Most students begin their college years without thinking about the search for employment that comes at the end. Most colleges do not give much thought to it either. Too many students and colleges think that the employment search begins in the senior year. However, that is not correct.

It takes a great deal of time to select a career direction and a major, research the jobs that follow naturally, satisfactorily perform the academic and experiential requirements, obtain some job-related work experience, identify and research potential employers, determine their hiring requirements, strive to meet or exceed those requirements, learn about job search techniques and tools, practice interviewing skills, prepare an outstanding resume and sales letter, obtain strong references, conduct a comprehensive job search, take on-campus interviews and schedule off-campus interviews. Any student who does not recognize the complexity of those requirements and the time involved is badly underestimating the challenge. That is why the best colleges do everything possible to help students with their employment planning and preparation activities.

To determine how much your college is concerned about your employment success, answer these eight questions.

1. Based on what you see, hear and experience, how much does it concern your college leaders that well qualified college seniors and recent graduates are having so much difficulty finding and landing good paying jobs that have career potential? Circle the number that best represents the degree of concern demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Concern 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Concern

2. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into helping students develop a semester-by-semester employment activity plan? Without a plan, few students will know what to do and when to do those things. Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

3. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into helping students learn how to conduct an effective senior year job search? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

4. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into helping students learn how to interview more effectively? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

5. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into coaching students throughout the entire job search preparation process, beginning with the freshman year? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

6. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into teaching students what employers want and expect from the best candidates? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

7. Based on the results you see and experience, how much effort does your college put into helping students identify employment opportunities? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

8. Based on the results you see, hear and experience, how much effort does your college put into finding and implementing better tools and systems that can improve student employment success of students? Circle the number that best represents the current effort demonstrated by your college leaders.

Very Low Effort 1 2 3 4 5 Very High Effort

Add Up Your Total Points: ________

If your total score is 28 points or higher, your college is making a good effort to assist students with their search for employment. High scores indicate great concern on the part of your college. Low scores indicate little concern.

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital. — Joe Paterno

New tools like The Job Identification MachineĀ™ and The Job Search Preparation System are now available to colleges. Other tools are being developed every day. Since students and parents have a voice, they can use that voice to express their needs, wants and concerns. The best college leaders will listen to and address legitimate concerns.