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A Senior's Guide to Job Searching

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Calling all SENIORS! NOW is a good time to start looking ahead to your future, and for some of you, this might mean looking for a job. Here are 10 things that YOU can do RIGHT NOW to start your job search!

Decide what matters to YOU. Your parents may have dreams of you becoming the next CEO of company XYZ, but that might not be what you want. So take the time to sit down and make a list of things that that YOU want to do, companies that YOU want to work for.

Find your strengths.
Make a list of your skills and talents. This will not only help you write your resume, but also give you something to think about when researching companies.

Find your weaknesses
. Also make a list of things that you aren't good it. That way, if you see more than one of those skills listed for a particular job, you can scratch that job off your list. Or, if you see maybe one or two of your weaknesses listed, mark that job and come back to it. Call and ask someone in HR how much those skills are involved in the job, and ask how the company could help you to develop those skills.

Do your research. Researching a company helps you in several ways: First, and most importantly, you will learn what they do and why they do it. That way you won't have to ask those questions during your interview, and if they ask you about their company, you'll have the answers. And, using your strengths and weaknesses lists, doing research will help you figure out if the job is the right fit for you.

Perfect your resume.
Take your resume to family members, professors and anyone else you can think of and ask them if they would hire you. Resumes take time, drafts, and a whole lot of editing to perfect.

Go to your campus's career services office. Career counselors are there to help you figure out exactly what YOU want to do -- so go talk to them. They are professionals and will do whatever it takes to help you find the job that's right for you.

Do some practice interviews
. Interviews can be scary, especially the first, oh, one or five times. See if your career center has someone who can practice with you. You can also practice with professors and family members.

Network online. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. See who you're connected to and who they work for. You especially want to reach out to your school and your sorority's alum and ask if their companies are hiring.

Go to career fairs. Career fairs are great places to network, find internships and find jobs. Don't forget to bring your resume and remember your interviewing skills -- you could be asked for an interview on the spot!

Reach out to professors
. Chances are the professors who teach in your major have had several jobs in that field. See if they know of anyone hiring. Also, if a job requires recommendations, ask a few professors if they'd be willing to write/call in recommendations for you.

Debra Schreiber, a senior College Lifestyles writer, is a senior journalism and Spanish double major at Duquesne University. She loves Duquesne University's Career Services, and credits her career counselor, Coralyn McCauley, for teaching her how to look for a job.