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Studying For The Employment Exam

studying-bohI feel some pain for the Class of 2009.
They are graduating into a tough job market.  According to CareerBuilder’s Annual College Job Forecast, only 43 percent of employers plan to hire recent grads this year, down 56 percent from 2008 and 79 percent from 2007. Those who do get hired can expect earnings to break out like this:
36 percent will receive job offers of less than $30K
33 percent of employers plan to offer starting salaries between $30K and $40K
17 percent will offer between $40K and $50K
14 percent will be $50K and above
Getting a job will have a lot to do with personal self motivation, the individual’s major, having a resume that packs some punch and like the Lotto guy says, “a little bit of luck.”
It always stuns me a little when I come up against a grad who seems clueless about the job market scene. Most of them have never visited their college career centers. Why not? Are they too hard to find? Even if you are graduating within the next week or two, make a point right now to find the career center on your campus. Jeanette Grill, executive director of professional experience and career planning at the C.W. Post campus of LIU says, “Students should continue to ask for help from their college career centers after graduation. We are open all summer and will gladly help our new grads now that they are ready to focus on their job search.”
Of course, any job search starts with a good resume and getting it right on paper is the first crucial step. Be sure you include:
Part-time work
Volunteer activities
Class work – thesis, courses, extra work/research done for professors
Fraternity or sorority involvement
Barbara Cohen Farber, of LLoyd Staffing, places entry level college grads into full-time jobs and has been doing so for more than 20 years. She says the resumes are arriving steadily each day. “This year is highly competitive due to the economy so grads need to cast a wider net. A Mass Communication grad shouldn’t just think media, she or he might find openings within manufacturing, consumer products or technology.  Don’t pigeonhole yourself by major, go outside your comfort zone.” Farber says the difference between getting an offer or not is often basic things like being savvy about social media pages. “If a resume looks good, most employers will check out the sender on sites like Facebook. Be smart about taking down photos or wall comments that may reflect badly.”
CareerBuilder included in their forecast the biggest mistakes made by grads during the application and interview process.
63 percent acted bored or cocky
61 percent dressed inappropriately
58 percent came with no knowledge of the company
50 percent didn’t disconnect from personal technology (cell phone/electronic devices)
49 percent asked poor questions
38 percent wanted salary information up front
21 percent spammed employers repeatedly with same cover letter/resume
19 percent turned up digital dirt–unprofessional photos and/or content on the Web
12 percent never said “thank you” after the interview, nor did they send a thank you note
I personally think one of the smartest things you can do is check out your alumni network on sites like Linkedin. Make connections, ask for advice and just see where it takes you.  Good luck.
Nancy Schuman is a vice president at Lloyd Staffing, headquartered in Melville, and is the author of seven how-to books on career guidance and job-search techniques. Lloyd Staffing offers temporary, contract and full-time employment services on a regional and national basis. Send your career-related questions to

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