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Tips for Recent College Graduates in a Shrinking Job Market

Jan 26, 2009

We're embroiled in the toughest employment market we're likely to see in our lifetime. Things are especially tough for new college graduates, forced to compete with other jobseekers who have years of work experience. Find out what you should do to get a leg up in a shrinking job market.

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Search for Jobs Online

Checking your local newspaper for jobs is great, but in this day and age, it's not practical. The majority of employers now post jobs online. There are literally dozens of sites that you can search for jobs. New jobs are posted every hour.

Get Feedback on Your Resume

Your resume needs to shine if you want to stand out among the competition. Try to get feedback on your resume from mentors, friends, family, random strangers and anyone else who is willing to take a moment to look it over. Use their comments to improve what you already have down.

Post Your Resume Online

Posting your resume online is a great way to get employers to come to you. Just make sure your resume is nice, clean, and free of spelling errors BEFORE you post it.

Network Online

Nowadays, networking is a must. Fortunately, it has become easier than ever to network with people around the world. Talk to anyone you can--just make sure you are always professional and polite.

Network the Old-Fashioned Way

Networking online is great, but in a shrinking job market, it's not enough. You need to get out and talk to people face-to-face. You can look online to find events in your area. Checking with your college and watching the newspaper for upcoming events is also a good idea.

Attend Career Fair

Career fairs are ripe with job opportunities. You can check with your college to find job fairs in your area. You can also try looking online for national, regional and local career fairs.

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Prepare for Your Interview

Although it's good to be confident, you shouldn't be too confident. Try to spend at least an hour or two preparing for each interview. Research the company you will be visiting and make an effort to practice answers to common interview questions.

Use Your Manners

Your mother was right, manners are important. Be sure to send a custom thank-you note or letter within 24 hours after each interview. Following up with a potential employer verbally is also a good idea.

Hire a Consultant

If you're having trouble getting a job on your own, consider hiring a professional. There are tons of professional career consultants out there who will help you with your resume, cover letter, interview prep and more.

Consider Graduate School

If all else fails, consider going back to school. Jobseekers with master degrees always have more job opportunities than jobseekers with associate or bachelor degrees.

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