As graduation approaches, pressures to establish a well-planned career can soon become overwhelming.

Whether you have a job already lined up or not, it’s important to feel confident about job opportunities and available resources.

The Missouri State University Career Center offers students helpful services to relieve stress and concerns about finding the right job upon graduation. Students can practice for the “real world” through mock interviews, career fairs and resume building workshops.

Mike Wood, assistant director of the Career Center, helps students through the job searching process.

“Students have free access to our services as alumni, so students can rest assured they still have support available following graduation for all career-related needs,” Wood said.

The JobTracks system through the career center website lists current part and full-time positions, including internships.

Part of the preparation for job hunting is researching employers, geographical locations and career requirements.

Job shadowing can provide an immersive experience into the day-to-day life of a certain career, which can be informative and eye-opening.

Building and maintaining a strong resume will keep you organized for possible employment opportunities, as this is the first impression you make on employers.

The resume should be targeted towards the specific position you are applying for and list your skills, abilities, education and prior experience.

“My main advice is avoid templates,” Wood said. “Employers don’t like them, and although at first glance it might seem easier, it usually creates more work for the student because of the limited ability to format and make changes to the document.”

A portfolio also stands out as a demonstration of your skills and abilities in your work samples. It gives employers a deeper look into your qualifications and experience.

Some of the basic prospects to consider when finding a suitable job pertains to your personal objectives and qualifications. Assess what your skills, abilities, interests and values are when determining whether a position is the right fit for you.

Although it may be difficult to be selective when job searching, the interview is crucial for both the employer and the potential employee.

“Remember, the interview is a two-way process — you want to be sure you want to work there, and that the position aligns well with your skills, knowledge, and experience,” Wood said.

Consider the salary and benefits of a prospective job, too.

Some employers may be willing to negotiate on certain points, such as salary, work schedule and retirement benefits.

Be professional and confident. Come to the interview with proper dress, essential documents and questions in mind for the employer. Anticipate what the interviewer might ask you about yourself and your goals.

All in all, find a job you will enjoy and prosper at with a company you appreciate.

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