Job hunt challenging in competitive jungle


Photo credit: Taylor Sinclair

Finding a job in a college town is not only challenging, but competitive. The Career Planning and Placement Office provides many opportunities to help students get those jobs over competitors and rise above the rest.

The Career Center offers seminars on how to find a part-time job in Chico. At these seminars, students learn how to get their foot in the door and what they are potentially doing wrong when applying to jobs.

Along with seminars, the Career Center offers resume review sessions 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. At these sessions, students’ resumes are thoroughly reviewed by a faculty member. One faculty member who assists students at these sessions is Steve Irving, coordinator of the Student Employment Office.

“I talk with students about job search techniques: things they want to include as a part of their process and things they want to avoid,” said Irving.

The process of applying for jobs has changed due to the advancement of technology. Depending on the company or corporation, a large amount of businesses put applications on their company website.

Filling out an application can take roughly 20 minutes. In addition to this, future employees may have to answer long questionnaires that include questions concerning yourself and past work experiences. These questionnaires can take up to almost 45 minutes.

“We do require that companies be very clear when they are using the student employment center as a means to recruit for their positions and to be very clear on their instructions on how to apply,” Irving said. “We’ve got anywhere from online questionnaires to standard email resumes or standard applications, but that is always a requirement.”

When looking for a job, there’s the old-fashioned way of walking into businesses with a resume ready in hand or searching for openings on the internet by using Craigslist, JobCat or Chico Jobs.

Chico State students have the opportunity to use JobCat, the Career Center’s online job and internship search engine. On JobCat, students can upload their resumes and cover letters to an online profile. They then can search for jobs or internships that fit their needs, whether it’s for a part-time job or a paid internship.

“Be very active in the job search process,” Irving said. “What I mean by active is use all your resources. Some students may use Craigslist, some may use JobCat or word-of-mouth. All of those are good techniques to find out where the job opportunities are and often lead to success.”

Taylor Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or @TaySinclair17 on Twitter.