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How to Get a Job Before Graduation

Soon-to-Be Grad's Game Plan For Securing a Job

Graduation is looming closer and instead of being excited about this rite of passage, your chest tightens up with anxiety whenever you think about it. Here is some career advice for those who are about to face the real world:

Lighten your load: It may be too late to do so, but your last quarter or semester should have the lightest class load. You should start reducing your commitments if you haven't already, start devoting less time to social and extracurricular activities, and put more of a focus on things that will help you with your job hunt.

Set up a LinkedIn: By now, you should already have a LinkedIn account and have already been working on juicing it up. Ask former and current co-workers, professors, and students you've worked with in a professional capacity to write a recommendation for you on the professional networking site.

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Network: Go out there and network as much as you can. Meet people and tell your friends and family that you're looking for a job. Use LinkedIn to your advantage to see if you have any connections that can internally refer you to the company of your dreams.

Go on practice interviews: Even if you don't want the job, take the interview for practice purposes. The more you repeat your story and answers, the more naturally it'll come to you. With practice, you'll be able to better answer questions and think critically on the spot.

Take any job to start with: Beggars can't be choosers in a poor job market, and one should see this not-so-ideal job as a stepping stone. The more picky you are with jobs, the longer you'll be unemployed, and the more explaining you'll have to do during your interview.

Do an internship: Can't get a job? Take an internship if you can afford to. In the worst case scenario, you might have to take on side jobs to supplement your income. Internships can provide very valuable experience and can even help you get your foot in the door.

Keep learning: Become a more sought-after candidate by continually adding to your arsenal of skills and educating yourself. Tech knowledge is very valued so take online classes to increase your expertise in that area. Learn HTML, coding languages, or how to use popular programs such as Photoshop through online college classes or through the online software training sites like Lynda.com.

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