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Posted 5.15.07

So, it’s finally here -- Graduation Day. Your family and friends are there to support you. You take that ceremonious walk to receive your diploma and then it hits you -- you're going to have to move in with your parents because you don't have a job. Here are my top five job search strategies for the post graduation job market:

Get organized
--Designate a space in your house for your base of operations.
--Keep a journal to track EVERYTHING (contacts, next steps, ideas, advice, etc.). Committing something to paper (or PC) helps you achieve your goals.
--Get a portable calendar (PDA works great) and lots of file folders to keep it all straight.
--Stay positive and stay focused -- and don't forget to celebrate the small success along the way, such as your first interview, or getting in front of an executive at a company where you hope to work.

Know yourself
--Reflect on and write out your strengths, interests and professional skills.
--Determine what you want to do and where:
·Is it a specific job (or function), company, industry?
·What cities offer the types of opportunities you seek?
--Build an effective and marketable resume that captures what you’ve done and where you're going.
--Develop a personal commercial (30 seconds) that highlights your college experience and education and positions them to what you want to do next.

Network
--This is the single most effective job search technique you can use, as up to 80 percent of all opportunities are uncovered through this process. However, networking is a lifelong, reciprocal process that builds mutual relationships and knowledge, and is not simply what they can do for you.
--Create a list of contacts. This can be people that you know or want to get to know.
·Start easy -- who is in your personal circle (family, friends, neighbors, hairdresser, etc.)?
·Identify people that you know in your desired fields, industries and cities.
·What are the professional or civic organizations where like-minded professionals gather?  
--Contact 20 to 25 people per week and always ask for additional names in every meeting. Consider this your own personal pyramid scheme.
--The more active you are (professional/civic meetings, networking/informational interview appointments, etc.), the faster you can get that job and your own place.

Prepare
--Gather resources to help with interviewing skills, including preparing answers for commonly asked questions, generating your own questions for each particular opportunity, and practicing.
--Do your homework (research) before every meeting, no matter how informal, including information about the organization (history, size, locations, financial, etc.), person with whom you're meeting, and the opportunity (specifications, requirements and how your background matches up).
--It's not too late to meet with the Weatherhead Career Development team. These knowledgeable professionals and the CDC' content-rich Web sites are here to assist you with your resume, interviewing skills, and can even connect you with employers and opportunities. Call us to set up an appointment at 216.368.3662.

Be professional
--Consider your appearance, demeanor and presentation.  Invest in a good suit, dress shirts, shoes, and ties. Even in today's more casual culture, sharp first impressions carry a lot of weight.
--Do what you say you will (follow up and follow through) to show integrity.
--Be on time.  To interviews, with thank you notes, and in general.
--Acknowledge others' even small gestures with sincere gratitude (thank you notes), especially in writing.

So, again, congratulations and happy hunting. Once you’ve landed, don't forget to share your success with us by posting your offer/acceptance online.

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