‘Fear Factor’ helps students frightened by job search process

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Tanika Ely

Playing off of a popular reality show, several University career offices held “Job Search Fear Factor” at the Illini Union on Tuesday afternoon. Students could visit any of 15 booths and speak to representatives of various colleges.

The event was held during the last week of job recruiting for students graduating in December, said Mary Yeazel, office manager for engineering career services.

“Students are starting to get scared,” Yeazel said. “And one way we can help them is by providing resources.”

Yeazel explained that some students do not focus on the job market until a few months before graduation because they are preoccupied with classes and graduation arrangements.

Brandon Bute, assistant director of the Career Center, said students should not wait until the last minute to begin looking for employment.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“The job-search process should begin between six months to one year before a student graduates,” he said.

To help students either begin or continue to prepare for a career, faculty members offered on-site resume reviews, recruiter and alumni contacts, career advising and interviewing tips. There was also a demonstration on how to search the Career Center’s job database, which has about two million company contacts, said Lois Meerdink, assistant dean for the college of business.

The availability of resources was helpful to Hazel Ho, a senior in business graduating in December.

“It helps to prepare students before graduation,” she said.

Although Ho said she has several interviews lined up, she was mostly interested in the networking opportunities the fair provided.

Bute said students should be proactive in talking to family, friends and alumni about their own job experiences. Students can become aware of new opportunities by simply asking for advice.

“Networking can open a lot of doors,” Bute said. “And students don’t network enough.”

Bute added that as students begin to apply for jobs, resumes are often essential in displaying skills for potential employers. Resumes are the most important tool in the job search process, he said.

Representatives were not just assisting students with their job search needs, but financial advice was given as well. Kathryn Sweedler, University extension assistant, said young people should know about the importance of saving for retirement.

“It’s not something young people usually think about,” Sweedler said. “But it’s a different world now than when their parents started to work.”

She explained that it is important for students to begin saving when they get their first job, because complications may arise for people who wait until a later age to begin saving.

Some graduates in particular may have trouble finding their first job. Students in computer sciences, engineering or those graduating from MBA programs may have difficulty in finding a job, according to the 2003-2004 Michigan State University’s national college employment survey.

Whatever the situation, Bute said students should continue to search for a job, even if it means taking a temporary position.

“Students shouldn’t downplay themselves or their experiences,” he said. “Be patient and keep looking.”