5 Tips for Finding Your First Real Job


College grads making the switch from campus to real life might be understandably nervous about their job prospects.

Unemployment is at 7.6% and some economists say that the country's economic slump will last until 2010.  What is the class of 2009 to do?

Well, you can start by logging in to Facebook. (Yes, we mean it.)

“Social networking is more important than ever,” says Laurence Shatkin, who, along with Michael Farr co-authored 200 Best Jobs for College Graduates. “Your friends may not know where the jobs are, but there is good chance that some of their friends do.”

Here are five job seeking tips you can put in action right now:

1. Create a network. Sure, there are job postings on Craigslist and Monster.com. But some of the best jobs openings are never advertised, Shatkin says. Reach out to people in your desired field on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to make connections.

2. Take advantage of public service opportunities. Enlisting in the military, Peace Corps or AmeriCorps are viable career moves, and may help pay off your college loans.

3. Consider government work. One of the hottest job seeking sites these days lists jobs being offered by Uncle Sam.

4. Become a certified paraprofessional. Technical jobs in computing are available. Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT) and the Institute for Certified Computing Professionals offer certification courses for systems analysts.

5. Find a professional organization. Google around for a professional organization that fits your interests (Stock Quote: GOOG). Shoot them an email and find out what opportunities are available for people just starting out.

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