Networking key to job search

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nearly 900 Minnesota college graduates surveyed by the Career Services Center at St. Cloud State University have some helpful advice for job seekers: Start your search early, intern whenever possible and network, network, network.

Of those surveyed, 73 percent said they started their job search prior to graduation. Of those, a quarter were offered jobs and nearly 20 percent accepted those offers, said Andy Ditlevson, associate director of St. Cloud State’s Career Services Center.

Of those students who started their search a full nine months before graduation, 57 percent had a job offer compared with only 11 percent who received offers when starting their search only a month before graduation.

More than 40 percent of the respondents who started their job search between six to nine months before graduation received job offers. Those numbers declined to 27 percent receiving offers while starting their search four to six months before graduation and 22 percent receiving offers with a two to three-month job search.

Of the respondents who were offered jobs, nearly 57 percent said they located their job through networking.

Not surprisingly networking is by far and away the most successful job search method,” Ditlevson said. “Unfortunately, today’s students tend to spend most of their (job search) time searching online.”

The graduating seniors also saw the value of internships as 59 percent of successful job seekers reported to have done an internship and 22 percent said they found their full-time job through their internship.

More about the survey: The “senior survey” was conducted in April and coordinated by Andy Ditlevson, associate director of St. Cloud State’s Career Services Center. Seven Minnesota colleges participated in the study: St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Winona State University, Metropolitan State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, Bemidji State University and Gustavus Adolphus College. 

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