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Gottlieb: Tapping into your professional resources

The Durham 500

By Greg Gottlieb

It’s hunting season…Job-hunting season. And with the university’s Spring Career Fair in our hindsight, it seems that the last major extracurricular contribution of our university to its student body this season (and the last one ever to the Class of 2015) has come and gone.

Or has it?

The Career Fair is just one of many things you could be taking advantage of to set you on a path toward immediate postgraduate job placement. For those somehow unaware, you attend a university that has a plethora of valuable systems in place and one which is willing to offer endless resources to you, when it comes to helping you secure a job. You should note, though, that these tools won’t always make themselves known by popping up in your email inbox; sometimes you’re going to have to find them on your own will.

Krystal Hicks, Associate Director of UNH Career Support and Employer Outreach, is passionate about her wishes to see more students taking a more proactive attitude throughout their time at the university.

“Some students think that by graduating and collecting their degree, a job will just fall in their lap with a few clicks of a mouse,” Hicks said. “Unfortunately, the competition is fierce, and while there are a ton of great jobs available to new grads right now, you have to remember that a degree only takes you so far.”

The single fact that there are multiple university offices and several USNH employees whose jobs solely entail assisting UNH students in their search for postgraduate employment should be reason enough to make you want to explore them more intimately (see: “getting what you pay for”).

At the very least, you owe it to yourself to peruse the information provided on the University Advising and Career Center’s — or your major’s — website. There you will find incredibly useful information that will directly aid you in your postgraduate job search. Interview tips, dates of alumni events (which often put you face-to-face with fellow Wildcats looking for job candidates), and real-time job postings on Wildcat Careers (UNH’s invaluable exclusive job-posting portal) are really just the tip of the iceberg. For example, with a few clicks of a mouse on the University Career Center’s website, you’ll run into unimaginable tools like a verb list highlighting “buzz words” for résumés when applying to specific fields and sample “specialized résumés” for everyone from athletes pursuing a career in their collegiate sport to first-year students creating a résumé for the first time.

In the simplest of terms, you go to high school to “prepare for college” and you go to college to “get a job.” So utilize the resources available to you while you can: attend an alumni networking event, schedule a résumé review session, and tune up your personal and professional brands with the help of your university and its advisors.

They say “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And while this might be true to an extent, this adage cannot accurately encapsulate what it takes to succeed in your first-ever job hunt at the professional level, as it discounts the weight of, perhaps, the most important factor of your career candidacy: initiative. Initiative is what sets apart the future assets from the future nuisances to a given organization. Be it journalism, geology, theater, or business, neither your GPA nor network of connections matters most; it is one’s ambition that will get them ahead.​

Greg Gottlieb is a senior hospitality management major who comments on noteworthy topics in the UNH and Durham communities. Follow him on Twitter @gottliebgregory.

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