After being bombarded with questions from fresh graduates finding their way in the job market through the years, Susan Katz, internship coordinator in the Department of English at NC State, decided to write about her experience and knowledge in a comprehensive guide.
“About two years ago, I realized a lot of people were contacting me for help. I found myself saying the same things,” says Katz, who is also an associate professor of English and frequently helps students interested in internships writing for NC State magazine and redandwhiteforlife.com.
The book, “Start Your Career: 5 Steps to Finding the Right Job After College,” is targeted at college students who are trying to choose a career path and working towards landing their first job after college.
“There is a big difference between people who are just out of college trying to find a job and those who are experienced and are trying to do the same,” says Katz.
The book charts out five steps and provides 50 tips:
• Introspection: Katz says the first step to landing a good job is to identify personal skills and strengths. “Just because it is your major, does not mean you will do well in it and it should be your career,” she says.
• Foresight: The book encourages students to envision themselves in a prospective job, taking into account the place , the organization and the benefits before applying for the job. “Young people often do not do that,” says Katz.
• Research: Katz goes into detail about how students should research jobs they are interested in. The book provides online resources that can help students, while also listing online resources that Katz considers unreliable.
• Networking: Katz says this is the most important step in a job search. “Unfortunately these days it is who you know rather than what you know,” she says. Students should explore all contacts, including personal ones. “The trick is to talk to everybody,” Katz says. “You never know who will help you get a job.” The book also provides tips on how to crack the web of online networking.
• Application process: “This is all about resumes, cover letters, using LinkedIn and other detailed information about the application process,” says Katz.
Katz also maintains a blog addressing questions and concerns about job search faced by college students.
— Devika Banerji