Within a year of graduation, nearly 90 percent of BU graduates are employed, serving in the military or continuing their education. For two young alumnae, it wasn’t just about
finding jobs for themselves. They’ve started their professional lives helping residents of Luzerne County search for employment through CareerLink’s Hazleton office.
Erica Cooke ’13, business services representative, and Chelsea Carpenter ’14, career navigator, have worked together since January 2015. They majored in communication studies at BU.
“We put our degree to use every day,” says Cooke. “We use public speaking, interpersonal communication and leadership skills within our daily work. We get a lot of people back on their feet in the working field and change a lot of lives. It is a great feeling.”
As the economy continues to improve, so does the jobs outlook for recent college graduates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the employment rate for jobseekers ages 20 to 24 with at least a bachelor’s degree was 88.1 percent in 2014, the highest it’s been since 2008, but still lower than the peak year of 1990 when it was 93.3 percent. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for this group remains steady in 2015 at 2.4 percent, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industry.
Opportunities through BU’s Center for Professional Development and Career Experience, such as Professional U, enhance students’ preparation for entering the job market. These include workshops, job shadowing, academic internships, career road trips, career fairs and on-campus interviews.
Tips for jobseekers
Based on their experiences with CareerLink, which provides career services under the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Cooke and Carpenter offer these tips for a successful job search:
• Prepare a well-written resume. Include only the past 10 years of work history, from the most recent job to the oldest in descending chronological order.
• Make sure you are qualified before applying for a job.
• Resumes get you an interview; an interview gets you a job. Know the dos and don’ts of the interview process. This includes your appearance, attitude and work ethic.
• Understand that getting a job takes time. The most effective way to land a job is to apply for three or four jobs each week.
• Take advantage of available resources. Many places, like the local CareerLink office, offer workshops; have case managers who can help with resumes, mock interviews and interview preparation; and supply labor market information and job postings in your area. •
For more information: BU’s Center for Professional Development and Career Experience, bloomu.edu/careers, and Commonwealth Workforce Development System/CareerLink, cwds.pa.gov.