Colleges absolutely should prepare students for the job search - and smart colleges do just that!
At Bentley University (business university in the Boston area), preparing for the job search begins freshman year, with a required, credit-bearing full semester courser on career topics. Subsequent years build on that foundation, preparing students first for internships and then to launch their careers. Bentley also offers free career services to alumni for life. It’s no wonder that Bentley boasts a 98% placement rate and is ranked #4 nationally by the Princeton Review. (I worked there until recently; can connect you with resources there if you like).
The Bush School of Government and Public Service is a graduate school at Texas A&M. First year students attend a required six-week seminar series on career-related topics, and have an initial meeting with their career advisor within the first couple of months. This meeting establishes what the student seeks, and how Career Services can guide and be a resource to reach their goals.
The bottom line is that the job hunt process has changed. Having a spiffy resume, elevator pitch, and canned responses to interview questions won’t cut it anymore. These days students must know and confidently express their ROI based on strengths, experience and education (both schools use assessments to help students discern strengths). The successful job seeker can quickly decipher a job posting to the pertinent skills required, and build a compelling case detailing how their credentials exactly match employer needs. Students need to create a strategic plan to market their unique selves to their target audience. They need to be savvy networkers and LinkedIn users (this means they are active, posting updates and participating in key groups), and spend little or no time on job boards.
Effective Career Services departments are current and social network-savvy. They coach students through the creation of a strategic job search plan. We recognize this is a paradigm shift in the job search process, and that it takes time and expertise."