Roughly 25 percent of students will be graduating in May, sending yet another class of UNH graduates into the real world.

Most students spend thousands of dollars and log countless hours both in and out of the classroom to earn a degree, so expecting some kind of payoff is justified. Although some students will head off to pursue various graduate degrees, many will head into the workforce and begin applying for jobs.

Fortunately, UNH provides students with a number of services to help them land that elusive first job after graduation through the Advising and Career Center. The center makes its home in an old, brick building between the MUB and Ham Smith that many students likely pass by without so much as looking twice: Hood House. That’s right, there’s a building with an entire center dedicated to helping us students find employment, and it’s worth checking out.

Except on days when a graduate school or career fair is being held, the center hosts a free walk-in workshop in Hood House Room 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. Topics covered at these workshops include “LinkedIn 101,” “Interview Prep,” “Internships and Job Shadowing,” and “Starting Your Resume,” among others. As the center’s website points out, each event is scheduled so that even if a student only has availability from 1 to 2 p.m. once a week, he or she could still attend every topic covered over the course of several weeks. It would behoove every student searching for a job to attend at least one of these workshops.

On Oct. 7, the center hosted a career and internship fair in the Whittemore Center from 12 to 4 p.m. with more than 160 employers present. This fair provided students with the opportunity to expand their network through shaking hands and distributing resumes.

That dream job almost certainly isn’t going to appear on its own. In fact, building an impeccable resume begins long before senior year starts. It’s awfully difficult to raise a sub-par grade point average after completing two years of college. Moreover, identifying potential references and forming that connection that leads to handshakes, an interview, and ultimately an offer of employment is vital to the process.

Off campus, these references are bosses, internship supervisors and anyone who can attest the attributes employers are curious about that don’t appear on resumes. These include concrete things like timeliness, reliability, accountability as well as abstract characteristics like passion, drive, motivation and charisma. On campus, educators prove to be our greatest resource. They can speak to our abilities in the classroom and provide us with connections they have made while working jobs in various fields before UNH, and at the institutions where they earned their degree(s).

It’s important to realize that graduation creeps up quickly; just ask anyone from the class of 2015. For underclassmen, getting a jump on the competition will prove beneficial in the process of finding a job. For seniors, skipping dollar drink night to work on that resume probably won’t hurt. Actually, check that, it definitely won’t.