Looking to Land Your First Job? Turn to Career Services to Find Success

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to those soon-to-be Syracuse University graduates who are searching for their first professional jobs after graduating.

With Commencement rapidly approaching, it’s only natural for members of the Class of 2024 to feel anxious if they don’t have a job lined up yet. But instead of feeling uncertain, Adam Capozzi, the University’s director of career services, assessment and student success, recommends students exercise patience and focus on identifying opportunities that resonate with their passions to help advance their job searches

Two students meet with an employer to discuss potential job opportunities.

Career services offers a variety of resources available to help students at every step of their job search.

A man smiles while posing for a headshot.

Adam Capozzi

“The important thing is there are resources here to help with your job search,” Capozzi says. “Or maybe you don’t know if you want to go into the workforce. Maybe you want to continue your education, maybe you want to take on an internship or go into volunteer work, or maybe you even want to take a gap year. Figure out what you’re passionate about and a lot of that will be figured out within six months of graduating.”

Career Services annually conducts a survey where soon-to-be graduates provide information on their plans after Commencement, including whether they had accepted a job, enrolled in graduate school, joined the military or took on a volunteer or service program. According to the most recent data available, for the Class of 2023, only 8% of respondents were still searching six months after graduating.

It’s easy for students to access job and internship-based resources on the newly launched career services website, which features relevant content and information, including links to central and individual school/college Career Center websites, upcoming career services events, ways to build and enhance career skills, and more.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the following resources:

  • Handshake, the University’s centralized career management tool that allows students the ability to schedule career advising appointments, apply for internships and professional employment, explore career fairs and professional development events, as well as connect with over 300,000 employers and continuing education institutions, including Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and alumni;
  • VMock, a resume review platform intended to help your resume standout;
  • Big Interview, where students learn about the job interview process while practicing their interviewing skills with school and college career advisors or the Career Services team; and
  • LinkedIn Learning, which connects students with free access to more than 16,000 online courses taught by industry experts.
A student meets with a hiring manager.

When applying for jobs, one best practice for students is to tailor their resume and cover letter to match the specifications of each opening.

Among some of Capozzi’s favorite tips and pointers for students:

  • No matter how many jobs you’re applying for, tailor your resume and cover letter to match the specifications of each opening. With more companies relying on artificial intelligence to filter through resumes, incorporating certain keywords from the job description can help candidates stand out from the crowd.
  • Don’t burn bridges when networking, especially when it comes to cold outreach.
  • Identify your interests and skills to figure out what really excites you in a job.
  • Have faith in your talents and abilities, and never downplay your experiences.

Capozzi sat down with SU News to share how the University can help advance your career, explain the best practices when it comes to asking for a job reference or recommendation and discuss the impactful role immersion programs play in setting students up for professional success.

By John Boccacino
John Boccacino