Updated: May 1, 2022
By Maxmillian Robinson
Like many seniors, Paritosh Kumar, an Adelphi criminal justice major, is worried about finding his first post-graduation job.
In pursuit of obtaining a career as a lawyer, he has found some assistance from friends and received advice from other people in the field. Yet, the future still looks unclear.
“My concerns about finding a job [to be honest] is the location where the job is and the salary,” Kumar said. “I have been applying on Indeed and other sites to get a job. Also my friends gave me some connections if I ever need a lawyer job.”
He has sent his resume out to law offices, including one where his uncle works. While his ultimate goal is to become a successful lawyer, he is okay with taking entry-level positions, such as paralegal jobs to establish his portfolio.
Kumar isn’t the only one to feel this way. Millions across the country are in the process of graduating from their respective colleges and onto the real world stage. While this time may seem exciting, reality is about to hit. Many are about to graduate without a job and have minimal prior professional experience. With only a few weeks left until commencement, we spoke to experts on Adelphi’s campus who shared advice on landing a job or obtaining a better one.
They said to start with your resume. Laura Black, director of internships in the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, had a lot to say about the appearance of resumes submitted to the hiring manager.
“It’s typically the first impression a company’s recruiter has of a candidate,” she said. “It is important that students have a professional resume that is well-formatted and error-free.”
Furthermore, Black stated that a student’s resume should include the URL for their LinkedIn profile so business professionals can get a deeper sense of the candidate. A new grad’s resume is meant to highlight academic accomplishments, past internships and work experience, skills such as technical and language, plus community service involvement, but a LinkedIn profile can expand on that by giving the candidate the opportunity to give voice to their career goals.
“These help to tell the story of who a candidate is and are often used as the basis for interview questions during the hiring process,” she said.
While LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site that contains a job board, experts suggest that you look into Handshake and Glassdoor, which are first and foremost job search sites. Alumnifire is a networking platform that connects current Adelphi students with alumni, many of whom hold prestigious positions in the workforce.
Your resume is not the only thing that matters. Elaine Boylan of Adelphi’s Center for Career and Professional Development spoke about the power of making connections. With 20 years of experience as a career counselor, she has worn many hats, including running the On-Campus Recruitment Program for the School of Business and College of Arts & Sciences, organizing employer panels for students to interact with industry insiders, coordinating the annual Job Expo, and teaching an internship prep course, initiatives that are designed to foster students’ knowledge of the workplace and the importance of networking.
Elaine Boylan said that networking is the backbone of how most companies hire employees. Photo courtesy of Adelphi University website.
“Up to 75 percent of opportunities are discovered through connections,” she said. “Thus, that is where our students need to devote their time.”
The pandemic has certainly affected this number due to the decrease in social interaction. Students in the last two years have not had as many opportunities to cultivate their in-person networking skills, but that is now changing, due to the pandemic being more under control.
Boylan pointed out that since 2020 many people have decided to switch career tracks. When the Covid-19 outbreak started, many in the hospitality industry, such as hotel and cruise line staff, lost their jobs, spurring some to refocus on a more promising career path such as healthcare.
“No matter your field, a [solid] work ethic really counts,” she continued. “The little things, like responsive email replies, can indicate a commitment to success and underscore the idea that business protocol is primarily good manners and common sense.”
Hundreds of students have had internships or job opportunities with big name companies during their enrollment at Adelphi, some through the successful Jaggar Community Fellows Program, now in its thirteenth year. On the other hand, some students may have had one job at a small company or were president of an on-campus club where they developed leadership skills. In the event that a hiring manager receives both applications, students may wonder if recruiters factor in the attention-getting company name or if the students’ experiences count more.
“Employers are focused on preferred skills rather than lists of work sites,” according to Jonathan Ivanoff, the associate director of Internships with the Career Center.
Jonathan Ivanoff mentions that it would be better to gain more experience at a smaller company than have minimal experience with a big company. Photo courtesy of Adelphi University website.
Boylan agreed. “Employers prefer that skills be demonstrable. The depth of experience and the competencies developed outweigh other factors.”
Knowing that having a good resume and networking are important to landing a good job, there are other things that a student can do to distinguish themselves from others in the job search, according to the experts at Adelphi’s Career Center. Boylan maintained that attending career events, conferences, seminars and every class meeting makes an important difference in not only what you learn, but in how you are perceived.
“The students who are the most successful are, by and large, the ones who are engaged, the ones who show up,” she said. “When you show up, things happen. You meet and interact with new people, who then become familiar to you over time. Trying to reach out to strangers is a harder thing to do.”
She added that the idea of networking isn’t about gaining tons of followers on LinkedIn or Instagram, but about “cultivating relationships which may lead to opportunities down the road. People often talk about being in the right place at the right time. To be in that place, it’s essential that you engage regularly, rather than opting to sit at home behind a computer.”
Boylan said it also helps to show interest in others. “People in your network don't necessarily have to be in your field,” she said. “They could be your neighbor, a person you see in class once a week, your mail delivery person. You may not find out about potential opportunities, or about who knows who, until you start being interested in other people. That’s when things start to happen.”
And there’s good news for seniors.
“Recent headlines announced the good news that companies would be hiring more 2022 grads than they did 2021 grads,” Ivanoff said. “Company hiring is picking up, and they’re looking for fresh new talent to add to their ranks, so the opportunities are certainly out there… if the student is ready.”
But students shouldn’t wait until they’re about to graduate to start focusing on the steps they need to take to look for a job.
“The Center for Career and Professional Development and the Division of Student Affairs strongly encourages students to engage in the various career-building experiences (on/off campus employment, internships, leadership positions in clubs and organizations, etc.) available to them throughout their time at Adelphi University,” said Thomas J. Ward, Jr., assistant vice president for career development and strategic partnerships. “These experiences can help students develop skill sets and assist in clarifying their personal and professional interests.”
Students looking for career advice should visit Adelphi’s Center for Career and Professional Development, located in room 200 inside of the Nexus building. Here, you can receive free help on structuring your resume, including mock interview assistance.