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August 2012
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TD Magazine

Career Tips for College Grads

Intelligence7
With summer winding down next month, many recent college grads still may be searching for that golden ticket to their first job in "the real world." Today's job market is not exactly conducive to such a full-time and often disheartening task. The following suggestions from David Smith, managing director of Accenture Talent and Organization, are several practical ways that the young, prospective workforce can not only land a job, but begin to build a career.

Continue your training. Many in-demand jobs, such as advanced manufacturing or healthcare, require specialized training. Consider continuing your training by taking courses at a local community college. Many programs today are developed with a company's talent needs in mind, which could lead to greater employment opportunities.

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Keep your skills fresh. Whether you take a free class or educate yourself at home, always be learning something new. Once you leave the confines of school, you need to prove to employers that you are keeping abreast of the industry in which you want to work.

Network, always. It's time to get out of your comfort zone and start engaging with people whose careers or experiences match where you want to be, no matter their age or background. You will be surprised at how much you have to offer people of other generations—and how much they can help you.

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Get found. Don't just pursue employers, but position yourself for them to find you. Also, create a solid presence on such social media sites as LinkedIn and BranchOut, which employers and recruiters frequently scout for skilled new talent.

Do your homework. Understand which jobs and skills are in demand by employers now, and choose a career path accordingly. Take the time to realistically evaluate the career before you pursue it, so you don't have to make an unwanted shift in your journey.

About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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