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Student job search: Navigating the yellow brick road

Jean Georges
Staff Writer

Are you ready to graduate this month and still don’t have a job lined up? That sense of panic creeps through you, and you feel like you’re Dorothy caught up in the tornado of the job market with little control over your future. Relax, you are ready to enter the career counseling land of Oz.
Here are some helpful tips and tools for the job search that you may not be familiar with or that you’ve not checked out lately. And whether you’re a freshman or a graduating senior, they’ll set you on the Yellow Brick Road to finding a job.

The job search can feel like students are traveling on a never ending yellow brick road.
The job search can feel like students are traveling on a never ending yellow brick road.

MU’s Experimental Learning and Career Management (ELCM)
Millersville has a top-notch free service to help students with all things job-related, both at its location on the third floor at Lyle Hall and on the web. You can visit the office for their scheduled walk-in resume and LinkedIn reviews, make an appointment to see a counselor or browse the office for available career literature. For those students who prefer to get their information online, Millersville.edu/elcm is a virtual treasure trove of career tips, advice and videos, and it divides its information into three main programs:

1. Career Services
The goal of career services is to guide you through the unknown by providing help with questions on majors and careers. It also functions to help you develop a plan to reach your career goals and sharpen those skills needed to succeed after graduation.
Web links for this program include:
-Career Exploration, with assessment tools such as FOCUS-2 and Do What You Are.
-Branding Yourself, for tips and resume and cover letter writing,
-Employment After Graduation, a tool to upload resumes and search for jobs.
-Search for a Graduate School, an option for those interested in continuing their education.
-Jobs for Students, a database of jobs.
-Alumni link, which opens another world of job search tools, career web video, and additional valuable links for those students who have already graduated.

2. Internships
Undergraduate students at MU can earn academic credit for their internship experience. It is a great way for you to gain practical work experience and to determine if that career path is the one you want to take. While MU’s internship program focuses on current students only, it should be noted that there is a whole other sphere of internships offered directly through companies to give non-students the opportunity to take advantage of these important sources for career experience and network-building.

3. Volunteer Central
ELCM regards this program as, “Millersville University’s connection to community and academic partnerships for students, faculty and staff.” Did you know that MU is the 2012 and 2013 recipient of The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction? Millersville University is a leader in its commitment to community service and civic engagement. Volunteering for even a short period of time is a great way to show your support to the community, gain valuable work experience and create a network of business contacts.

Additional ELCM Web Resources
In addition to ELCM’s three main programs, there is also the Four-Year Career Plan, a roadmap to successfully guide you from freshman to senior year. Online you can click on your corresponding year at MU, and you will be directed to specific information for your needs.
Another useful feature on the ELCM website is its career advice videos. These are divided into two categories: Internship Videos and Job Search Videos, with numerous links to specific videos such as “Finding a Co-op/Internship” and “Interview Dress.”

Job Search and Career Advice Outside of MU
Forbes.com posts a list of the 10 Best Websites for Your Career. This is not crystal ball work but solid information to get you to the Emerald City.

LinkedIn is a good resource for networking.
LinkedIn is a good resource for networking.

1. LinkedIn
-the social networking site for professionals that Forbes.com says, “Recruiters and hiring managers use…more than any other website to connect with job candidates.”

2. Indeed.com
– a search engine for jobs; you can plug in job titles and keywords plus the location

3. SimplyHired.com
-another good search engine for jobs

4. Monster.com
– an online job board; you can post your resume and get tips on resume writing and interviewing

5. Glassdoor.com
-gives salary information and provides reviews of actual companies and employers

6. Idealist.com
-lists nonprofit jobs, a sometimes overlooked source for employment

7. Internships.com
-Forbes regards this site as, “The world’s largest internship marketplace where employers can post internships and get access to its internship database for free.”

8. USAJobs.com
-this is the official website for federal jobs; you can apply for a job directly through the website and view federal job benefit information

9. The Wall Street Journal Careers site
-provides job search advice and career-related articles

10. Specialty job site in your area
For example:
-Dice.com, a technology and engineering job database
-eFinancialCareers.com, a site for financial careers
-mediabistro.com, a site for media jobs

So whether you use the job tools listed here exclusively or in combination with others of your own choosing, you will need web access, motivation, some time set aside and a little bit of brains, heart and courage thrown in for good measure to get that job. For Dorothy, there was no place like home. For college grads, there’s no place more anticipated than the workplace.