Sites for College Students & Grads..

College students and recent grads need an edge

With 80-90% of recent grads being turned down because they weren't at the top of their class and have no real work experience, frustration is running high. But there are three key actions that can be taken to ensure you stand out from the crowd and have more success.

Three key actions

1) Find a mentor. Without a mentor, you're at a disadvantage. Mentors, who are professionals in their field, will guide, encourage and introduce you to valuable connections--and more. Now, finding a mentor has been made easy through a new nonprofit site, StudentMentor.org, which pairs students and grads with mentors. And the best part? It's FREE! There's also a helpful blog with postings pertinent to students and grads.

2) Get an internship or volunteer. Experience is what employers want, and that can be easily had with internships and volunteer work. Many nonprofits have sites to view their mission and volunteer openings, if it's something that interests you, contact them. When approaching for-profits, do understand they have a legal obligation to you and must follow certain criteria. Granted, it's somewhat vague, but we may see leglislation cracking down on big business taking advantage of interns soon. I wrote a blog about this which you may view on http://www.studentmentor.org/blog.

3) Network like crazy. When you make connections with those in your field of interest, it's an opportunity to let people know about you and what you're looking for in a job. Just don't forget, it's a two way street--they help you and you help them.

The obvious must be done

Let's not forget the obvious: resume, cover letter and interview skills. You must be sure to have the best resume and cover letter possible, one which highlights your accomplishments and skill-sets. Not sure how to do that? Resourses by the "guru of job search", Michael Farr, are available in your local library. See what he has to say about interviewing too. He's written a book for everything a job seeker may need!

Hone interview skills either at your campus career center or at a One Stop locally. There you'll find helpful people who will do a mock interview, then critique your performance. Many have the ability to video your performance, then play it back, giving you a play-by-play of what you did right and wrong. This is valuable to see yourself in action.

Don't forget to dress for success. Multiple piercings, visable tattoos, and other forms of personal expression on campus don't translate well in the corporate world. Think conservative. It's best to show up for an interview looking like you're ready to start work that day.

It's a tough market out there, do all you can to increase your chances for success!

For more on job related issues, see my Edublog, Work Experience, at http://workforcedevelopment.org/

Judy Anne Cavey-Educator/Writer/Prospect Research

 

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