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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

In slumping economy, students seek job aid

A quiet murmur pervaded Collis Commonground yesterday, as students feeling the painful, real effects of an ongoing nationwide financial slump presented their resumes to Career Services counselors for review.

The advice session was advertised as a response to the overwhelming demand for resume and cover letter assistance that Career Services has seen in recent weeks, the office's employees said, but for students, the reasons for this spike can be attributed to a different factor: a serious lack of jobs, for undergraduates in particular.

Career Services Director Skip Sturman, on the other hand, linked the recent upsurge in resume help requests to current round of corporate recruiting.

"Students are deadline-driven," Sturman said, noting that on-campus interviews scheduled with recruiters may have made some students aware that application deadlines for next year are fast approaching -- and that if they don't get a job soon, they might not get one at all.

Indeed, the national unemployment level hit its highest level in nine years in May at 6.1 percent, and despite a slight upward turn in a formerly stagnant economy, the job market has not seen a similar improvement. A report recently released by the National League of Cities found that teenagers faced the hardest summer job market in nearly 40 years this summer.

And although many of the internships students for which are looking will take place during junior-year off-terms when presumably the competition will not be as fierce, many are concerned about the following summer -- and beyond.

"The sooner the better, in terms of planning your career path," counselor Johanna Willer '04 cautioned the approximately 30 students who attended Monday and Tuesday's information sessions. Willer and the other five counselors participating gave attendees both critiques of their resume and cover letter drafts and answers to quick questions, such as how to look for jobs online.

"For your off-term, law school, medical school -- graduate school in general, [the office is] very helpful in helping you get on track," she said.

Also important to job searches, Willer said, is the Dartmouth name, noting that in a bad economy, the College's strong alumni network is more useful than ever.