Financial Literacy for Everyone
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Landing a Job

Some experts recommend you start looking for a job six to nine months ahead of time. In fact, finding work can be almost as time consuming as a full-time position. Constantly keep your eyes open for new opportunities and keep up on networking to build your list of contacts. Even if you choose not to work immediately upon graduation, it's good to have the opportunity if you change your mind.

The Resume
Your resume details your professional experience. It is one of the most important things you'll present to potential employers. Your resume deserves special preparation.

  1. Make it stand out. Make sure your resume stands out by incorporating smart, organized content and intriguing design.
  2. Stay relevant. A well-written resume should focus on skills and experiences that are relevant to the specific position you are applying for.
  3. Showcase your abilities. Include your education and other applicable experience along with any awards you've earned.
  4. Shorten it to one page. Don't write a two- or three-page resume. Instead, prioritize the most significant information and filter out insignificant details.
  5. Revise. As you continue down your career path, remember to continually update your resume with your current work experiences.

The Cover Letter
Your cover letter will likely be the first thing potential employers will look at. Therefore, it's important to ensure it's a valid – and impressive – first impression.

  1. Include a cover letter. Many employers request a cover letter, but even if they don't, it's wise to write one anyway.
  2. Avoid regurgitating your resume. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to expand and elaborate on the information already provided in your resume.
  3. Demonstrate your writing skills. The cover letter gives you an opportunity to exhibit your voice and writing skills. Organize the letter in a coherent way and proofread for errors.
  4. Know your merits. Identify what you will bring to the company and how your skills make you a strong candidate for the job.
  5. Use numbers. Statistics shouldn't overwhelm your cover letter, but including important data helps prove you are capable of achieving results.

The Interview
This is your first opportunity to meet face-to-face. Take advantage of this opportunity to present your best self.

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Gain a strong understanding of the company's ethos, past work and current objectives. Research the company as much as you can to learn about what they do and how they do it.
  2. Anticipate questions. Find examples online, and prepare answers for questions the interviewer might ask. Be careful not to sound scripted, and be sure to think questions through ahead of time.
  3. Ask Questions. Enter an interview prepared not only to answer questions but also to ask them. This shows two very important qualities every employer is looking for – a genuine interest in the company and self-confidence.
  4. Find your place. Determine how you fit into the company, and then discuss how your skills can be valuable to the potential employer. Communicating how you would add to the company's success is crucial in an interview.
  5. Be enthusiastic. An interview is an opportunity to prove your interest in a company. Employers want to hire someone who is both qualified and passionate.

Online Profiles and Networking

  1. Recognize the power of social networks. In the age of social networking, creating and maintaining an online presence is becoming increasingly valuable. Currently, 52% of recruiters say they always search for candidates' online profiles and 93% use social media during the hiring process.
  2. Know where recruiters look. LinkedIn ranks highest, with 92% of employers looking at it, but only 36% of social job seekers – people who actively use social networking to find employment – use the platform.
  3. Network online. While 40% of job seekers found their favorite jobs through personal connections, 62% of recruiters rated referrals as the number one source of high-quality candidates. Online platforms provide the opportunity to foster and create these professional connections.
  4. Post carefully. It may seem like common sense, but be cautious when posting online. Illegal drug references, sexual posts, poor spelling or grammar and profanity are rated as some of the biggest online red flags according to recruiters. Don't let careless content ruin your career prospects.

The Ultimate Interview Guide, 30 Prep Tips for Job Interview Success, The Muse.
43 Resume Tips That Will Help You Get Hired, The Muse.
How to Write a Cover Letter, 31 Tips You Need to Know, The Muse.
Defining Today's Job Seeker: Social Networking For a Mobile Workforce, JobVite.
Watch What You Post on Social Media, JobVite.

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