As graduation season quickly approaches, many soon-to-be grads are worried about landing a job in our tough economy. Faced with a competitive job market that forces the newly degreed to compete not only with their peers, but others with more experience, getting into the job market can be quite daunting.

Thankfully, as many are getting fitted for their gowns, a new book aims to hip students on how to land a job soon after they’ve walked the stage.

Career coach and speaker, Ford R. Myers’ new book Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring teaches newbies how to land a job even in this tough economy. Along with a polished resume and cover letter, Myers says every new grad should have 10 things in their job-hunting toolbox.

Peep Myers’ tips:

Accomplishment Stories: Five or six compelling stories about school or work-related tasks that made you feel proud.

Positioning Statement: A “15-second commercial” about who you are, what you’ve done in the past (academically and professionally, if applicable), and the particular strengths you can contribute to an employer.

Professional Biography: A one-page narrative of your career in the “third person” – as though someone else wrote it about you.

Target Company List: A “wish list” of adjectives that would describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, and environment. Then research specific organizations that meet those criteria and put them on a list of 35 to 50 “Target Companies.”

Contact List: A list of all the people you know personally and professionally, including their contact information. Remember that approximately 80% of new opportunities are secured through networking.

Professional/Academic References:  List respected peers, advisors or professors who would “sing your praises” if asked about you. Contact each of them, and get approval to use their names on your list of references.

Letters of Recommendation:  Request letters from four or five business colleagues or academic associates, which will be printed on their professional letterhead.

Networking Agenda:  Write out a full networking discussion or script so you will know exactly what to say in the networking discussion – how it flows, what to expect, how to react to the other person’s comments, follow-up steps, etc.

Tracking System:  Keep a detailed record of your job search activities, including phone calls, networking meetings, interviews, cover letters, etc. This is essential to keep your process organized and productive.

Resume:  It’s the last on the list, but still indispensable. And, it has to be GREAT. Be sure your final resume is carefully edited and succinct (no more than two pages) with a layout that is easy for the eye to follow.

Unfortunately, job-hunting in this economy won’t be easy, but with a little planning and a well-stocked toolbox you can land a gig.

Are you worried about landing a job after graduation? What other tips do you have for new grads?

*New Grad? Check out 4 more tips to help you cope.

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  • Steppa

    “I would have found out that I actually dislike the non-profit environment. The work that the agencies do is good, but the people are often shifty and cliquey.” Amen to that, Sonique. Let the choir say Amen!!!

    Also, I just want to point out that this book is not new as it says in the article. It’s from 2009.

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