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BY COURTNEY KIRSCHBAUM

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Congratulations! You are a soon-to-be, or recent, college graduate well on your way to conquering the "real world," which includes launching your career with your recent-grad job search. With all that positive excitement, you might also be filled with apprehension, nervous butterflies in the pit of your stomach, and a bit of wonder as to how long it will be before you land your first job. This is understandable given the unpredictability of the job-search process.

Lucky for you, a report by Audivsor showed that in recent years, the market has seen the most job openings since 2007. With a bit of effort, due diligence, patience, and planning on your part, you'll land the right job to launch your career soon enough. Below are some valuable job resources for college graduates to support you on your path to finding your dream job.

USA Jobs: If you're looking to get your foot into the government sector, USA Jobs Pathways for Interns and Recent Graduates is a great place to start.

After College: I wish After College was around when I graduated from college. It's a great resource for recent graduates, with a mission to "help every college student and recent graduate discover their career path." They boast more than 400,000 internships and entry-level jobs from more than 25,000 employers. You go to their site, enter your school, select your major and graduation date, and search. You can also search for graduate events and scholarship opportunities.

College Recruiter: College Recruiter is similar to job-search sites like CareerBuilder, mentioned below, but focuses on entry-level jobs for recent graduates.

Start Jobs: Start Jobs is another job resource for college graduates geared toward entry-level candidates. You can search jobs using job titles, keywords, and location.

Traditional job-search boards: Job-search boards such as CareerBuilder and Indeed have been around for a while. Though not entry-level specific, they can still be a good resource to find entry-level jobs throughout the world. They also offer other free services for job seekers, such as the handy salary calculator.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the top professional social networking site, so it's a great new-graduate job resource to help you land your first job, as well as future jobs. Per the Undercover Recruiter, 93 percent of employers use LinkedIn for recruiting, so be sure to build a complete and professional-looking profile before you begin connecting with others.

LinkedIn also has a page dedicated to LinkedIn Entry-Level job postings where you can narrow down your search by selecting specific search criteria. You can also set up job notifications to be sent to your inbox.

Personal social networking sites: Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, can also be good resources to find your new job. You can research companies on these sites as well as share with your friends and audience that you're looking. After all, you already have a built-in audience with a community who knows you. At the same time, remember that you want to maintain a professional appearance when utilizing social media for these purposes. Employers often do an online search, including scouring through your social media handles, to find out what prospective employees are up to and what type of personal image they are portraying.

 

Related: Social Networking: How to Connect With Potential Employers Online

 

GradStaff: Staffing agencies like GradStaff help to connect college grads with organizations looking to hire entry-level employees. Staffing agencies can be a great resource to work with because they will interview you and help you find job openings that fit your personality and career goals. GradStaff is a nationwide agency serving more than 90 metro areas across the U.S. You can do an online search for "entry-level staffing agencies" to see if there are local agencies in your area or in the city in which you'd like to work. Also, the employer is the party that pays for the services of a staffing agency, not the prospective employee.

Industry-specific networking events: Look for networking events in your area that are specific to your industry. If you're an engineer, for example, you might look for a local chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers. If you're looking for a human resources position, you might look for the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). That way, the people you meet at events are ones who want to help you. Not to mention, you're making connections that can last for the life of your career.

Job and career fairs: Most colleges hold job fairs where organizations come to hire interns and entry-level employees, so take advantage of these events. Local job fairs in your city can also be a great place to meet prospective employers. National Career Fairs is an organization that hosts career fairs in cities throughout the country, and organizations from various industries are represented.