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Looking for a Job After Earning an Online Degree

Your college degree makes sure that you fare well in the job market. Statistics provided by the U.S. Census Bureau show that the annual earnings of a person with a bachelor's degree are more than 50 percent of someone with a high school diploma. Usually, the better the qualifications, the lower is the unemployment rate. To quote the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 'Education pays in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates.' A college degree not only ensures a good job but also related benefits such as health insurance, greater professional satisfaction, options of mobility, vacation benefits, etc. With a higher qualification you basically get to call the shots not only regarding your choice of career but also other factors associated with it.

When Do I Apply?

The process of getting a job only starts with getting the degree. The first step would be to apply for the job. The time to apply is crucial, as you should have creditable course performance as evidence of your ability. Six months before your course comes to an end is a suitable time to apply. Your college will definitely have recruitment fairs, which organizations visit. Once you apply, be ready to meet up with your prospective employers. Take care that such interviews do not clash with important dates related to your course.

Where Do I Apply?
You will obviously be applying to organizations that suit your line of study and interest. A good amount of research is needed and you should start this process early. Go about this process in an organized fashion. Make out a list of companies that interest you. A good source of company names will be your college library database or your alumni directory, if you have one. Also check local and national newspapers, business magazines, etc. to find advertisements for jobs. If you find organizations with general advertisements, which are not specifically looking out for staff, you can still use this information to check the company website (only if the organization's profile interests you enough, of course). Speak to people, look at company reports and press reports for an in-depth study of each company before you apply.

What Are The Jobs That I Should Apply For?
Unless you have been trained very specifically for a certain type of job, or you are already skilled in some form of work (when you already have some work experience), the field is wide open. If you are a fresh graduate, companies prefer to recruit you on the basis of certain general characteristics and abilities, and will train you with specific skill sets that match their needs.

How to Write a Good Resume
The most important part of a job application is writing your resume. Customize a basic resume to fit various types of job profiles. Your resume should be a crisp document sans frills, checked carefully for spelling, grammar, syntax, etc. The layout should look neat. Do not exaggerate, or conceal, or write vague statements. Most organizations will have their customized resume, so fill in the information as directed, emphasizing your achievements, both academic and professional. Try to match the company requirements with your skill sets. Use terms that will have an impact (you can always browse the company website to find specific keywords). Emphasize tangible achievements and avoid using 'I', when listing them. Send a hard copy of your resume, even if you have sent an online application. Do not fax your resume, unless explicitly directed.

What Should A Good Covering Letter Be Like?
A covering letter is not a cover for your resume. It is a document in which you introduce yourself, mention that you are applying for a job and the reasons why you think you are suitable for the job, and present a personal profile. Make the letter personal; find out the name of the person to whom it has to be addressed. Be crisp and clear in your language. Check the spelling, grammar, syntax, and layout. Type the final document, sign it, and attach it to your resume.  Another helpful article is Career Resources and Websites to help the job seeker in interviews and with other important factors involved in finding a job.

Do I Need To Give Letters of Recommendation?
Whether at the initial stages (during application) or later on (when you go for the interview), you will be asked for names of people who will provide references on you. Do not give letters of recommendation - unless specifically asked for - during the application stage. When you choose your referee, select someone who has a good impression of you. Try to select business associates, past professors, etc. Ask their permission before you provide their references. Let them know if they will be contacted by the company HR department or if they have to write a letter of recommendation. Write and thank them for their help.

For more inputs on job application, CVs, covering letter and interview tips check out the following sites:

Prospects.Ac.uk
Content.MyCareer.com
JobSearch.About.com
FederalJobSearch.com

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