Going for It: Rapid Reinvention

Calling all grads: job search help

Can you hear it? The strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" are wafting through the air as colleges and universities all over the country turn out their newest crop of graduates. But with the economy still depressed, the outlook for those bright and talented graduates securing gainful employment is not bright.

I've featured several experts in this blog offering advice for graduates on how they can succeed in their quest for jobs, despite the sluggish economy. Today, Janice Bryant-Howroyd, author of "The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work for You" and CEO of the Act 1 Group personnel services agency, offers her advice via an e-mail sent by her publicist:

1. Do Your Homework. You may have graduated with honors, but the real research begins now...Search company websites and set Google alerts to learn what they aren't saying about themselves. Tailor your resume to each company.

2. Ask Somebody. Everyone you know knows someone who knows someone who works in a company you want to be employed by. Work every contact. Don't be shy about checking in with contacts. Personal referrals remain one of the strongest door openers to a job.

3. Think Small. Small and mid-sized companies are doing the most hiring right now. Target these companies ambitiously; their hiring managers often are more available to see you, make hiring decisions more quickly than larger companies and offer solid career growth.

4. Follow Every Lead. The time you invest in one interview should lead to the next one. If you're conducting your own job search, ask about other opportunities and for an interview referral to explore them. Make yourself known as a 'company fit', not just a 'department fit.' 

5. Work Your Network. Your college alumni organization offers strong referral and reference support. Go to all your school's alumni mixers and locate all the active alumni in your area. Ask them about job openings in their companies, and for suggestions and advice. Alumni networks also post job chats and hiring information...

6. Every Career Begins with a Job...Starting lower on the job ladder in a great company often proves more valuable financially in the long term, and career growth wise, than taking a job with more pay at a company that is not your ideal.

7. Job Fairs. Most universities and colleges, as well as industries and companies, host job fairs. These are terrific places to meet many opportunities in one location...Job fairs are perfect to bring those personalized resumes to the companies you have already researched and know will be present.

8. Double Dip...If you are not the successful candidate on a particular hire, be bold about presenting yourself for other opportunities and ask for the chance. Also ask to debrief on what you did, or did not, present that lost you the opportunity. Be open to learn where you need to make corrections, and don't let pride keep you from asking for a solid evaluation.

9. Work Part Time...Part time work in the right environment is often the best way to make your mark at a company. This is particularly true in a small or mid-sized, growing company. Part time work is exciting and pays well.

10. Temp to Full Time. Temporary work is ideal to make connections and gain valuable experience.

Okay, you've heard it from an expert. Good luck! Let me know if this helps you land a gig!



Avis Thomas-Lester

 |  May 12, 2010; 7:08 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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