Examiner.com (NYC): “University Students Are Graduating But What Do Employers Want?”

Even as the economy is slowly shifting towards the positive, graduating students still face many obstacles in obtaining employment. So how are colleges preparing their students for the job market?

Pace University  is ranked as one of the best universities to attend by US News in their 2011 Best Colleges edition.  

Maxine Sugarman, the Director of Career Services on Pace’s New York City Campus, shares with the Examiner.com how she and her team are preparing graduating seniors and graduate students to be interview-ready for potential employers.

Q: How does Pace University’s career center prepare your up-and-coming graduates for 2011’s competitive job market?

Ms. Sugarman: “We offer more opportunities for students to practice their interview techniques. We offer a ‘Mock Interview Day’ for volunteer recruiters to come to campus and individually interview our students. The recruiters and our career services team share constructive feedback with students and recommend Interview Workshops throughout the academic year. We also increased our efforts to provide video recordings of mock interview sessions between the student and interviewer. This provides students the ability to review the recorded session with their career counselor to focus on improving their delivery of interview answers [and body language]. We have also increased our partnerships with pre-professional student organizations to bring more recruiters on campus so that the students can network with recruiters at earlier stages in their college careers.”

Q: What are some important things graduating students should focus on in their job search?

Ms. Sugarman:“Analyze each job description and focus on selling yourself with the specific skills sets that each job description is requiring. Realize that one size does not fit all; meaning you have to customize each resume and cover letter sent out to the specific job. Learn how to brand yourself and how to network effectively. Our career center has created a LinkedIn mentoring program for business students to connect with Pace alumni who also majored in a business discipline. Networking is more critical than ever in order to uncover leads to job openings.”

Q: As the Director of a prestigious university, what are potential employers sharing with you of the type of graduates they are seeking to hire?

Ms. Sugarman: “Employers have always sought professionally prepared graduates. However, now more than ever employers want graduates who have excelled in the classroom and outside of the classroom. This means the graduate who has internships, extracurricular activities that promote leadership skills and/or has gained experience through volunteering will be a very attractive candidate to potential employers.”