Finding a Job After College

With a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reporting that college hiring has fallen more than 36 percent from last year, recent grads who are actively job hunting may find themselves asking "What can I do to best position myself for the current job market?" and "What's the best way to find a job today?"

"There's no question that it's tough to find a job in today's economy, but there are definitely ways to break into your chosen field if you approach the challenge strategically," said Mark Kerr, a director of career services at DeVry. "This year, our graduates have had the most success securing positions with smaller and mid-size companies and in non-profit and government organizations."

Kerr offers the following advice to graduates entering today's workforce:

1. Network. Join or attend meetings and events held by community, professional or industry organizations. You never know whom you will meet or who will be in a position to assist you with your search.

2. Use your college. Visit the Career Services Office or Alumni Association Office on your campus. Many colleges have active programs, like DeVry's Career Services professionals, who provide individualized attention to students and lifelong services to graduates to support continued career growth and success.

3. Be flexible. Decide what your ideal job situation would be, but be prepared to consider other opportunities. For example, students graduating with technology degrees may find their careers heading in unanticipated directions. Students graduating from DeVry University are finding IT positions at hospitals, government agencies, nonprofit organizations in addition to "traditional" technology companies.

4. Do your homework. Prior to sending your resume to or interviewing with a company, it is important to conduct research to ensure you are knowledgeable about the company and understand how you can add value.

5. Develop a concise description of yourself. In 30 to 60 seconds, be able to concisely convey your interests, abilities, character and personality as well as what you're looking for in a job.

"It's important that students know how to distinguish themselves," DeVry's Kerr says. "With the slow job market and fierce competition, the key to finding a job is knowing how to '‘sell' yourself to potential employers."

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