure a job post graduation

MJ Routh | Multimedia Journalist

By Caroline Yablon | Reporter

Having a pristine resume, engaging in personal branding, actively job searching, practicing interviewing and attending career fairs are the top five things a student can do to help secure a job after college, according to Jeff Stubbs, director of undergraduate career management and Kristy Goldenberg, assistant director of undergraduate career management.

Stubbs and Goldenberg led a “senior career workshop” Wednesday in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

When applying for a job online, Stubbs said resumes should be in a simple and plain format.

“Stay away from graphics and colorful resumes because it does not work in the computer world where you are sending your resume online,” Stubbs said.

When it comes to personal branding in a way that attracts companies, he said LinkedIn is a student’s best friend.

He said if a company receives an applicant’s resume and likes that person, they will most likely go check their LinkedIn first for affirmation and confirmation that the applicant is who they say they are.

“Make sure that LinkedIn mirrors what you said on your resume and make sure it’s up to date,” Stubbs said.

Goldenberg said LinkedIn is a great resource to include creative work that an applicant isn’t necessarily able to include on their resume.

“This is a spot where you can tell more of your story and share all of those intricate details,” Goldenberg said.

Anytime a student applies to a position, Stubbs recommends making sure to find those companies and organizations and follow them on LinkedIn and other social media avenues. To go a step further, he advises students to comment on posts or articles to show engagement with that company –– which can lead to building connections with those companies.

“Spend time on branding to make those connections — to do this, find Baylor alumni,” Stubbs said.

He said students will want to spend extra time on branding to target organizations that don’t necessarily advertise job openings.

Next is job searching. According to Stubbs, the number one tool for students job searching is through Baylor.JoinHandshake.com; which is a recruiting platform for companies that are actively seeking Baylor students to work for them. He said a lot of the companies have a strong Baylor alumni.

“Handshake should be your first choice because they’re looking for 1 of 800 graduates this year for Baylor instead of going to indeed.com that’s looking for 8 million college graduates,” Stubbs said.

When it comes to job descriptions, a company on Handshake may require that an applicant must have one to five years of job experience. However, Stubbs said to not be discouraged and to use college experience as that experience when applying for that job.

“Don’t be intimidated by any job description,” Stubbs added.

When it comes to knowing if a job posting is legit, Stubbs said Baylor has approved all companies that are on Handshake, so students should not fear the validity of a company.

However, on LinkedIn, for example, Pearland senior Maddie Deyo said she’s had many experiences with companies that have reached out to her for jobs that were not real.

So how can a person know if LinkedIn jobs are real or not?

“You can tell by the wording, and mostly if it’s a reputable company with a strong applicant pool they aren’t going send a private message,” Deyo said. “Timing is critical [as well]”.

Stubbs said most companies post job listings that an applicant can apply to, and an applicant will most likely receive an email with a confirmation saying the company will get back to them soon.

“It’s very rare that a recruiter is going to respond instantaneously,” Goldenberg warned.

Handshake isn’t the only resource that Baylor provides students with to find jobs. “Career Shift” is another resource that is just for business majors that provides them with job postings from indeed and company websites all in one place.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” Stubbs said.

In terms of interview strategies, Stubbs told students to look at the job description and find ways to show the company that you are the ideal candidate for the job by showcasing their strengths. He also said to research the industry, company and job position before going into the interview. An applicant cannot over prepare, Stubbs added.

Stubbs also encouraged students to not be afraid to brag about themselves.

“If it’s true it’s not bragging,” Stubbs said. “Sell yourself.”

And of course, he mentioned to always overdress for an interview and send a thank you note to the employer’s office.

Seniors might think a career fair is the starting point of their job search; however, Stubbs said that it is actually the ending point.

He said the recruiting process starts the first 6-8 weeks of the fall semester.

“70-80 percent of recruiting is starting this fall semester for this next summer,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs highly recommends seniors not wait to start the process of applying for jobs after a career fair, but to start applying right now. He said if they haven’t been, they are behind.

Stubbs ended the workshop by stating four things that companies are overall looking for in an applicant: a great attitude, a hard work ethic, integrity and excellent interpersonal communication skills.

“This is what gets you the position,” Stubbs said.