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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beefing Up Your Professional Experience

After finishing an undergraduate degree, you may feel the pressing need to find a job. Or, more precisely, you want to begin your path toward a career that you hope your course of study prepared you for. In times of an unstable economy and job market, it can be tough to stay upbeat about your career search. However, you will need to use every possible tool at your disposal to put a fresh spin on your education and experience. You should also be more flexible and open-minded about your goals. By using ingenuity and enlisting tried and true measures to make yourself more appealing to the person with the power to hire you, landing your first career-centered job may be more within your reach than you realize.

Volunteer to better understand your field

Volunteering can be beneficial to everyone involved. Whether the organization where you choose to volunteer is for-profit or non-profit, offering your time, energy, education and services to a company whose goals fall in line with your own can help you lay a foundation on which to build your career. You’ll also be dipping your toes into your chosen field in a real-life, hands-on environment. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet peers and mentors in your field where they can evaluate your skills, work ethic and potential. Maybe most importantly, working in your field can sustain your passion for your profession until you obtain your dream job.

Network everywhere you go

Networking is as much about listening and watching as it is about talking. Be aware of possibilities in places you may not expect them. For instance, you may go to a gym where you are surrounded by colleagues or friends who work in the same field you do. Don’t plug in your headphones—instead, respectfully listen and absorb what you can. Don’t be afraid to let potential colleagues know who you are and what your interests and goals are.

Consider furthering your education

While an undergraduate degree is laudable and respected, it can only be buoyed by additional education. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will be heading back to a college campus where you will have to schedule your current job and responsibilities around your course load. When you consider an online master degree, you may find the perfect solution to your advanced education concerns.

Brush up your resume

Keep your resume as up-to-date as possible. The hiring manager to easily see easily that you have been working diligently toward your career goals. You never want to miss the chance to hand someone your resume, or shoot off a speedy email with your resume as an attachment, if someone shows interest.

Remain positive and upbeat

Keep moving forward in your goals with a positive attitude. Your optimistic outlook will likely resonate with hiring managers who may find your pleasant disposition as much an asset as your educational and work background.

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