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Resource: Featured Articles
Why You Don't Have to Wait to Graduate to Get Your Dream Job
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grads have more reasons to be scared of the job market than they do for being excited about joining it. Most grads are probably more worried about what it's going to be like moving back home with mom and dad more than they are about finding a job. Interestingly, finding a job--a good job--is actually easier than they think.

You don't have to go to a prestigious school or even be an honor student to have a fair shot of landing the job of your dreams. It takes savvy and persistance--and knowing what you're doing--to go after exactly what you want. When nothing is ever handed to you, you have to be the one to take matters into your own hands by working hard and linking up with the right people.

There's no secret formula for getting a job. Here's how you, and any other determined grad, can get your dream job before graduating:

Pursue something you actually WANT to do, not just want you think will make you the most money. When you enter college and decide on a major, it's usually based on a subject that interests you, right? Many students who don't know right away figure it out eventually after taking a variety mix of courses.

The problem that many college students have at that point is figuring out what do after receiving their diploma. They know that a college degree can get them a job but they often don't think about what kind of job. Thinking about these things early will help you in the long run and if you're near graduation it's never too late to start lining up ideas.

The next tip is a little less appealing but is effective all the same. Working for free isn't what any college student looks forward to especially when they're already living on pizza and ramen noodles. The good thing about volunteering or internships during college is that there are plenty of opportunities to go around and they're much easier to do when you don't have to worry about paying back loans yet.

These opportunities open up doors by adding interesting tidbits to your resume. Employers want to see that you didn't just get a college degree but you earned it by being an active member of the student body. This is the time when you start "paying your dues" and give yourself somewhat of a head start once you graduate. In college, it's so easy to get by with doing the bare minimum that demonstrating you went the distance is impressive in the eyes of potential employers.

To get the job you want, and by all means deserve, you don't have to give up having fun in college. When college, or anything for that matter, is all work and no play it can be easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal. Socialization skills are just as important as any other learning experience. Knowing how to carry yourself in situations where everyone is new isn't easy for everyone, but practice makes perfect. Your ability to connect with people on a professional and personal level will take you far. Socializing at parties is not the same as socializating professionally. Make sure to attend conferences and industry events to work on your professional presence.

These personable skills will also play to your advantage when you start interviewing for your dream job. Interviews take lots of preparation. As a college student, you're more than equipped with the necessary prep skills. Interviews are basically tests, final exams even. You need to study the subject and prepare yourself with the proper materials.

Employers want to take on people they want to have around and the qualifications give them justification for having you there. They know that college students don't have the personality of robots so relax and let your personality shine through. If you start to get nervous, remind yourself that interviewers are actually routing for you. You are part of the next wave of new additions to the work force. Reaching your dream job is more real than you might think it is.

New Grad's Guide to Personal Finance
Thursday, November 15, 2012

New grads have a lot to worry about when it comes to their finances. Check out these budgeting basics and get yourself on the right track to free yourself from debt!


5 Tips For Young Job Seekers
Thursday, November 01, 2012

Within every demographic are groups of unemployed job seekers and there's no shortage, especially with those who have recently graduated. Young job seekers are eager to get their careers started but don't have some of the advantages that older, more experienced candidates have.

These job market rookies do, however, have a lot of factors working in their favor that their inexperience might be canceling out. Things like the networking etiquette or how to follow up with contacts could be holding them back regardless of competition.

In order to make sure that young job seekers have as equal of a chance as any other candidate, here are some tips to help level out the playing field:

1) Don't be a career fraud.

It's okay to not have everything figured out. It's common for many people starting out in their careers to not know what is they want to do. Oftentimes, people end up in careers that they initially had no intention of pursuing. By pretending that you have you mind completely made up, it will prevent others from offering any help or advice. You still need to know who you are even if you aren't sure where you plan to end up. Have an idea of the kinds of work that appeals to you and use that as a starting point.

2) Be in-tune with who you communicate with.

Being confident in who you are is a great quality and is an important one to have during an interview. As much as you want to stay true to who you are, you have to also refine the professional you. The part of you should shine in an interview instead of the you that your friends or family are used to. Keep boundaries and formalities in mind. You want to be able to talk to potential employers with respect without making them feel old.

3) Accept all offers of help.

Whether you want it or not, you should always be open to someone's offer to help you. Aside from the fact that it would be rude to decline a such a generous gesture, taking it can open up opportunities for making more industry connections. On the other side of that, don't be afraid of asking for some  help. Most recruiters or HR managers will be happy to oblige if they can.

4) Take a piece of humble pie.

You've got a degree or a diploma and you should feel proud of it. But having it simply means you are now qualified for certain jobs, not entitled to them. For someone who does not have much of a track record to speak for up for, you should be representing yourself in the best possible light. This means being the grateful and approachable industry rookie you are. People will see that you've got your head out of the clouds and planted firmly on your shoulders.

5) Avoid being picky.

No one wants to accept a job that they don't prefer but anyone who really wants a job will take what they can get. Pickiness is a very effective way of prolonging unemployment. Getting your career going is easier when you've got experience on your resume so that you have something to build on. This goes back to not knowing what you want to do. Even if you do know, where you begin doesn't always have to be where you end up.
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