Not too long ago the nuts and bolts of a job search were pretty simple: browse some job postings, find one you like, and send a cover letter along with a well-crafted resume. It might not work every time but sooner or later that process would most likely land you a job.
Not any more. The landscape is more competitive than ever and many desirable jobs are filled before they’re advertised.
The new nuts and bolts of a job search are quite different and not something that can be completed in few days or even weeks. To be successful you need a combination of abilities and experiences that are cultivated over time. Employers want to see that you can:
- Speak professionally; express thoughts and ideas
- Work effectively in teams
- Handle challenges to your way of thinking
You might be saying, “those aren’t revolutionary” and you’d be right. The difference is that these abilities are no longer enough to win you the job; now, you need them just to compete.
At Wofford, we’re already teaching the new nuts and bolts. Our students are put through their academic paces by our outstanding faculty and develop an incredible capacity to think critically, analyze situations, and apply knowledge to solve problems.
The Space provides additional programs and a platform for students to demonstrate their abilities. Last week students in our Impact and Launch programs showed that they’ve got the new nuts and bolts down cold. Ten students/teams competed in the finals of our Impact and Launch Competition where they pitched (speak professionally) their projects and businesses (work effectively in teams, execute) to a panel of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs (handle challenges to their way of thinking, network) in front of a BIG audience (perform). And these are robust projects and companies. They’ve been in development for quite some time and have required tenacity and (hustle) to get to this point.
Our Impact and Launch programs are just two of the ways we provide The Space for students to develop professionally. We show students how to develop and implement a career search strategy versus a job hunt. We have concentrated programs like The Sophomore Experience and The Institute where students can learn and practice the new nuts and bolts. We provide The Space to Consult where students demonstrate their advanced analytical thinking, problem solving and project management skills to executives in real-world situations.
Our Impact and Launch students aren’t the only examples of Wofford’s professional development philosophy at work. Every day, someone on my team hears from another graduating senior about a terrific job he landed. Or from a student who got the internship she wanted. We hear about acceptance to graduate schools. And sometimes we hear about failures. We recently worked with a student who didn’t get into dental school. Instead of giving up, he came to The Space, hustled to create a Plan B, networked to get an interview and then worked incredibly hard on his presentations skills. The end result? He got an outstanding job with a great company.
What do you think about the new job search nuts and bolts? I’d like to know your thoughts about what it takes to successfully land a job these days.