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Today’s Job Search: What You Can Learn from the Class of 2013

As May draws to a close, so do many collegiate careers. Seniors at thousands of colleges across the country have donned their black caps and gowns, accepted their diplomas and packed up their lifetime supply of Ramen. They’ve been told to chase their dreams and never give up; and right now, they’re really riding that high.

But it won’t be long before reality sets in. Finding that first job out of college is tough. And as we’ve seen in recent years, it’s not just hard for recent grads anymore. It’s hard for everyone.

Whether you’re jumping into the job search as a recent grad or a seasoned veteran, there are a few things you can learn from the rookies.

It could take a while. Some experts say that for every $10,000 you’re expecting to make, it could take that many months to find a job. Other sources say that today’s average job search now takes six months. Essentially, you’re not going to land your next job in a month’s time.

If you’re a recent grad, start looking right now. Seriously, stop reading this, and start looking for a job. However, if you’ve been working for a while, it’s not a bad idea to always have feelers out. You can be looking for a job without actively looking.

Have your resume on hand, check job boards for companies you’re interested in and attend local networking events every month or so.

It’s competitive. Sure, you have the credentials, experience and references. But so do many, many other candidates. Today’s job search is more competitive than ever. Given that reality, you can’t just send out your stock resume and cover letter and expect to receive a response.

These days, it’s all about those details that make you stand out from the crowd. Maybe it’s time to make creative enhancements to your resume or cover letter. Perhaps it’s time for you to begin pursuing companies you’re interested in through social media. The hiring market has changed; and if you expect to get hired now, you need to make some changes too.

It takes networking. The old adage, “It’s all about who you know,” has never been more true than in today’s job search. You’ll find that the most sought-after jobs don’t go to a random candidate; they go to the applicant that’s been recommended or was recently seen at a networking event.

Even if you’re not actively searching for a job, networking is never a bad idea. Who you meet could change what you do — now or later. And the more people you know, the more fruitful your job search will be when you’re ready to start looking.

What are some tips you all you recent grads have? Weigh in below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by NazarethCollege

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Written by

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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