After Graduation : What Next? Keep your Momentum Going

Record numbers of college students will be graduating by the end of the month.  With all these  new job candidates entering the employment pool, what should these new graduates consider when moving into the next phase of their lives?

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In this economy, finding a job right out of college is challenging but there are a few things students can do to start the job search on the right foot.

Now is the time to be aggressive, and go into commando mode. Don’t put too much time into your resume, they are overrated.  Resumes should be one page and easy to read. Are you spending days writing a cover letter?  People like me almost never read them.  When you get 100’s of resumes daily, yours must stand out.  Use new tools and technology to help with your job search.  Join LinkedIn, start a Facebook page that focuses on your professional persona.

Here are more tips you can adopt.

  • Consider moving back in with your parents. Less stress, less financial demands and more time to look for a job.  Plus a daily dose of advice might be a good source of motivation.  Sorry parents..It is a sign of the times.
  • If you can’t find a job, try volunteering or an unpaid internship.  This is a great opportunity to hone your skills and make connections in your field of study.
  • Network, network, network.  Don’t just rely on the Internet…you must meet people in person. As the old adage goes, ‘sometimes it’s more about WHO you know than WHAT you know.’
  • Practice your interview skills! – join a group like Toastmasters and fine-tune your presentation skills.
  • Research companies you are interested in.  Don’t just send out gobs of resumes to every Tom, Dick & Harry.  Refine your search and make sure you are polished when given the opportunity to make a connection.
  • Research the person you are meeting with.  Did you go to the same school or have the same hobbies?  This is a great way to start the conversation and make the interviewer like you.  Remember…people hire people they like, and that person may not be the best person on paper.
  • Focus on entry level jobs even if they are not in your field.  You need to add business experience to your resume.  You may also have to get your hands dirty.