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Six Tips for Getting Your First Real Job

How many college graduates does it take to make a double espresso soy latte? Hopefully, none. The job market for recent college grads is improving, leading some young adults to move out of barista gigs and into more professional positions. Good news! Still, there’s an art to a successful entry-level job search that not all recent grads are aware of. Here are six tips to make your process more effective:

1. Don’t rely on online job sites. About 85% of jobs are filled based on personal connections. Networking is key!

2. When it comes to networking, size matters. Your network is not just those who know you well, so think broadly. You’d be surprised at how instrumental your hairdresser’s brother or your third-grade teacher can be in getting you a job.

3. Be proactive. Instead of just responding to employers placing ads, target several companies you'd like to work for--then use your network to get an introduction.

4. Clean-up and grow-up your digital footprint. Employers may check out your online presence, so make sure that you look like a desirable candidate. Also, if you want to be seen as a grown-up, it’s time to get a LinkedIn account.

5. Customize your resume and cover letter each time you send them. Every employer should feel as if their company/job is the perfect match for you.

6. Follow-up. Don’t send a resume and be done with it. About a week after you’ve applied, make an inquiry to show interest and determine where the company is at in the hiring process.

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