W hether graduating from high school or college, preparing to enter the workforce can be a daunting challenge — as hundreds of students around the Granite State will experience in May and June.

Applying for jobs, attending job fairs and sending out resumes can become overwhelming for new graduates, but there are ways to help streamline the process and make it less stressful to find the ideal opportunity.

“We do have students who are stressed about this, obviously,” said Jan Sullivan Curtis, an academic adviser at Nashua Community College. “Everybody wants a job and to find their way in the world, but many graduates are very excited about the possibilities.”

Starting the job search early is critically important, according to Curtis, who said students at NCC participate in programs that prepare them for workforce opportunities from day one.

“Their preparation began long ago,” she said.

For those graduates who are moving directly into their careers, Curtis stressed the importance of connecting with faculty members who know people in their industry and have connections to assist them.

“Getting to know their faculty early on is really key for them, which is easy at a community college,” she said. “The connections to business and industry are strong.”

Some NCC graduates already have jobs lined up; it typically depends on their specific program of study, Curtis said.

She said several programs, including automotive technology, often have readily available jobs for graduates.

The campus has an online job board, College Central, that provides job search capabilities for students, as well as resume and interview guidance.

Going to the fair

“Our students are really computer savvy and most of them search for their jobs and apply online,” said Curtis.

Job fairs are still a great way to network and find out what is available in different career fields. “We do encourage students to go to the job fairs whenever they can,” she said.

New Hampshire Job Training recently hosted a job fair at NCC, and the College and University Council also holds larger job fair events that are typically well received.

With nearly 300 students graduating from Nashua Community College this weekend, the path into the real world of employment is just around the corner.

New Hampshire Employment Security is a well known resource for job seekers, and frequently posts information about upcoming job fairs on its website, along with a list of strategies for individuals who opt to attend job fairs while seeking employment opportunities.

According to the website, it is important to research the companies that will be attending the fair, plan a presentation in advance and have a 30-second introduction script that is reviewed ahead of time.

Other recommendations include dressing professionally, preparing questions for employers, turning off cell phones, offering handshakes and making eye contact. The website also suggests sending thank you letters or conducting follow-up calls.

Networking at all job-related events is also strongly encouraged, agreed Curtis.

NHES hosts job fairs regularly around the state. The next one will be the Manchester Job Fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover St.