Financial Literacy - Careers
8 great ways to land a job

"I think for face time it rates highly, but do a little research before you go to a job fair," Barrett-Poindexter says. "Sometimes they're industry specific while some are broader than that."

Author Bermont says job-seekers may be able to get more traction by joining industry-specific associations and network that way.

He says the broader job fairs can be costly to attend in larger cities and it's hard to get noticed by a company because thousands of people attend them.

"It's not focused toward any one industry and it's an expense," he says.

"If you're going to a job fair in a city like Chicago, you're going to pay $15 to $20 to park and you have absolutely no idea if there's going to be a single job that you're looking for."

7. School career placement offices

Most colleges and universities have career placement offices. The problem is many students either don't know they exist or don't effectively utilize them until they are ready to graduate.

Career placement offices help students with resume writing, interview coaching, job postings and other services, but not all are known to be a good resource for job-seekers.

"Although it's something that you pay for as part of your tuition, there's not a lot of accountability within the colleges for the career center to make sure that every student understands that they are there and knows how to leverage all their resources," O'Donnell says.

Nevertheless, some career placement offices have excellent reputations.

Career placement offices at Northeastern University, Claremont McKenna College, Wabash College and the University of Texas at Austin ranked the highest in the 2009 edition of the Princeton Review's Annual College Rankings.

Take advantage of your school career placement office by using it as soon as you arrive on campus, not at the end of your senior year. Better yet, make it a point to stop by the career office to see what services they offer before committing to a college or university.

And long after you graduate, you may still avail yourself of your alma mater's services. Many larger universities offer career placement services to alumni, too.

8. Government employment services

States provide employment services in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

They help job-seekers with career counseling and occupational testing services and will often help match you with available job openings at no cost.

Local offices can be found on the Internet or in a telephone book under "job services" or by looking for your state's department of labor and workforce development.

Information about federal government jobs is available from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's USAJOBs Web site, or

Hiring by the federal government more than doubled from 1.5 percent to 3.2 percent between February 2008 and January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, government jobs can be very difficult to nail down. Application guidelines are rigid, competition is fierce and some jobs require the applicant to obtain security clearance.


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