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Job-seeking truths for college grads

Published: Sunday, June 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Despite the investment parents make in their children’s college education, most kds are not properly prepared to find a job.

“Many of today’s new college graduates have never set foot in their school’s career guidance office or held an internship, nor do they know how to find employment. It is now up to parents to share the real truths about finding a job in today’s tenuous employment climate,” said Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring” (John Wiley & Sons).

Myers suggests the following five job-seeking tips parents can impart to their new college graduate:

1. The most qualified job candidate does not necessarily get the job offer. In today’s difficult job market, strong qualifications and accomplishments are necessary. However, the candidate who will get the job is the one who self-markets and demonstrates to the employer that she is the best fit for the company’s needs, problems and challenges.

2. Research your way to success. Pay attention to local, regional and national sources of business intelligence. Study everything you can about the companies you’re most interested in. Learn to frame your ideas and value in terms that are relevant to the current business and economic landscape.

3. Networking is more important than you think. The best jobs are not obtained through websites or help wanted ads. They are acquired through networking. Adopt the discipline of blocking out time on your calendar for networking activities – now and for the duration of your career.

4. An employer’s offer is never Its best offer. You might be tempted to take any job offer in a tight economy. Yet employers expect that you’ve done your salary research, and they anticipate having dynamic negotiations with you. In fact, if you don’t negotiate, the employer will likely be disappointed in you as a candidate.

5. Graduating from school is the beginning of your education, Not the End. No company wants to hire someone whose base of knowledge is not current. As a professional, you should continuously build your credentials and knowledge. This will make you more attractive and marketable as a candidate.

“Competition for top jobs is fiercer than ever as new college graduates compete with seasoned professionals for the best positions. It is important for these ‘up-and-comers’ to have 20/20 vision when it comes to seeing the truths about obtaining employment,” adds Myers.

To help recent or soon-to-be graduates both focus and jump start their job search efforts, CareerPlace in Barrington, a nonprofit organization helping people in transition develop highly effective job search skills, is offering a three-day “boot camp” on June 17, 19 and 21.  The College to Career program will offer 10 hands-on workshops during three, full-day sessions. 

“For families who have spent thousands of dollars helping students learn career skills, the $80 fee for this workshop program will be a small but vital investment in helping their students land the first job in their post-college career,” said Keith Owens, program director at CareerPlace.

For more information about CareerPlace or the College to Career program, visit www.mycareerplace.org, or call 847-304-4157.

• Email ccashman@shawmedia.com

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