A recent National Association of Colleges and Employers report found that 5.3 percent more new graduates will be hired this year than in 2009. While that news is encouraging those students will be competing with thousands of people who have much more work experience.
Ford Myers, career coach and author of 'Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring,' (John Wiley and Sons, 2009) recently offered up a list of 10 items every new college graduate should have in their 'job seekers' tool kit.'
1. Accomplishment stories. Write five or six compelling stories about school or work-related tasks that made you proud.
2. Positioning statement. Prepare and practice a 15-second commercial about who you are, what you've done academically and professionally that's applicable, and the particular strengths you can contribute to an employer.
3. Professional biography. Write a one-page narrative of your career.
4. Target list. Make a wish list of adjectives that would describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, environment, etc. Then research specific organizations that meet those criteria, and put them on a list of 35 to 50 target
5. Contact list. Compile a list of all the people you know personally and professionally.
6. Professional/academic references. List colleagues or professors who would sing your praises if asked about you. Contact each and get approval to use their names on your list of references.
7. Letters of recommendation. Request letters from four or five respected business colleagues or professors printed on their professional letterhead.
8. Networking agenda. Write out a full networking discussion or script so you will know exactly how to manage the networking discussion.
9. Tracking system. Keep a detailed record of your job search activities, including phone calls, meeting notes and correspondence.
10. Resume. It has to be great. Be sure it is carefully edited and succinct (no more than two pages) with a layout that is easy for the eye to follow.