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Preparation, networking key to landing jobs

Though the economy is beginning to rebound, the class is likely to find stiff competition for jobs, according to Career Center Acting Director Alan Fisk.

A November report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that 43 percent of companies plan to maintain their college hiring levels from a year ago, with the majority of companies focusing on recruiting in the fall. Overall, hiring of new graduates will decrease by approximately seven percent from last year.

Fisk said graduates are likely to be competing for jobs with workers who have more experience in the work force. That puts an added importance on internships and other experiences that are transferrable to full-time employment.

"This time of year students are saying, 'I'm graduating, what am I going to do?' Then they panic," Fisk said. "It's OK to panic, but keep it in perspective, there are things you can do when you are searching for jobs."

That includes finding internships, attending career fairs and taking advantage of resume workshops and mock interviews offered by the Career Center. Fisk said that networking is a key skill for recent graduates. Though Web sites list available jobs, he said that word-of-mouth is a better way to find job openings in a tough economy.

"Get involved with professional associations," Fisk said. "Associations provide networking opportunities and that's the best way to get your foot in the door. There are going to be jobs that aren't listed, but people who are networking will hear about those."

Students who are a year or two away from graduating should begin looking at ways to make themselves employable through internships and professional experience. Fisk said that students could also volunteer at one of VIT's numerous non-profits to gain experience and clarify career choices and goals.  



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