By now, most of the colleges and universities in our area have had their graduation ceremonies. That means thousands of young people entering the workforce, at least that's the hope. But it’s not always that easy. So, 5 On Your Side found the tools grads need to land that first job
"It’s just stressful. Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going to end up," said Della Almind.
Thankfully Almind and her boyfriend Vasif Durarbayli have a little more time to figure things out.
She's a super senior studying education and Spanish and he's a graduate student working on his finance degree.
They met at Webster University and will graduate next year, so the planning has already begun.
Almind said, "Nothing is so certain you know, like we were talking about where were going to live or who's going to work where. We have different fields completely so that makes it more difficult as well."
The good news for recent grads is the job market is looking up.
"What we see now is that the employment outlook has improved dramatically so our employment rate is at a 10 year low," said Dr. Simone Cummings.
Dr. Cummings is Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business at Webster University.
"There are a lot of opportunities out there for students right now," she said.
The key is knowing what you want before you walk across that stage.
"Those 4 years are going to go really quickly and when they do we want our students to be ready," said Dr. Cummings.
So how can you be ready? Be sure to get experience in your field before you graduate.
"An unpaid internship can lead to full-time employment," she said.
Be sure to network, network, network. Never be afraid to ask for help.
"What we recommend is that students join professional organizations, they use LinkedIn, they connect with our alumni network," she explained.
Resumes are still important, but they need to stand out.
Dr. Cummings says put the title of the job you're applying for right at the top of your resume. Then, use a keyword box to show prospective employers right off the bat that you have the skills and experience for that specific position. Research the position to know what they’re looking for.
"The ultimate objective is to get in front of a hiring manager," said Dr. Cummings.
Almind and Durarbayli have already done most of these things through internships and side-jobs to build their expertise.
"Each thing has given me more skills and tools to prepare me for my real job," said Almind.
Their advice for other college grads.
"I would say don't want until the last minute," laughed Durarbayli.