Ohio University Office of Career Services


2011 Job Outlook: Good News for Class of 2011! by Christy R

2011 Job Outlook:
Good News for Class of 2011!

Based on information provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook Fall 2011, employers are planning on hiring 13.5% more graduates in 2011 than they did in 2010. In addition to hiring more graduates, NACE has reported the hiring outlook for 2011 to be “good,” in contrast to last year’s rating of “fair.”

What do these statistics mean for you as a soon-to-be-graduate? They mean that you need to work on your GPA, and focus on your leadership skills when reaching out to employers in order to attain your true potential as a future employee. As discussed throughout NACE’s statistics, employers are working to cut many applications off if applicants GPAs do not fall above a 3.0. Additionally, to best present your credentials, be sure to successfully convey your strong communication skills, work ethic, teamwork, analytical skills, and overall initiative when pursuing any position with a company.

While the employment statistics for 2011 college graduates are high, proper attention needs to be paid to make sure you are able to put your best foot forward as a job applicant. By incorporating all discussed factors, your pathway to landing a career post-graduation will inevitably be secured, assisting in your overall growth as a future business leader.

—Contributed by Haley Drometer, Practicum Student for the Office of Career Services

The Office of Career Services is here to help you in your career pursuits and help you develop valuable careers skills. To make an appointment with a career counselor or to pick up copies of our handouts, stop by our office or visit our Handout Library online.

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CareerCATS: Opening the door to your future. by Christy R

CareerCATS: Opening the door to your future.

CareerCATS is an Ohio University student marketing organization that promotes services offered by the Office of Career Services. Members of the club volunteer during the Career Fair and support the Office in many other projects.  CareerCATS organizes at least one big event each quarter with the intention of making it as relevant as possible to the majority of students on campus, regardless of their individual major and career goals. During fall quarter the club organized a Résumé Blitz to help students to polish their résumés before the Career Fair.  In winter quarter they organized a “Credit Wise” workshop aimed at educating students about student loans, credit cards and credit history. Currently, the club is planning an etiquette dinner for the spring quarter.

CareerCATS offers an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a variety of areas. This group is the ideal place to develop skills in writing, presenting, graphic design, event planning, problem solving, organization and leadership. The club has something for every major and values each member. Fine art students can expand their professional portfolios by working on promotional material for the various events organized by CareerCATS and the Office. Communications students can develop their public speaking and writing skills by giving presentations about CareerCATS and the Career Services Office to different organizations across campus, as well writing for the group’s monthly newspaper.

For University College students, CareerCATS can help students decide on the major they want to pursue by discovering opportunities they may not have known about before. Lastly, being involved in the group is a great résumé builder!

To learn more about CareerCATS including information on how to join, please check out Career Services’ website.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services



Professionalism In the Workplace for New College Grads by Christy R

Professionalism in the Workplace for New College Grads


New college grads need to start putting workplace professionalism higher on their list of priorities as they seek jobs, employers say, according to a recent poll conducted by York College of Pennsylvania’s Center for Professional Excellence. The 2010 Professionalism in the Workplace Poll discovered eight specific areas in which employers have found new grads lacking:

  • Accepting personal responsibility for decisions and actions.
  • Being open to criticism.
  • Displaying a sense of ethics.
  • Being competent in verbal and written communication.
  • Taking initiative.
  • Projecting a professional image.
  • Thinking independently.
  • Demonstrating passion for their work.

The first two traits (accepting personal responsibility and being open to criticism) are the ones listed as needing the most improvement. Information Technology etiquette is another area in which employers are noticing less-than-desirable habits. The growing trend among students to surf the internet, text message, and respond to cell phone calls during class is translating into the work world in ways that employers find unprofessional.

Professionalism in the workplace is not limited to corporate jobs or specific professions (business, healthcare, law, etc.). In answer to the question, “Are all positions considered capable of exhibiting professionalism?” the majority of respondents indicated that they think of professionalism “as being related to the person rather than the position. Anyone in any position has the potential to exhibit professional traits and behavior.”

As you seek to project a professional image, keep in mind the following traits which were mentioned most often as characteristics of the professional employee:

  • Personal interaction skills (includes courtesy and respect).
  • Ability to communicate (includes listening skills).
  • Work ethic (includes being motivated and working on a task until complete).
  • Personal appearance.
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness.


Up Your Act in the Workplace, Part 2: Listening Skills by Christy R

Up Your Act in the Workplace, Part 2: LISTENING SKILLS


Developing good listening habits now is crucial to your career plans. The ability to listen well will benefit you no matter what type of job you intend to have. It will improve communication between you and the people you work with, making your working relationship more efficient and effective.

Poor listening skills can affect your performance on the job and create major mix-ups that you could have avoided just by taking the time to listen carefully. Take a moment now to evaluate yourself. Are you a good listener? Are there ways in which you can improve your listening skills? The following characteristics might indicate that you have some work to do:

  • You often interrupt or finish another speaker’s sentence.
  • You can remember what you said in a recent conversation, but you can repeat or paraphrase hardly any of what the other person said.
  • You find yourself “zoning out” when another person is talking.
  • You find yourself concentrating more on the speaker’s quirky accent than on what they are saying.
  • You fidget or shuffle things around while someone is speaking, indicating that you don’t have time to listen right now.

If any or all of these apply to you, it might be a good idea to focus on developing your listening skills with a few of these tips:

1. Don’t interrupt.
One suggested way of breaking this habit is to apologize immediately and ask the speaker to continue what they were saying. After a couple of apologies, you’ll find yourself thinking twice before you jump in again.

2. Keep your mouth closed.
Even if the speaker pauses to think before they finish their sentence, resist the urge to fill in the silence. If you are constantly waiting for the chance to jump in, you aren’t really focusing on what the other person is saying, and therefore you’ll miss crucial information being discussed.

3. Maintain eye contact.
Be alert and lean forward while looking the speaker in the eyes. By doing this, you’re not only conveying interest which helps the speaker communicate better, but you’re also positioning yourself to avoid distractions (such as that bird flying around right outside the window, or incoming emails/text messages).

4. Repeat ideas and ask clarifying questions.
While someone is talking, concentrate on being able to paraphrase the idea and repeat it aloud. This helps you process the information and store it in your memory, and it ensures that you and the speaker understand each other.

Whether you currently hold a job or are still in school, start developing good listening habits now. A conscious effort to improve these skills will prove invaluable in the long run.

For more information on developing good listening skills, visit SalesVantage.com, CareerJournal.com, or CareerPlanning.about.com.

(Illustration credit to Kristy Pargeter).



Up Your Act in the Workplace: Time Management Skills by Christy R

Up Your Act In the Workplace:
TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Time management skills are often a major contributor to the success of new employees in any office setting. While professors may be lenient in their grading of a student’s paper that just-so-happened to be turned in three days late, employers are exponentially less patient with deadlines—especially in the workplace.

There are multiple reasons for why effective time management skills are crucial for any worker out in the field. First of all, time is a resource that cannot be stored, or reused. Once it is gone, it cannot be retrieved, so if up against a tight deadline due to procrastination, the chances of producing poor quality work are extremely high—eventually diminishing your reputation within the company.

A second reason why time management skills are important in the work place is because many employers evaluate employees on their efficiency. If a worker is unable to produce high-quality results in an efficient time period, their work will appear less valuable to a company, which might eventually lead to job termination. By utilizing time effectively, employees will come across as being determined, resourceful, and greatly beneficial to any company.

Finally, time management skills are an integral component to careers because prioritizing workload is extremely important in any workplace. If an employee has strong time management skills, is able to budget their time effectively, AND is able to put the correct value on the completion of different tasks, their significance within an office will significantly increase—and so will their potential for future career advancement.

Making a first impression in a new workplace is crucial. While students are often able to be relaxed with their time commitments, entry-level employees are held to higher standards. By understanding the importance of time as a resource, utilizing effective time efficiency, and prioritizing any workload successfully, it is inevitable that any new employee will have an immediate jumpstart into a successful career.

For more information on time management in the workplace, check out Career Success for Newbies.

—Contributed by Katy Taylor, Office of Career Services Special Events Coordinator



Teach For America: You can help eliminate educational inequity by Christy R

Teach for America: You can help eliminate educational inequity

Calling “individuals from all backgrounds, majors, and professional experiences who have what it takes to excel as teachers and improve the quality of education for children growing up in low-income communities.”

What is educational inequity? Teach for America describes it as “the reality that where a child is born determines the quality of his or her education and life prospects.”

The statistics given speak for themselves:

  • By the time they reach fourth grade, children living in low-income communities are already two to three grades behind their higher-income peers.
  • Just half of students in low-income communities will graduate high school by age 18. Those who do graduate will perform on average at an eighth-grade level.
  • Overall, only 1 in 10 students growing up in poverty will graduate from college.

Teach For America is breaking the cycle of educational inequity by targeting 39 specific urban and rural regions and sending well-trained teachers in to help students perform excellently at high levels. These corps members make a two-year commitment to go above and beyond traditional expectations for teachers, in order to help their students succeed.

So what does this have to do with you? You can become one of these corps members. No matter what your degree, you can use your talents and energy to help provide solid education to otherwise under-privileged children.

Application deadlines are coming up Wednesday, October 27, 2010; December 17, 2010; and February 4, 2011. Pick any deadline to apply for 2011.

For more information on this opportunity and to find out how to apply, visit www.teachforamerica.org.



From the Classroom to the Workplace by Alyse K

From the Classroom to the Workplace: How to apply your classroom skills in the job market

Besides refining your résumé and earning that college degree, there may be more to consider in order to make yourself more marketable. As you prepare to enter the job market, students are encouraged to look closely to how their experience in college can be beneficial to the job hunt. The article, “Which Classroom Skills Translate To The Job Market?” provides a list to see how your school experiences can become valuable job skills.

  1. Communication skillsCan you effectively share ideas?

    Class presentations and group projects provide an opportunity to develop valuable communication skills that will be helpful when it comes to selling ideas or products, running meetings and more.

  2. Analytical skillsAre you detail oriented?

    Classes promoting analytical skills can help in solving problems and analyzing information. Analytical skills are particularly prized in professions where you are expected to multi-task under pressure.

  3. Teamwork skillsDo you work well with others?
    Although some group projects in school may seem like a waste of time, they can really help you when you enter the professional world. Working well with others is important as almost any level of employment. You can gain skills that help in managing organizations, supervising others and delegating responsibility.

  4. Technical skillsAre you computer savvy?

    Being able to work with complex systems or equipment is an invaluable tool for applicants. Technical skills developed in the classroom can help launch a career in technology or media.

  5. Strong work ethicHave you made special efforts to reach your goals?

    Employers look for applicants that can meet deadlines, stay committed to tasks and handle pressure. Taking online classes or going to night school requires the dedication and time management skills, which come in handy when you have tight deadlines and meetings to attend.

To read more about classroom skills, check out this article and more at Yahoo! Education.