7 Keys to Snagging a Job as a College Grad

Fear not, cowering grad: Your degree will indeed help you in this market.

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Graduating this spring? Not looking forward to job-hunting in the worst economy since the Great Depression?

Don’t despair. A college degree is still a good route to well-paying, stable work. Here are seven tips for finding a job in this economy:

1. Identify industries that are hiring. Health care, engineering, accounting, energy--these fields are still doing OK. Cast a wide net and go where the jobs are.

2. Be flexible on location. You might need to work for a few years in a city that wouldn’t normally be your first choice. Remember, it’s just a stepping-stone.

3. Make your job hunt personal. In other words: meet, get to know, and keep in touch with real live human beings. Blasting your resume over the job boards may feel like job hunting, but networking is where it’s at.

4. Be flexible on salary. Let’s face it, one of your chief attractions as a younger worker is that your pay bracket is several rungs down from that of a 30-year veteran. Right now, this is a real advantage for you.

5. Find a mentor. Former teachers, relatives, neighbors, friends of your parents can be a source of advice and job leads, and can serve as a sounding board.

6. Start now. Don’t wait until after graduation to start looking for a job. You should be networking, finding mentors, and researching industries now.

7. Be patient. Try to adopt a zen attitude about rejection. And remember, you only have to find one job--yours. Good luck. And hang in there.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009 (but available now for pre order at Amazon!). She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .

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