Most (56 percent) university and college career center directors say students have a lack of interest in formal career preparation and professional development, which is preventing them from successfully gaining employment, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers on behalf of the Career Advisory Board.

Unrealistic expectations when it comes to the amount of effort and motivation required to attain employments is the biggest challenge for students, the survey finds.

“Students are missing an opportunity to benefit from the full range of services career centers provide while they are still in school,” say Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member.

“College and university career centers offer tools and coaching to empower students to succeed in their job search. They are more than just job placement centers,” she says. ”In today’s competitive employment landscape, the interview coaching, job search guidance and even simple ‘resume review’ that campus career centers provide can make the difference in getting their first job.” 

Additionally, the survey reveals that students do not properly understand how to conduct a successful job search and do not have the necessary tools and skills to locate and acquire jobs, which is contributing to students not taking advantage of career centers.

Among the respondents, 47 percent say lack of motivation is the largest barrier for recent graduates, and 35 percent cite it as the No. 1 reason they are having trouble secure jobs. Another 56 percent of respondents report students not having resumes ready to show employers.