Instead of relaxing after taking the last round of grueling final exams and graduating from college, most students must begin the daunting task of hunting for their first serious job. You can reduce the stress by having a sound strategy in place. Read on to learn about the two primary ways of finding employment—networking and online job postings.

Networking

Networking is a job hunting tactic in which you turn to friends, family members, acquaintances, former professors and college administrators to find employment opportunities. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to meet people, such as the human resources directors at companies you're targeting. Through these relationships, you should tactfully and professionally inquire about job openings.

Don't limit yourself to the people you already know, although that's a great place to start. When job hunting, you must get out of your comfort zone and be willing to send a friendly email or make a casual phone call to a stranger. The University of the Incarnate Word's Career Services Department lists networking as key to a successful employment search. Find a way to introduce yourself to at least three new people who could tell you about jobs in their organizations or who could point you toward someone else who is hiring, the article urges.

Online Job Postings

In the past, most people looked for jobs in their local newspaper. The most popular way now to seek work is online. Check out the big employment sites such as Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and Craigslist, where hundreds of new jobs are posted every week.

Looking at major job sites is a good way to get started, but many graduates soon discover that they are finding too few jobs that fit their talents and education. For this reason, you should frequent industry-specific job listing sites that apply to your field, such as JournalismJobs.com or AccountingJobsToday.com.

Company Job Postings

Another part of the job search is compiling a list of companies or organizations at which you would really like to work. Visit their websites and peruse any job listings there. Many companies post open positions on their own corporate sites days and even weeks before they advertise anywhere else.

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