Job Search and Career Skills Development
University graduates in Bosnia and Herzegovina receive little or no support in finding a job after they complete their studies. Apart from the Faculty of Economics in Sarajevo, none of the universities or faculties in BiH has a Career Service office open for senior students to assist them in preparing job application materials, conducting job search or to inform them on internship and volunteering opportunities so they can gain practical professional experiences. Neither students receive any other formal or informal education or training how to seek employment or where to find resources on different job opportunities. Therefore, students lack knowledge how to write their employment applications, CVs, motivation letters, and how to behave during interview. In that way, they finish their studies mostly without a day of work experience or any professional engagement. Not only that they lack information on labor market, they do not have skills that employers are looking for. As an outcome, unemployment rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina are highest among the young population.
Bosnian undergrad alumni, being part of such educational system and faced with mentioned difficulties, realized that unemployment among youth presents a serious problem in the country, and needs to be addressed in a way that can reach wide number of graduate students. Through a project implemented by the Organization of Bosnian American Academic Exchange – BAAE, and with support of the American Councils for International Education, and Institute for Employment of Federation of BiH, BUDP alumna Elma Demir in partnership with Viktorija Besevic, Career Expert from the Institute for Employment of Federation of BiH, and with administrative assistance from BUDP alumna and ACIE Country Coordinator Luljera Koshi, prepared and published an informational manual ‘First Steps in Finding a Job: Guidebook for Senior Students’. The Manual contains job search and career development information for senior students within 9 chapters:
a) Self-motivation and self-evaluation of skills
b) How and where to find information on job opportunities
c) How to write a CV/resume
d) How to write a cover letter
f) Job interview
g) How to get starting professional experience
h) Career and Labor Market
i) Know your rights!
Professor Zijada Rahimic, Human Resources Lecturer and Head of the Career Center at the Faculty of Economic in Sarajevo, as well took part in the project and prepared a chapter in the Manual on continuous education and labor market. The printed copy of the Brochure was distributed at several BiH universities, while the electronic copy is also available via internet on several websites, including the websites of several BiH universities, the FBIH Institute for Employment website and the BiH Community Link of the State Alumni Website (under the section Alumni Articles).