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Career Counselor
Your Post-Graduation Action Plan

August 2008 Just as graduating from college required hard work and commitment, so does landing your first "real world" job. Following are three key job-search suggestions for the Class of 2008:

Customize your application materials. Many recent graduates make the mistake of sending the same one-size-fits-all resume to every company. Stand out from the crowd by targeting your resume and cover letter to each prospective employer you contact. If applicable, use keywords from the job advertisement when highlighting your skills and qualifications.

Do your homework by researching the firm's Web site, marketing materials and recent annual reports to get a good sense of its objectives and corporate culture. Simply put, by learning as much as you can about the company and showcasing that knowledge in your application materials, you'll demonstrate your sincere interest and resourcefulness.

Network, network, network. Because you never know who can help your career, don't be shy about telling your contacts — from family members and friends to former professors and alumni from your alma mater — about your career goals. Expand your circle by joining professional accounting associations and attending industry events. And use networking websites such as LinkedIn to market yourself and deepen your web of contacts.

Connect with a staffing firm. A protracted job search can test your patience – as well as your pride. If you've sent scores of resumes to no avail, it might be time to call in a professional. Well-connected recruiters with specialized staffing firms can offer job leads, invaluable tips on improving your application materials and insight on the types of positions that best suit you. Staffing professionals also can help you locate temporary assignments. These offer the opportunity to remain productive, gain experience and earn income. In addition, high-performing short-term employees often end up receiving full-time job offers.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. For more information about Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International, visit

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