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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.


SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.
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Campus BeatA young graduate stands in her cap and gown looking triumphant on Commencement Day. Her arms are stretched skyward. Photo by Jason Doiy


Gaining an Edge
Job Search Tips for the Class of 2003

Today's job market is turbulent and worrisome. There's instability in all economic sectors, not just high-tech, where layoffs abound. So what can members of the Class of 2003 do to position themselves for a successful job search? Professor of Counseling Robert Chope, author of "Dancing Naked: Breaking Through the Emotional Limits That Keep You From the Job You Want," offers these tips:

1 Maintain a strong network. Jobs obtained over the Internet account for 2 percent of all hires while personal and professional contacts account for over 50 percent -- so stay connected. Keep an e-mail address book of your campus acquaintances -- friends, faculty, administrators, and counselors. Let them know what kind of work you're looking for. If you're not sure, look to your contacts to help generate ideas. Attend Alumni Association special events and campus activities. Check in at the Career Center and ask a counselor to direct you to alums for informational interviews.

2 Know your talents. You've not only earned a degree, you've accrued both specific and transferable skills. Know what these skills are, keep track of them, and practice selling them to friends and family. Craft your résumé and cover letter so that these attributes sparkle.

3 Be willing to relocate. Pursue all positions of interest -- even those that may be out of the area. If a company is hiring in Los Angeles, it may have a similar position in the Bay Area.

4 Consider juggling more than one job. Instead of seeking full-time employment, try several part-time positions for a while. This enables you to explore multiple career paths and add to your growing network of contacts.

5 Volunteer your services. If you believe that you have talent to add to the intellectual capital of an organization, ask for a try-out. Offer to take on a short-term project that you'll complete, without cost, to demonstrate your abilities.

6 Use the Web to research positions, companies and competitive salaries. Go ahead and post a résumé at a site if you wish -- but don't expect miracles. Job searching is hard work.

7 Keep it together. This can be a long and arduous process. Maintain your vision and flexibility, along with realistic expectations. Seek support in your search -- don't go it alone.


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Last modified October 16, 2003, by the Office of Publications