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Career Research

Prepare to put your best foot forward with potential employers!

Preparing Yourself for the Current Job Market

The following government websites provide insight into the US job market by location and industry. 

Bureau of Economic Analysis - "Looking for employment data? BEA has employment data designed to fill specific needs, complementing well-known job statistics produced by other federal agencies." 

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics - "NCSES data cover a variety of topics related to the U.S. science and engineering enterprise." Select Workforce to see reports. 

Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture - "Rural Employment and Unemployment: This topic page summarizes recent trends in rural (nonmetropolitan/nonmetro county) versus urban (metropolitan/metro county) labor markets."

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - "Few economic data are as closely watched as measures of employment. The BLS programs listed here provide national totals of the number of employed people and also provide statistics on subjects such as occupational employment and wages, labor demand and turnover, and the dynamic state of the labor market."

Occupational Outlook Handbook: A quick link from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

O*NET - "database includes information on skills, abilities, knowledges, work activities, and interests associated with occupations. This information can be used to facilitate career exploration, vocational counseling, and a variety of human resources functions, such as developing job orders and position descriptions and aligning training with current workplace needs.

Getting Started After (Or Right Before) Graduation

Finding a job fresh out of college is exciting but can also be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you find entry-level positions even in the middle of a pandemic or a recession.

  • Start perfecting your resume and cover letter right away. Get others to review it (RSU Career Services, RSU Libraries, Professors, mentors, etc...)
  • Start building your personal brand using your professional social media presence and join industry-specific professional organizations. (Many offer discount memberships to students still in college. Take advantage of those deals.)
  • Since we are still in a pandemic, understand that virtual and phone interviews are not going away any time soon. If interviews make you nervous the best thing to do is practice. Mock phone and virtual interviews will help you feel more prepared and allow you to refine your answers to possible interview questions. (RSU Career Services and RSU Libraries can help.)
  • Continue building those necessary skills for your field that you did not learn in the classroom. (i.e. skill gaps) There are many ways to build those supplemental and career/job-specific skills from home. (For example, specific computer programs, new methodologies, etc...) Independent continued learning is a big part of building a successful career.
  • Consider taking advantage of volunteer opportunities related to your field or dream career. This is often a great way to network while also enhancing your resume with real-world experience. No, it may not pay in cash immediately, but the benefits of volunteering have far-reaching positive ramifications.
  • Be open and be flexible. While you may not find your dream job right out of college, everything you learn in your first entry-level position will help you as you grow in your career. Remember that you have transferable skills that are relevant to more than just the field you plan to go into. 
  • Put in the time. Applying for jobs is a full-time job if you do it correctly. Don't panic, just be diligent. Utilize all the resources at your disposal; the RSU Career Services Center, RSU Libraries, and your Professors. 

Check out our OverDrive Career Resource Ebook and Audiobook Collection as well. 

Hover over the titles to learn more about each ebook.