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.

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).

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.

CareerCats: Gaining Professional Experience while Promoting Career Services by Alyse K

I stumbled upon CareerCats after Sarah Meadows, the Graduate Assistant-Outreach to Student Groups at Career Services, came to one of my public relations meetings. She mentioned the group, CareerCats, and how it can be applicable to PR students. I was interested because I wanted to learn about other fields than PR. After I joined, I have realized that it has helped me develop a wider view of similar and complimentary opportunities even past my major.

What exactly is CareerCats? It’s a student organization that markets and promotes Career Services’ events, programs and services through team collaboration. Every major is accepted, and with the mix of opportunities that students can volunteer to do, it gives students the chance to create real-world experiences they have not learned in their textbooks or through class lectures.

Each quarter there is a new chance for planning, promoting and organizing events. For Fall Quarter, CareerCats mostly concentrated on the Resume Blitz, Winter Quarter Extreme Makeover: Career Edition and Spring Quarter Bulletin Board in a Bag.  Every project in CareerCats is a team effort and relies on the student’s ideas, support and enthusiasm to move it forward. For Resume Blitz, Extreme Makeover, and Bulletin Board in a Bag, the team started from scratch and is accredited with each assignments success.

On top of the professional work we do, mix in some workshops, Career Fairs, a few socials, and you’ve got a recipe for a CareerCats experience. I have found some great friendships, mentors and real-world opportunities since I have joined CareerCats, and I am glad to be part of this team.

If you’re interested in becoming a CareerCat, here’s what you need:

  • To be energetic, creative, fun, and a team player

  • Wanting to develop highly marketable skills: leadership, marketing & research, public relations, creative design, and program planning

  • Looking to obtain valuable experience to build your resume

  • An CareerCats application.

  • Print out the application and drop it off at the Career Services’ office located at Baker University Center Room 533

For more information, visit the CareerCats Application Facebook event. Applications are currently being accepted. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sarah Meadows at 740-593-2909 or sm224104@ohio.edu

— Nicole Bersani – a member of CareerCats

2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Career Fair by Alyse K

The 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Career Fair will take place on Friday, April 16th, 2010 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. prior to the Pirates game vs. the Cincinnati Reds that evening at PNC Park. Career seekers will have the opportunity to meet and speak with several representatives from professional organizations within and outside of the sports industry. Along with the Pitts-burgh Pirates and PNC Park, they are anticipating a range of diverse companies with real job opportunities and an immediate desire to fill those opportunities.TeamWork Online will host a resume workshop available for all attendees. Career seekers will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from TeamWork to review and revise their resume.

Companies that are currently invited include:

  • Atlanta Hawks & Thrashers
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Orlando Magic
  • San Diego Padres
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Boston Bruins
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Charlotte Bobcats
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • And many more professional organizations.

To participate in this great event there is a fee of $30. Admission will include access to all of the representatives at the Career Fair, the resume workshop, and a ticket to the Pirates vs. Reds game that evening. Early registration is recommended due to high demand and limited slots available. Orders for the Career Fair are filled on a first-come first-serve basis and are subject to availability.

To register, please complete the registration form (PDF download) and fax it to 412.325.4410 or mail to Lauren Farrell, 115 Federal St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 as soon as possible.For additional information please do not hesitate to contact Lauren Farrell at 412.325.4928 or lauren.farrell@pirates.com.

Develop your transferable skills by Alyse K

With ever increasing competitiveness in the job market, transferable skills are an essential skill set to posses. Transferable skills are skills which you acquire through experiences and apply to present or future practices. Employers look to these skills in addition to your education and training to determine not only performance efficiency but also work environment fit. Whether deliberately or inadvertently acquired; college is the perfect time to begin developing your transferable skills set. Key skills that employers seek in a candidate include, but are not limited, to the following:

•    Communication
•    Teamwork
•    Leadership
•    Problem-solving
•    Technical

Every person’s skill set will vary so it is important to analyze your past experiences and skills to determine how you can be an asset to future employers. Assessing your skill set requires time and thought, but the end result is well worth the effort! To develop these skills we suggest that students become involved on campus. Outlets for involvement can be found by visiting the Campus Involvement Center, or speaking with advisers and faculty members.

—Sarah Meadows, Graduate Assistant-Outreach to Student Groups