Pamela Yip's article in in the Dallas Morning News (05/29/06) titled "Grads Shouldn't Put Off Job Search," offers up some good advice from the likes of John A. Challenger. Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago outplacement firm, has some advice for freshly minted college graduates: find a job as quickly as possible.
"Graduates should not overlook any possibilities, not because it is a tight job market, but because they could miss an opportunity for which they are ideally suited," says Challenger.
Challenger is "challenging" new grads to avoid taking another summer off, saying, "....the sooner you push off into the real world, the sooner you can start building your career."
Yip reminds the Class of 2006 that employers expect their college hiring this year to surpass that of last year by 13.8 percent, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks the job market for new college grads. Therefore, don't delay - get crankin' on the job search.
Challenger provides a few tips for first-time job seekers:
Tap Family and Friends
The best job prospects come through connections with other people.
Pay Attention to How You Dress (Job Interview)
In a competitive job market, your appearance may be the deciding factor on whether you get the job.
Don't Be to Quick to Discuss Salary
"The last thing you want to do when you go into an interview is to tell them how much money you would like to make," says Challenger. "It will rule you out as a job candidate more often than not. If the employer likes you offers you a job, all of your questions about money will be answered in successive interviews."
Don't Be too Picky (when interviewing for your first job)
"As a newcomer to the job market, you are not in a position to reject or argue with what is offered by a prospective employer," Mr. Challenger said. "Your main objective is to convince the employer that you will be a superlative employee."
"Employers are under no obligation to contact you after the interview," says Challenger. "It is your job to follow up, and it sends the message that you are interested in and enthusiastic about this opportunity."
There you have it, Class of 2006. Now, move the tassle, throw the cap, and start the job search. We'll leave the office light on for you.