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Landing a Job

Start looking for a job right away. Some experts recommend looking for a job six to nine months before you want the job. But, in reality, you should never stop looking. Constantly keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Keep networking and building your list of contacts. You may decide not to work immediately upon graduation. But it sure would be nice to have the opportunity if you change your mind.

The Resumé (or Curriculum Vitae)

The first thing you need is a Resumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV). Absolutely anyone that may consider hiring you will ask for that first. One glance at it will let potential employers know if you have the experience and qualifications for the position they want to fill. Include your education, your work experience, other applicable experience outside of work and any awards you may have received that are pertinent to the job you're seeking.

The wording of your CV is also very important. Make it dynamic. Use action verbs. "Managed all inventory," sounds more active than "in charge of all inventory." Keep in mind who will be reading this document. Employers receive many CVs. They want a CV that speaks to them. But they're also very busy, so be concise. They would much rather read one well-written sentence than four describing the same thing in more detail.

Beyond the contents of your CV, its appearance is just as important. After all, this document represents all that a potential employer knows about you. It represents you. If it's unorganized, they will assume you are unorganized too. If it's well thought out, nicely structured, and pleasing to the eye, the employer will assume you have strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

The Interview

If your CV is well done and your experience matches what the employer is looking for, you have a good chance of making it to the next step of the process: the interview.

The key to success in an interview is to be prepared. Be early, never late. Be well groomed and well dressed (in office attire). Be ready to show your education and training certificates. Research the company as well as you can. Know what it does and how it does it. Be prepared to share some of what you've learned about the company in your interview. It will show that you've got initiative. Also, take your knowledge of the company and determine how you fit in. How can your skills help the company? That is likely to be one of the questions you'll be asked in your interview.

While you're at it, research some standard interview questions and be prepared to answer them. What is your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? Certainly there will be questions you don't expect. But at least you can be prepared for some of them.

Decide what you want to know about the company. Have questions prepared to ask at your interview. You want to give the impression that not only are they interviewing you, you are interviewing them.

If you come into the interview prepared not only to answer questions but to ask questions, you will appear more interested and confident - two very important qualities in the workplace.

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