3) Get experience -- any way you can
Employers today expect -- and in many cases demand -- that you have hands-on work experience when you graduate from college, according to Peter Vogt, author of "Career Wisdom for College Students: Insights You Won't Get in Class, on the Internet, or from Your Parents." "If you don't have the right experience, you need to get some, be it through a post-graduation internship, working for a temporary staffing agency, or perhaps even volunteering," says Vogt. While this may come as a nasty surprise, especially if you've spent four years and five or six figures getting a degree, it might be necessary. Especially if the economy continues to slow down. So you should have a Plan B that includes temping, interning or volunteer work. Some sites to check out are Net-Temps.com, Kellyservices.com, Manpower.com and Volunteermatch.org.
4) Your resume probably stinks -- fix it
This unpleasant fact comes from my own experience reading hundreds of resumes from new grads over the years. To be specific, there are two things missing from most entry-level resumes: focus and results. First, to give your resume focus, include an Objective at the top, with a specific job title. If you can't focus on one job, tell readers the three skills you want to use (not 5 or 11). You must do the thinking for the reader and make it clear exactly what you want to do. For free resume-writing help, send your resume to 5 people and ask them if they can figure out what job you want. If they can't, employers can't. Revise as necessary. Second, to give your resume results, add up all the time or money you saved or made in every position you've held since high school -- paid or unpaid. Then, include those totals in your resume and put them up front, where they can't be missed. Wrong example: "Duties included, but were not limited to, filing, faxing, answering phones and greeting clients as receptionist." Right example: "Saved 24 staff hours per month ($2,880 per year) by devising new filing system while handling receptionist's duties."
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