Lakewood, N.J., May 21, 2015—Kathleen Brady, director of career development at Georgian Court University, has published several books, including Get a Job! 10 Steps to Career Success (Motivational Press, 2015). She has shared her expertise on CNN, CBS, NPR, Fox News and various radio stations across the country, so we asked her a few questions of our own! Her answers are below.
Career Services and the Undergraduate Job Search
What changes would you like to see in the higher education career services landscape?
Kathleen Brady: Career Services needs to be more integrated into the fabric of the academic side of the house. We need to help students understand that the choices they make today will have an impact on their future selves. To do this career services needs to go where the students are. We can put on programs for students, but if they’re not coming, it’s pointless. At Georgian Court University, faculty invite me to their classes. We’re also offering 1-credit courses around some career issues that students have.
Should job placement numbers be very important when selecting a college?
Kathleen Brady: Parents ask about job placement numbers a lot, but I don’t think this is the right question. It’s more important to ask what career services is doing to help the students get jobs. At Georgian Court, we focus on those life skills that they can take with them, as opposed to doing an on-campus interview program where they walk out with a job that isn’t right for them. We want to send them off for a career, not just a job.
Does technology help or hinder jobseekers?
Kathleen Brady: Technology makes it easier to monitor the market. You can enter search terms and come up with many job postings, search job boards targeted to your area, and get a good idea of what is going on from Facebook and Twitter. Technology can be a curse because too much information can be be overwhelming. Jobseekers don’t know where to start and so it paralyses them. Understanding the technology and using it to your advantage is the key to all of this right now.
What is the biggest thing students need to look out for when using technology?
Kathleen Brady: The biggest mistake college graduates can make with technology is to try to use it to replace personal relationships. Instead, they should use all resources in tandem. If they find a job on a job board that they like, they should go to LinkedIn to see if they know anyone who works at that company. Then they should pick up the phone or send an e-mail to that person to ask if they’d be comfortable introducing them to the hiring manager.
How should new graduates deal with their lack of job experience?
Kathleen Brady: Rather than say “I have no experience,” which is how most college graduates start, we advise students to look at their academic career as experience. They should talk about the special knowledge that they gained in specific courses, or talk about the leadership skills they developed through clubs and activities. Any job that you had before graduation can show that you can hold down a job, that you’re responsible, and that you have good time management skills. It’s all in the way you tell the story.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and an historic, special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,300 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and more than 10 graduate programs. The main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also serves students at New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.