Career Services for Parents: What if Your Graduating Student Doesn’t Have a Job?

Career Services

Congratulations on supporting your child from First Collection through graduation from Swarthmore. That's no easy feat! If you're worried about what comes next, don't be. Somewhat less than half of Swarthmore seniors typically secure employment by graduation day, while another one-fifth intend to go immediately to graduate or professional school.  But whether your child hasn't begun the job search or has had disappointing results so far, there are outstanding resources at his or her disposal.  Here's some advice that may help you support your student through the job search process.

Even though your child is leaving campus, he can still call upon Career Services to assist with this transition and to help him throughout his career. Our trained counselors are available for phone appointments to review resumes and cover letters, prepare for an interview, or to help your student identify his skills and abilities relative to the opportunities that exist.

In addition to talking with our counselors, your child continues to have access to our own online listing of available jobs. Currently we have well over 100 positions in the database. But that is not the only source of opportunities; many available positions (some say up to 80 per cent) are found in the so-called "hidden market." Candidates learn about these positions through the people in their circles, and one of those biggest circles is the Swarthmore alumni network.

Alumni can be excellent resources for job seekers. Whether your student wants to learn more about a field or a particular company or is applying for a specific position, alumni can provide important information and preparation. Career Services can advise your student on how to reach out to fellow alumni as well as identifying potential alumni to contact. Although many Swatties are shy about reaching out to individuals who can aid them in the job search, now is the time for your newly minted Swarthmore graduate to tell everyone what sort of position she is seeking. 

It's true that the longer a person is unemployed, the harder it can be to obtain that first job. To that end, if your child is able to volunteer in his field of interest, he will be demonstrating initiative while gaining experience to add to his resume, all of which may possibly lead to a full-time position. Nor is it unusual for recent graduates to accept internships after graduation and be offered a full-time position at the end of their experience; the organization they're interning for may use internships to assess whether potential employees are a good fit. Furthermore, a part-time job can give your child the opportunity to make some money as well as providing an opportunity for her to gain workplace skills and avoid a post-graduation resume gap.

Encourage your new graduate to reach out to Career Services. We are available Monday through Friday.  (Yes, even in the summer!)