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HOW SPRING GRADS CAN GET A JOB

 HOW SPRING GRADS CAN GET A JOB
 NEW YORK, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today


by James E. Challenger (312-332-5790), president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas:
 When the nation's record number of 1,081,000 spring graduates begin their search for a full-time job, they will face mounting odds.
 Competition for jobs will be keener than ever as more job seekers from different age levels and segments of the population compete for entry level jobs.
 With fewer jobs available, many will vie for work that they would ordinarily avoid.
 Given that situation, what is important for new graduates to know?
 Employers for the most part want experienced people first. Companies have less money and far less inclination to add trainees in the current economic atmosphere than at any time in the past 10 years. The experience and maturity factor makes older job candidates who are willing to take entry level work very attractive to employers. The "Catch 22" situation applies this year as perhaps never before -- you need experience to get a job, but how can you get the experience without a job?
 Big companies may be more patient and offer more startup jobs but unfortunately for today's young job seeker, the small- to medium-size businesses are doing the hiring, and competition for these positions has become both international and fierce. For the most part, they cannot wait until a youngster gets up to speed to put him or her on the frontline.
 In order to conduct an effective job search, observe the following:
 SALARY AND BENEFITS DO NOT COUNT. The last thing you want to do when you go into a job interview is to tell them how much money you would like to make. It can prematurely rule you out as a job candidate. It sends the potential employer a message that you are more concerned about yourself than you are about the job. Plan to get through the entire first interview without mentioning things like salary, benefits and vacations.
 All of your questions about money and benefits will be answered in successive interviews if the employer decides he or she likes you and wants to make a job offer. Until that point, concentrate on being attentive and likeable. Smile.
 THE FIRST JOB IS NOT FOR LIFE. Many entry level job seekers approach job interviews with the belief that they will be required to make a long-term commitment to the company. Since it will be your first full-time position, you have no experience with job changing. Much of the time you should regard the first job as just that, and no more. It will equip you with the experience you need to move on to the next level -- at that company or possibly at another organization. It is increasingly rare today for people to work at one company for their entire span of working years in contrast to how it was 20 years ago. Changing jobs for advancement is accepted by many employers. In fact, a large number today prefer employees who have the background of experience on several different jobs.
 SAY "YES" TO ANYTHING. Some entry level people can and should take any job they can get, whether or not in their specialty, in order to get started if they feel that they can be happy in it for awhile. As a newcomer to the job market, you are not in a position to reject ANYTHING viable that is offered by a prospective employer. The main objective of any job seeker is to get the offer. After you have it, you can decide what you want to do about it. You should not place any restrictions on yourself such as setting pre-conditions for employment or reacting negatively to what the employer may say. If the employer asks whether you would be interested in a certain job, or are willing to undergo the training program as specified by the company, your answer in both cases is, "Yes." "We have an opening in our new St. Petersburg office for an assistant. Would you be willing to go?" Or, "Trainees ride route trucks with our salesmen starting at 5:00 each morning for the first three months." "That sounds like a real opportunity," should be your response in either case.
 DO NOT SHOW INITIATIVE. It is likely that some of your advisors have told you to study up on the company in advance, so you can go into the interview and show how smart you are. You may also have been encouraged to ask a lot of questions of the interviewer because that will supposedly demonstrate your intelligence. Unfortunately, both approaches are very wrong. When you start volunteering information that was not requested, and asking questions, you are taking the initiative. Fewer employers want or expect you to take the initiative but they do want you to show intelligence and interest. As an entry level job seeker you are there to listen and respond to specific questions the interviewer may ask. You cannot realistically learn much about a company other than perhaps what it sells and the most basic knowledge. Any presumption on your part that you do know something about the company is likely to backfire because what you have learned may be incomplete and may not even be accurate. You run the real risk of saying something that will alienate the interviewer and immediately take you out of the running for that job.
 In addition, taking the initiative can lead you into one of the cardinal mistakes of job interviewing -- appearing to tell the employer how to run the business, which is fatal at the entry level.
 IMPOSE ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Your family and friends always constitute the best source of job leads. Enlist them on your behalf. You may consider it is taking advantage of the situation but there should be no hesitation on your part. You need the contacts and now is the time to get them. For experienced job seekers, fully 40 percent of the jobs come through leads furnished by friends and associates. The percentage this year may be even higher for entry level job seekers. Contact everyone you know and ask for their help. You want names of people to contact. People are often flattered when they are asked to help and most will be glad to provide assistance.
 Do not see your best contacts first. Practice your approach on people who are likely to do less for you. Then go after the "hot" ones. Tell them you want something from them (and not at their home or over the telephone. See the contact at his/her office). When you are sitting there in person they have to do something, versus putting you off over the phone or asking you to send them your resume. When they give you a name, call and schedule a face-to-face meeting with that person. There is no substitute for personal contact when you are job hunting. If the individual is not the one who hires for the area where you want to work, find out who is and schedule an interview with that person.
 James E. Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., was the first to offer outplacement services to employers in the early 1960's.
 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., counsels discharged persons from across the nation, primarily from Fortune 1,000 companies. The firm's extensive business base enables it to determine and measure significant national trends and developments in the job market. The company is the nation's oldest outplacement company. Headquartered in Chicago, it maintains 16 regional offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York/Stamford, Montreal, Canada and elsewhere internationally.
 -0- 4/1/92
 /CONTACT: Herbert H. Rozoff Associates Inc., 312-944-2299, for Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc./ CO: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ST: New York IN: SU: PS -- NYWFNS1 -- 3695 04/01/92 07:31 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1992
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