Vanderbilt Search Group: Reflecting your need for quality people

The following are techniques and tools that recent college grads - and even
not-so-recent ones - can employ to break into a tough job market:


1. Get in touch with your alma mater's career counselor. Also check back
in periodically and make sure they know clearly what you're interested in
and what you feel you bring to an employer. On this subject, but sure to
reach out to all of your personal and professional contacts to make them
aware of the same information. People want to help if they can, but make it
as easy for them to do so as you can.

2. Use LinkedIn effectively. Make sure that your headline shows up
effectively. Use LinkedIn to connect with alumni, friends, people working
in the field you want to enter, etc.

3. If you really want to be working/living in a particular city,
seriously consider moving there. Job-hunting from afar can be difficult and
expensive, plus employers prefer to deal with local candidates. It'll also
make your eventual employment that much easier if you know people and are
settled with where you'll live.

4. Work on a temp or contract basis, if necessary. It will provide you
with some income and contacts, keep you busy and active, and will provide
you with first-hand knowledge of companies and be an insider to hear about
job openings.

5. At the very least, volunteer. It will get you off the couch and have
you meeting people and will provide additional experience to put on your
resume and LinkedIn profile.

6. Join professional organizations and attend networking events. Read up
on how to be an effective networker in order to get the most out of each

7. See if you can get Informational Interviews at companies of interest,
or with professionals in your field of interest. Be respectful of the
person's time if granted an interview. Be sure to follow up with a Thank
You note, and again include your resume for reference.

8. Always customize your cover letters to match the job and company
you're applying to. The same applies to your resume.

9. If you get an interview, be sure to do your homework and be properly
prepared. Research the company, look at the wording in their job postings,
thoroughly review their website and press releases, prepare a written list
of questions. Again, promptly follow up with a Thank You note.

10. Stay positive and learn from every experience. If not immediately
successful, keep expanding the ways that you're approaching finding a job.