Unemployed graduates can tap into their college career and alumni associations to make valuable contacts for finding their next job. If you have been unemployed for several months or you may be laid off soon, the following suggestions can ease your transition and help you make important connections for the future.

1) Visit the college’s career website. Most colleges feature tips on resume writing, alumni links, listing of national employers who actively recruit from that campus, and other information to help both undergraduates and post-grads find work.

2) Attend an alumni function. Most colleges host active alumni functions on a monthly or a quarterly basis. While the purpose of these events may be social, they still offer an excellent, informal way to make contact with people in fields which interest you. Or someone you meet may be able to direct you to a job lead, once you let them know you are actively looking.

3) Follow through on connections. If someone from the career center, the alumni office, or an alum you have met through one of these connections gives you names and contacts, follow-up. You may lose valuable credibility if they have made a call or had a conversation on your behalf and you haven’t followed through.

4) Connect with college organizations. If you belonged to a sorority or a fraternity or any other campus organization that offers national membership, check in with them as well. Many fraternal members have started their own companies or are influential community and business leaders.

5) Graciously thank people who help you. Follow up with notes or emails to the people who help you and do it within 48 hours. Recognizing another person’s time affirms that you are someone who is really worth the effort.

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