|Job searchers heading West for better opportunities|
|Written by Sarah McCullough, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 23 August 2009 19:23|
The current economy may not instill hope in many recent college graduates who are competing in an ever-shrinking job market.
"Right now, it’s a tough time. We’re not in ordinary times. The [national] unemployment rate is just below 10 percent. In ordinary times we expect the unemployment rate to be somewhere between 4.5 and 5 percent," Neil Skaggs, interim department chair of the economics department, said.
The national unemployment rate may make students nervous, however Skaggs offers a silver lining to current economic woes.
"The good news is that the economy doesn’t seem to be getting any worse. There has been a slight gain, and we’re rolling toward a better economy in the future," Skaggs said.
According to Skaggs, the consistent opinion among economists is that the economy is leveling out and will start a slight incline in the fall. By the spring, many economists expect the economy to rebound.
Skaggs also predicts that next year will be a strong year for the economy.
"Good economies have a tendency to bounce back from adversity fairly easily," Skaggs said.
Students who have recently graduated, or are planning to graduate soon, may find relief from the current recession in an unlikely place: North Dakota. Despite the recession, North Dakota has vacant job postings as well as a state budget surplus and has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates.
Compared to other states, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at just 4.2 percent. It also has a $1.2 billion budget surplus, according to a MSNBC article.
The state, which boasts more than 9,000 unfilled jobs, held a series of job fairs in other states that have been decimated by the recession, and even hired a talent recruiter to create an inviting Web site to bring in those looking for work.
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, North Dakota’s Gross Domestic Product grew 7.3 percent since 2007.
The same report also stated the state’s economy expanded twice as fast as every other state except Wyoming.
If students are not willing to travel all the way to North Dakota, Suzy Baker Bachman, assistant director of the Career Center, offers many tips students can use if they are looking to get ahead on their job search.
"I think the most critical thing students need to pay close attention to is making sure they are developing the skill sets and abilities employers are looking for, not just working on their major," Baker Bachman said.
She also added that students need to be developing other skills that employers look for the most such as leadership skills, communication and organizational skills, as well as time management and people skills.
Job descriptions list all the qualities an employer wants a candidate to have listed in priority order. According to Baker Bachman, students should review these descriptions and start developing skills to fit the description.
She also added students should be working very hard on their resumes as well.
"Write a quality resume that adequately represents those qualities," Baker vvv said.
The Career Center has many ways to help students grab a job after graduation.
Students can learn how to construct a quality resume and cover letter, develop a job search strategy, research companies students want to work for, offer tips on how to make a great first impression and much more.