Students shop a quiet job market

by John Jacobsen

Despite a downturn in the stock market and a more difficult job search for seniors there are ways to insure a great job after graduation.

“The job market is really not as bad as it seems, it is just going to take a little bit more work,” said Kate Burrell, career specialist for counseling and career services.

The figure on the street is that companies nationwide will be hiring 20 percent fewer college graduates than last year, according to Burrell.

“The job market is going to be tougher, so students just need to take advantage of what Counseling and Career Services has to offer,” said Burrell.

Networking is a valuable tool that all students can be continually working on throughout their lives.

“Networking is a huge factor. Whether it is through your internship, family or friends,” said Lois Schultz, director of counseling and career services.

Some seniors are finding the job search relatively easy through preparation and contacts. “My summer job for the past few years already has a spot ready for me after graduation,” said senior math major Jason Collins.

With a tighter job market, it is important for students to use all the resources available to make themselves the best candidate.

“Our career fair is a great chance to get your resume out to different companies and start networking,” said Burrell. She added that the majority of the companies at the career fair will be back on campus later in the semester to interview students for positions.

Some students have decided to apply to graduate school before entering the working world.

“I decided to apply to graduate school instead of hitting the job market, but because of the economy graduate school has become more competitive,” said senior Matt Woods.

According to Burrell, there are many different sources for information available for students. lists the ten fields hiring the most and the degrees that are highest in demand.

Burrell also said Counseling and Career Services has information to aid students in everything from resume preparation to interviewing techniques.

One benefit for Simpson students is the opportunity to participate in the Iowa Private College Career Consortium.

“It is a large group of private colleges working together to help all students find jobs across the state,” said Burrell.

“I went to the IPCCC this last fall and was introduced to the company that ended up hiring me,” said senior Melissa Mannetter.

Mannetter is evidence that networking and using Counseling and Career Services can be a helpful starting point for seniors still looking to find their first job.

“I went over interviewing tactics with Counseling and Career Services when I started looking for a job in September,” Mannetter said.

The search for a job is not something that should be left until the last minute according to Burrell.

“Underclassmen need to start developing those networking opportunities now,” she said.

In a tighter job market, the usual college procrastination is only for the daring.

“You can get the job you want. The key is getting out there early and interviewing as much as you can,” said senior criminal justice major Matt Duncan.