College Hiring Outlook Highest in Nearly 10 Years, According to CareerBuilder Survey

Excerp from the Morningstar article regarding Hiring Outlook for Recent Grads….


The New Graduate’s Guide to Job Searching – adapted from

If you want to land a full-time gig so you won’t have to move back in with mom and dad, try following these tips for a successful first-time job search:

Check out your school’s career services office: Career Services offices typically are little used by students, except as a place to meet recruiters for interviews. But they have much more to offer, including research materials, advice on job training and connections to local companies.  Note:  That’s US!  The Portfolio Center!

Join a company’s talent network: Talent networks keep you automatically informed of new positions opening up that may be a fit for your skills and interests.  Make sure you have a Talent Pool Profile completed.

Make social a priority: Follow companies you like on social media and engage with them. Consider starting a blog that is related to your career interests.

While on social channels, make sure you clean up your own digital dirt. Nothing is truly private on the Web, and it would be a shame to miss out on a job opportunity because of some embarrassing photos from years ago. Also make sure your profile is relevant. Think through the eyes of a recruiter and keep your employment history and education updated.

Join professional associations: Look for local chapters of professional associations dedicated to the occupations and areas in which you majored or completed studies. Not only are professional associations a great networking opportunity, they may also have an exclusive job posting board or a directory of member companies you can access. Most associations also offer student discounts or discounts for the unemployed.  Find yours under the Career Research Pages on the Portfolio Center Website.

Stay connected with alumni: Find your alma mater’s local alumni association and join it. Use your alumni network to gain information or access to hiring managers in departments of your target companies to give you the widest reach. Hint: Columbia’s LinkedIN networks. Also join the Columbia College Chicago Alumni group.

Keep your eye on job boards: Job boards have opportunities for all experience levels, including recent grads, and if you’re serious about landing a good job, you need to dedicate time to the search. Make a list of the locations and companies where you’d like to work. Then expand your search to include other related job titles in those companies and locations.  Use ColumbiaWorks, and follow the Portfolio Center on Facebook & Twitter so you don’t miss any job postings!

Attend job-hunting events: Even if you do not see any specific employers that excite you in an upcoming career fair on campus, attend it anyway — to practice your elevator speech and gain confidence in speaking with recruiters. A career fair may also lend itself to developing additional networking contacts.

Lastly, make sure your RESUME(s) and WEBSITE showcase your capabilities! Websites should be easy to navigate and narrate each project with 3-5 sentences about what it entailed and your role in the project (if it was a collaboration.) 

Practice Interviewing with INTERVIEWSTREAM.  This is a free service to help you see and hear how you present yourself across the table from a potential employer or client!  Students who have used it told us it really helped!

Additional help can be found on our One-On-One page.  The Portfolio Center wants you to feel prepared and confident prior to graduation so you can  go out and live what you love.