Services and advice to jump-start your career

If you are graduating this year, you are probably about to embark on the next phase of life as a professional in a new career.

Portland State’s office of Advising and Career Services wants to make sure students are as prepared as possible for this transition, but in order to do so, students need to take advantage of the offerings from ACS.

There are workshops, events, and classes designed to help students prepare for the job hunt. Current students can find resources for planning and reaching goals on D2L. Online offerings from ACS have recently been expanded with pages for example resumes, cover letters, and job and internship videos. Videos are available on the ACS website or on Facebook.

I contacted Greg Flores, associate director of Career Services, for insight on what students can do to make the transition easier. I wanted to know, what would help most students take some stress out of the job hunt? Flores said that students can make the job search easier and less stressful by asking for help and including other people. Career counselors at ACS can help students develop a job search strategy, create resumes and cover letters, and prepare for interviews in order to make students more comfortable and confident when they begin their search.

As far as soft skills go, LinkedIn data developed a list of the most desirable and least desirable soft skills for employees based on job hoppers. Five of the top ten desirable skills involved interpersonal interaction, friendliness, and communication. Necessary soft skills vary from employer to employer, but job-seeking students should familiarize themselves with these skills to keep up with their competition and find ways to surpass them.

For job searching, Flores thinks the most important soft skill is the “ability to adjust your plans to make the most of a new opportunity, and the mindset to be looking for ways to improve, ways to create new value and meaning can with maneuvering the changing landscape expectations and realities of the world of work.”

ACS has a considerable amount of information available online through its website. Flores said career websites and job boards see the most visitors in the middle of the night, and if students are up late at night stressing about the job hunt, visit to review the “For Students” section for resources related to the job search.

In addition to services to prepare students for the job search, the school also provides resources that connect students and potential employers.

PSU recently switched over to a new job search utility, Handshake, which hosts job postings and events. Handshake provides students with a platform to share their resume and college experience with employers and seek out and apply for positions they find appealing at companies all over the world.

Start preparing for the job search now. To get started, review the ACS website, schedule an appointment with an adviser, or stop by the drop-in hours.