What to do


A lot of the graduate's success in finding a job depends on the field and the availability of openings. Still, here are some suggestions to ease the search:

* Broaden your scope. Don't restrict your search to jobs specifically related to your field. For example, a student who majored in psychology might look for employment in research centers, hospitals or personnel departments, according to Betty Glascoe of UMBC.

* Look toward the unexpected. That means very small companies, unusual fields.

* Network, network, network. Contact friends, family, past employers, your school's career counselors -- almost anyone -- to find job leads.

* Keep resumes short and simple. Graduates should stick to the one-page rule and drop the phrase: "References available upon request." Tom Davies, co-owner of Career Pro resume service in Towson, calls the phrase "a waste of space." Instead, he suggests adding a separate page for references with names, addresses and phone numbers. "It wins an air of authenticity," he says.

* Research the company before you interview. That way you can talk about the employer's wants, not your wants, says Virginia Tanner of Villa Julie College. "Don't be egotistical," she says.

* Finally, be flexible. Be willing to move and accept a less-than-perfect job. And when you get an offer, take it. Your first job is not your last job.

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