5 Tips To Finding Employment for New Graduates

Not too many people tend to graduate following the Fall Semester, at least when compared to the Spring semester. I happen to be one of those Fall graduates, at least for my new Master's Degree (of which I am still quite proud, and thus you will probably hear more about in the near future). I can't speak for everyone who graduated this semester as to why they did had a Fall rather than a Spring graduation, although mine was the result of trickier than expected research. (Plus a longer than expected thesis preparation.)

I think I can speak for all recent graduates, though, in that we're hoping to do something useful with our degrees. Be it going on to a higher level of education, gaining further opportunities in our current professions, or simply having the chance to get a job in the first place, there is something we are hoping to do now that we've finished with school. For those of us seeking employment with our diplomas, there are some things we can do to ensure that we end up with a decent job, including

5 Tips To Finding Employment for New Graduates (and Anyone Else Looking for a New Job)

1. Update Your Resumé (and Cover Letters): It might seem obvious; after all, one of the main reasons you went to school was to add to your experience and skills, right? But it's not as simple as listing your new alma mater on your resumé. You also want to emphasize the skills and experience you gained from the educational process itself, particularly if you took courses that showed you how to use tools or equipment that would be useful in a professional career. While you're updating your resumé, be sure that the cover letters you are sending out emphasize any coursework you did that meets the needs of a potential job, to ensure that your skills are properly considered.

This has nothing to do with resumes (or job hunting in general), but I wanted to show off the baby I was telling you about last week. Cute, isn't she?

2. Build Up Your Network: While an up-to-date resumé is greatly helpful, it's worth remembering that most jobs (up to 70 to 80 percent, depending on who you ask) are found by using your network, through the friends, family and neighbors that you know. If you hope to be one of them, you'll need to get your network built up. Contact any friends or family who are working in your field and let them know that you are looking for a position. Create accounts on social networking sites, particularly ones like LinkedIn, to get the word out. Once you do get a job, be sure to help others find their own opportunities; besides being a way to build good karma, it's also good to help out people who could be your coworkers or even bosses someday (or simply help you if need further employment assistance in the future).

3. Take Advantage of Career Centers and Career Fairs: One of the advantages of going to college is that you have a whole institution that provides you with support in your job search. One useful department is the career center found at most colleges. There, you can find help writing your resumé, get practice with job interviews, and find out what nearby businesses are hiring. They also occasionally hold career fairs, where various businesses will send representatives to whom you can directly talk and give your resume, providing you an opportunity to get your information to someone who can help you get a job.

While we're on the subject, there are also career fairs not held by colleges. I'll tell you, as someone who has gone to several of them, that most tend to focus on jobs for high school graduates without any higher degrees. If that's you, they are definitely worth attending, but if you have a higher degree, they probably won't do you much good.

4. Be Creative in Your Search: One thing you should definitely do is to make sure that you keep your eyes, and your mind, open to possibilities you might not have considered initially. Even if you went to school to prepare for a particular job, being willing to consider other possible positions can help you get a job, especially during times like this when employment is low. For example, consider opportunities to get into companies you'd like to work for, even if you are working a lower position than your education or experience would normally allow you to work. One particular example is to:

5. Consider Internships: I know that internships aren't exactly the most impressive of opportunities; working for little (if any) pay while doing menial tasks could get anyone feeling a bit down. But look at the big picture: by taking an internship at a company you'd like to eventually work for, you'll have the chance to prove yourself to the higher-ups, to get experience working in the company, and generally get your foot in the door at the company. It's not the most glamorous position, it's true, but if it results in you having a good job in a few years, it's definitely something you shouldn't completely rule out.

This is hardly all of the employment opportunities available for new graduates (I didn't even touch on self-employment possibilities), but it should give you some thoughts about where to start your employment search. Do you have any ideas of how to direct an ongoing job search?

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