Career Advisers: How to get a job in this economy

Dear GW Student,

In recognition of the current state of the economy and its impact on the job market, we would like to offer our perspective as Career Center directors on how students should prepare for their future career.

While the national news may look bleak and certain sectors have had to significantly downsize their staffs, the college employment market for current students and pending graduates continues to hold promise.

The most recent job outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reveals that college hiring will remain the same as last year. In our experience, employers during economic downturns continue to hire to maintain their business positioning. Increasingly, employers hire new staff from among those students employed in their internships, cooperative education positions, part-time jobs and volunteer positions.

Interest in hiring GW students has remained steady and in some cases has increased. At last month’s career fair, we had the largest amount of attending employers to date, and nationally, career fairs continue to attract large numbers of world-renowned recruiters. Internships and other employment listings on GWork are rising and the on-campus recruiting program is robust.

GW’s D.C. location provides expanded opportunities that may be more limited in other parts of the country. Specifically, sectors including the federal government (especially with a new administration coming in), the large association and nonprofit community, research and policy agencies, technology and the service industry are areas of continued growth.

So what can you do to successfully move forward?

 Continue to actively plan for your future as this economy will eventually turn around (ignoring or putting off your search is not the answer).

 Visit with a career consultant to help you determine the skills you will be able to provide an employer and to discuss targeting your job search in traditional and nontraditional industries and geographical areas.

 Begin your job search early so you can take advantage of your network and other leads.

 Utilize the GWork job listing service to review potential positions and employers.

 Stay abreast of employer events, job search support assistance and alumni networking programs provided by the career centers, campus departments and student organizations.

What are the career centers doing on your behalf?

 Continuing to reach out and work closely with employers to interest them in actively recruiting our students, through employment fairs, job listings and information session.

 Providing job-search support programs and services including consulting, mock interviews and resume critiques.

 Collaborating with other campus departments and organizations to develop programs and services that bring students together with career professionals.

 Continuing to watch the job market to better advise students on the areas that are hot and the others that are waning.

The job market will rebound, but it will be gradual and there will be changes. To fit in with newly merged companies, creative new jobs or different work styles, it is imperative that you continue to be focused and knowledgeable and build up field-related skills as well as overall functional skills which can be demonstrated to an employer.

The University’s career centers are valuable resources available to assist you to develop key skills, compete in the job market and support your transition to the professional world. We are vested in your future and are committed to helping you succeed – but we want you to remain positive and also take an active role in the planning of your future. We look forward to working with you!

Marva Gumbs Jennings, Executive Director, GW Career Center

Gil Yancey, Executive Director, F. David Fowler Career Center

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.