Less than one week after Commencement, approximately 50 USC graduates found themselves back on campus taking copious notes on how to land their first jobs after college.
On May 17, the USC Career Center hosted “Jump-Start Your Job Search,” a daylong series of workshops for graduates who either completed their studies last December or in May, or who will complete them this August. The five workshops focused on cover letters, résumés, interviewing skills, branding, self-assessment and job-offer negotiation.
“The goal of the workshops is to help students who have just graduated from college learn the whole career development process and get a crash course in getting ready for the job market,” explained David Ginchansky, a counselor at the Career Center.
A diverse group of employers, including two USC alumni, led the hour-long workshops.
“In the past, the career counselors have done the workshops, and we would have a panel of employers,” said Ginchansky. “This year, we tried something new by having employers lead the workshops.”
Sara Gunther, a 2005 USC graduate, gave attendees step-by-step instructions on how to craft résumés and cover letters. She advised them to use action verbs when describing work experience and to list skills and accomplishments rather than job duties.
“A résumé is not a place to vomit your life story — it should be no longer than one page,” said Gunther, who works in recruitment for an entertainment company.
Recent graduate Justin Ng said that he attended the workshops because his job search hasn’t been very fruitful.
“I have an offer right now for a full-time internship, and I feel like a lot of companies only want to hire temps or people who are able to work without benefits,” said Ng, a communications major who hopes to find a marketing job in the media or entertainment industries. “So I want to explore other options, and I’m trying to learn more about branding myself.”
As a student, Cathy Liu was too busy with school to take advantage of the USC Career Center. Now that she’s graduated, she is utilizing its alumni services.
“I saw a list of employers coming to this workshop, and they’re from very established companies,” said Liu, a business administration major. “I’m looking to learn and maybe network.”
The USC Career Center, part of the Division of Student Affairs, hosts events throughout the year, including the Career Fair, Career Fest, Internship Week, programs for alumni and mentoring programs for first-generation college students.