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Job searching tips for graduates

The plight of graduates in the current economy has been well documented by the mass media with articles citing the fact that 1 of 2 young graduates is either unemployed or underemployed.

Take heart if you are one of the unfortunate multitude that is confronted with this inhospitable job market, there are many constructive steps that you can take to increase your chances of finding a meaningful post grad job in the near future. Here are some suggestions for the not yet hired grad:

Contact your careers office and set up a meeting as soon as possible to explore options and make sure that you have tapped into all the resources which are available

Resist the temptation to take the summer off from job searching. Postponement will only put you further behind other motivated grads. Set aside at least 1-2 hours a day, 6 days a week for jobs search activities. This will still leave you plenty of time to decompress or work your old summer job.

Update and fine tune your CV and cover letters to make sure you are presenting the latest and most compelling information to employers. Have career office staff and other trusted advisors critique your documents. Ask employed friends to give you some feedback. 

Networking works. It is absolutely true that most graduates who find work after they have left campus do so through some form of networking. Ask your career office and/or alumni office for a list of contacts in geographic and industry sectors of interest.

Review your list of Facebook friends who graduated a year before you. Reach out to anyone who is employed for advice and referrals to hiring managers at their firm.

Create or enhance your LinkedIn profile. Join groups for your college and career fields of interest. Reach out to fellow group members for informational interviews.

If you need to generate some cash flow consider getting an interim job which will not interfere with your job search and leave you at least some daytime hours for networking meetings and interviews. Service jobs which involve interfacing with the public can also provide some networking opportunities.

Consider working with a temporary employment agency if you are targeting administrative/office jobs. Once you are inside an organisation, try to meet as many staff as possible and work hard to make a positive impression.

Consider an internship If your career research indicates that your chosen field normally requires prior internship experience (and you don't have any!), consider completing an internship after graduation.

By following some of these suggestions and engaging in an active job search, you can minimise the anguish of post university unemployment and launch yourself onto a satisfying career path.