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Top Survival Tips for Graduating in a Bear Market

Expert Advice for New College Graduates

Workplace & Careers I NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--By all indications, college seniors preparing to graduate this spring will face one of the worst job markets in US history. A recent poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that 25.9 percent of recruiters plan to decrease hiring. Similarly, another poll by NACE revealed that the current average offer to a bachelor's degree graduate is $48,351, down 2 percent from the Class of 2009's average offer.

Jose Ferreira, CEO and Founder of Knewton, an online learning company, offers these four easy tips to help students survive, and even prosper, in a tough job market.
  • Clean up your Facebook and MySpace pages. Yes, it's fun to share Spring Break photos with friends, but employers don't want any part of your keg stand antics. In fact, they are likely to stop dealing with you immediately. So if Pineapple Express and Half Baked are listed as your favorite movies, set your profile to private, or omit the references completely. And if you think employers aren't on Facebook, think again. A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 45 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research prospective employees.
  • Make sure your resume looks good. It's unfortunate that our capabilities are judged by a single piece of paper - but that's how it works. Take your time when crafting your resume. Research the best ways to present the information; make sure the formatting is consistent; and highlight your accomplishments without stretching the truth. Don't forget to ask someone you trust to take a look at it before you send it off.
  • Search for jobs in fields not as affected by the recession. There is almost no demand for a 22-year-old hedge fund manager right now. But there is an ever-increasing market for those looking to work in service-providing industries such as healthcare, social assistance, and educational services. According to the Department of Labor, employment in these industries is expected to generate 14.5 million new wage and salary jobs from 2008-2018. Sure, your dreams of swapping credit derivates may be dashed, but even in today's economy, there are plenty of non-profits and social service agencies looking to hire energized young people.
  • Give graduate school an extra look. There's no better way to take advantage of the faltering economy than by going back to school. Whether you are seeking to gain a new professional accreditation or deepen your knowledge in your undergraduate field, pursuing a graduate degree can provide you with the skill sets and qualifications needed to land a job in today's competitive market. According to GMAC's 2010 Alumni Perspectives Survey, 78 percent of MBAs currently in the workforce believe that they couldn't have obtained their first job without their degree.

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