On May 17, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation will be providing a job training titled From College to Career: How to get a great first job. This event will be located at Bear Tooth Theater-pub from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. with a $3 entry fee. This will be one of AEDC’s “Job Skills Boot Camps” that will be put on throughout Anchorage to help prepare recent graduates apply and interview for their first jobs. At this event, individuals will learn how to build a noticeable resume, find jobs that aren’t advertised and how to network.
“The College to Career event is geared specifically to recent college graduates to help them find a job right out of college that helps fulfill their career goals,” Moira Sullivan, Live. Work. Play. director at AEDC, said. “We’ve been putting together a curriculum specific to college graduates and lining up presenters from the business community, many of whom are hiring managers or HR directors and can speak directly to what they look for in candidates.”
Many graduates have the technical skills that they have learned throughout college. However, the College to Career training will focus on soft skills and professionalism. They will not only help individuals to pursue a job but be successful in that job.
“There will be five different modules, presented by business leaders in Anchorage, covering everything from effective networking, how to use your LinkedIn profile to get you interviews and jobs, best practices for resume writing that will get you past an automated screen, interview etiquette, and tips to impress your boss and colleagues in your first weeks on the job, putting you in place to be successful and get promotions and raises,” Sullivan said.
When Sullivan graduated college, she faced many problems when looking for a job. She was given the same excuse most jobs give, that they were looking for three to five years of experience. This inspired her to start these trainings for graduates.
“As LWP Director, I wanted AEDC to put on this College to Career event this year so that other Anchorage grads would have advantages in entering the job market that allows them to get jobs they might otherwise be turned down for, and learn about opportunities that they might not know about. I don’t want our recent grads to have the same experience I did in job hunting here in Anchorage,” Sullivan said.
The College to Career training hopes to help these graduates find a job in town to prevent discouraged individuals from leaving the state.
“When college grads like me feel defeated looking for jobs in Anchorage, they’re likely to leave the state and find a job elsewhere — and as a city, we simply can’t continue to ship out our brightest young people to the Lower 48 where they create economic opportunities for other communities and not ours. Helping graduates find the jobs they want after college is critical to reducing brain drain,” Sullivan said.
Students are eager to attend this event and excited to take away what they will learn from the training and apply it in the future. Many students do not have the experience in searching for a career and are often intimidated about what comes after college.
“My whole life I’ve been a student, so I feel like when I graduate I am not going to know what to do next,” Madi Burgess, health science major, said. “I think this is an awesome event because hopefully it will show students that there are things future employers are looking for and that it doesn’t have to be as scary as we think it’s going to be.”
Many of the skills that will be taught at this event are ones that employers look for in applicants. With fresh minds out of college, they believe this training will go hand in hand with their hunger to succeed.
“This training would benefit students by helping to equip them with some of the soft skills that employers say that potential employees often lack,” Sean Carpenter, communications director at AEDC, said. “Because there is no one stop resource for this type of training and searching online can provide mixed results, we thought that offering this training would help compliment the knowledge that students come away with when they graduate.”
This event highlights the fact that there are various job opportunities, it’s just a matter of how they are approached.
“I think the most important thing students and graduates will take away from this event is that there are great jobs in Anchorage for recent graduates, and that while the system for finding those job leads, getting interviews and offers at great companies can be complicated and sometimes unfair, there are ways to play the game to give yourself maximum advantage,” Sullivan said.
From College to Career is part of AEDC’s push to offer free and inexpensive job skills seminars for Anchorage community members. College graduates are encouraged to attend, but the training is open to the public.