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Eleven Ways to Keep Your Job Search Moving

I recently received a newsletter from a group that I'm involved with that shared 11 points of advice for people who are about to enter the work force from a graduate program. I thought that the information was very interesting and relevant to our recent grads. So, thank you ACPA Commission for Career Development for the basis of this blog entry. (Note that this information has been edited for relevancy to our readership.)
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....note that many states are in the process of finalizing their budget allocations for the new fiscal year. Although there will likely be more cuts in high education for several states, many state institutions will be receiving new allocations from the stimulus package. This means that the hiring freeze in many institutions may be lifted, so keep an eye out for new openings this summer.

Top Eleven Ways to Keep your Job Search Moving

1. If you are graduating from a Master’s or Doctoral Program, discuss extending your Graduate Assistantship or Internship. Additional skills and experience gained through the summer can be critical to your competitiveness in the higher education market, and also expose you to different aspects of Career Development functions.

2. Volunteer – If you can’t extend an existing internship, assistantship, or current position, start a new one! Many offices have summer projects or have students who continue taking classes in the summer. Volunteering at a new office will also give you a greater breadth of experience, while allowing you the flexibility to continue your job search.

3. Job Shadow – Contact offices, libraries, or recruiters at your preferred organization in your geographic area (or the one you are trying to get to) and ask about shadowing for a week in their office. It will give you an interesting glimpse into a different institution, as well as expose you to best practices. Many offices that can’t take on interns will be open to someone shadowing professionals for a week.

4. Conduct Informational Interviews – Many professionals are open to sitting down with candidates to discuss their offices, practices and students. Calling around to make appointment will gain you strong network connections, and also keep you at the front of people’s minds when positions open up.

5. Consider Retooling your resume and cover letters – Depending on the level of response you are getting, you may want to have someone in your preferred field look at your resume. Solicit advice from people you shadow or conduct informational interviews with.

6. Apply for positions that aren’t there yet! – Make sure that you connect with offices in your geographic area, expressing appropriate interest through your cover letter, and inquire about the possibility of positions in the future. While time intensive on the research end, this can be INCREDIBLY effective when positions become open unexpectedly, getting your foot in the door before it’s even open!

7. Follow-up! Continue to connect with mentors, people you meet at conventions, and professionals who have offered their assistance to you. Update them on your circumstances and your search needs and help them remember to help you!

8. Use your Network – (it’s not just a Verizon Wireless thing) – In difficult job markets, the #1 way to find new opportunities is through networking. Continue to be in touch with your personal and professional network, and don’t be afraid to utilize social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. A brief update that lets your connections and friends know that you are job searching will increase your exposure to job opportunities, even if they are part-time. Also be sure to let appropriate people know where you have applied, as they may have connections they can introduce you to.

9. Continue advancing your professional development and take courses – While this can be pricey, additional qualifications such as specialized certifications or tech skills (consider a local community college to update your web skills) can help boost your resume while giving you practical experience to talk about in interviews.

10. Think outside the box – Not finding positions in traditional four-year public or private schools, high-tech firms or what you normally think you should work in? Consider community colleges, professional schools, for-profit institutions, community organizations, and even the corporate world! Your skills can be transferrable to many areas in the sector opposite for what it is that you thought you would go in to when you started your grad program. In a market like this one, it’s important to realize that experience is experience, no matter where you get it!

11. CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES – As summer nears, many professional demands decline, espcially in universities, and professionals have time to work on themselves! Many regional career development conferences are held over the summer, BE AWARE OF THEM.

Posted by kkowatch at May 8, 2009 09:02 AM

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