Tips and tricks for finding a job – for new graduates (or any job seeker!)

ACC 2016 Career Fair

ACC 2016 Career Fair

While today’s economy continues to show positive signs of growth, recent graduates and job seekers are learning that landing the ideal job can still be a time-consuming, lengthy process. As suggested in her “5 Big Reasons New Grads are Failing the Job Search,” Lea McLeod encourages job seekers to adjust their short term-mindsets and set realistic expectations with the understanding that a job search can take 22 weeks on average. Though the process may be a daunting one, here are some tips to keep in mind to maintain your motivation and encourage you from start to finish!

  • Be persistent! Create a job search strategic plan and work it every day. Think of your job search as a job. Remember all those hours you spent studying for exams and preparing presentations? Put equal energy into the time you spend job searching.
  • Set realistic expectations. As mentioned above, an average job search in the US can last over 4 months. Conduct market research and determine what’s happening in your industry. How long are job searches taking for different disciplines? With this in mind, set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself in the process.
  • Develop a marketing mindset and identify your personal brand. Understanding who you are and who your potential customers (employers) are will help you be more efficient and effective in your job search. Get into self-assessment land and learn as much about yourself, your strengths, your desired workplace qualities and how you’ll add value. Based on your findings, develop clear messages about who you are and the value proposition you represent.
  • Get into the employer’s head. Use LinkedIn to research what employers want. Identify what jobs are posted, what problems are they trying to solve, what outcomes candidates are expected to achieve.
  • Work your network. Contact alumni in your field. Reach out to all your connections via LinkedIn or other Social Media outlets to remind them of your continued job search. Meet new industry connections by joining a professional groups in your area.

As McLeod offers in her article mentioned above, you want to stop asking “How can I find a job that pays a lot and that I love?” and start asking yourself “Who has problems that I love solving and how do I find them?” If you’re still coming up short-handed or feeling like you’re hitting the proverbial wall, use ACC’s Career & Transfer Center. Call 303-797-5705 to make an appointment with one of ACC’s career counselors to get additional advice and help with your resume, networking, and overall job search.

by Shari Culver, ACC Career and Transfer Counselor

ACC Parker Campus Community Spotlight: Jason Tempest

Jason Tempest, ACC Student

Jason Tempest, ACC Student

Each semester the ACC Parker Campus team invites faculty, staff and students to nominate students who they believe demonstrate outstanding academic, personal, professional, and/or community achievements.

Jason Tempest was selected as our Spring 2016 ACC Parker Campus Student Spotlight.  English instructor Ms. Laurie Wasmund nominated Jason and shared that he was a valued and trusted contributor in her class.  He regularly earned high marks on all his writing assignments.  But most impressively, was his willingness to approach difficult topics and boarded the conversation in the class in thoughtful and intellectual ways.  Jason’s keen sense of ethical integrity and well-developed social consciousness made us believe that he will effectively use the information he has gathered at ACC, and become a great mentor for others.

We invited Jason to share his journey and experience at ACC and our Parker Campus via a short interview.  We especially appreciated his candid and brilliant ideas and suggestions to any ACC students on how to survive and manage your college career at ACC.

How long have you attended classes at Arapahoe Community College?

I have been attending since the Fall of 2015.

How long have you taken classes at the ACC Parker Campus?

I was lucky enough to have all of my classes at the ACC Parker Campus during the Fall of 2015 and had to split half of them at the Littleton Campus for Spring of 2016.

What are you studying and why?

Here at ACC I’m working toward my AA with a designation in Psychology. This degree will help me move toward my goal of earning a Masters in Psychology. Once that is complete I can apply for a Licensed Practitioner Councilor (LPC). I look forward to owning my own practice and helping people with the use of therapeutic counseling.

How has ACC and/or the ACC Parker Campus helped you reach your personal and/or academic goals?

The friendly staff at ACC and particularly the Parker Campus have helped me in a variety of ways. Financial and Academic counseling have always been there to keep me on track. The staff have been there to help with day to day problems that arise. The wonderful teachers have given me much insight into organization, writing, editing, and psychology basics. I believe the connections I have made here will no doubt go beyond my academic stay here at ACC.

What advice would you give new students to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond?

A crucial piece of advice to any new student is to be organized. My weekly planner has been my best friend throughout this journey making sure I’m on track with readings, homework, and studying for exams. Do what works for you but find a system that keeps you organized and on track. You honestly get back what you put into your education. The more organized effort you put in your education the better the results will be. Understand that there are a wide range of resources available to you. The writing center, tutors at the Littleton campus, classmates, and the teachers themselves to name a few. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask a question. Teachers are usually happy to answer them. The worst thing you can do is take back seat to your education. I felt that some students in my first math class here at ACC failed to ask critical questions about problems in class. This lead to low test scores and an overall lack of performance. I would advise every student to follow some basic guidelines. Show up every day like your degree depends on it. Take clear and detailed notes of material in class. Set aside time to study, read, and do homework. Creating a habit of scholastic achievement will tremendously help throughout your college career and transfer to life after college. For large assignments like papers and presentations create a timeline to stay on track with the assignment. Waiting until the last day to finish an assignment will create an underdeveloped paper or presentation. Sit near the front of the class and take charge in your in class lectures and discussions. Many times I have learned material by answering wrong in a class discussion. Finally, make sure to take a little bit of time for yourself. See friends, play games, get some sun, and take a short break every now and then. These activities can rejuvenate and empower you to continue with your studies. College doesn’t have to be all notes, lectures, tests, and papers. Meet those people around you and find some activities that help you grow.

ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment Program Paves Path for Success & Cost Savings

Concurrent Enrollment Program - Earn College Credit while still in high schoolNearly 30 percent of high school juniors and seniors in Colorado participated in Concurrent Enrollment, ASCENT (Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT) or other dual-enrollment programs during the 2014-15 academic year.

Arapahoe Community College served more students (3,614) than any other two-year institution in the state during that time.  ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment program is designed for high school students looking for a challenging academic experience while simultaneously earning high school and college credit.

“Concurrent Enrollment is a great way for students to save time and money,” exclaimed Lisa Matye Edwards, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs at ACC.  “Courses are college equivalent and accepted at all four-year public institutions of higher education in Colorado.”

Statewide, 94% of districts and 84% of high schools offer Concurrent Enrollment programs.  High school students who enroll in dual enrollment programs have higher first-year credit hour accumulation, grade point averages, and retention rates in college.

“The cost savings for families in the south metro Denver area is significant,” said Taylor Van Antwerp, Director of Concurrent Enrollment at ACC.  “Data analysis reveals that Concurrent Enrollment classes offered by ACC saved students more than $3.3 million during the 2015-16 academic year, including more than $308,000 in Littleton Public Schools alone.”

ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment program partners with Cherry Creek School District, Colorado Early Colleges Parker, Denver Public Schools, Douglas County School District, Englewood School District, Jefferson County Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Sheridan School District, STEM School and Academy, and Weld County School District.

Academic and career/technical education courses are offered at the high schools, as well as at each three of ACC’s campuses in Littleton, Castle Rock and Parker.  For more information, please contact the ACC Concurrent Enrollment office at

by ACC Marketing Department