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The global financial meltdown of the last five years wiped out many businesses of all sizes. Although Canada was not hit as hard as the U.S and some EU countries, thousands of formerly employed people became jobless and an equal number of new college graduates never landed the job they would have gotten with ease before the recession. While the economy is on the path to recovery and the job market is starting to improve, some jobs for recent grads are still scarce. At the same time, universities across Canada have churned out graduates faster than the recovering economy has been able to create jobs. The competition for jobs is so tough that you would be lucky to even get an interview. However, it doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do except hope and pray. With a little effort and ingenuity, you can easily improve your chances in life. In these tough times, breaking into any industry requires a lot of hard work and preparation. Preparing for your dream job should not start after you finish college; it should start right from the time you join college. Here are six useful tips on how to prepare yourself to break into the industry of your choice:

1. Create A General, Tailored Resume

No employer will hire you without looking at your resume. First, create a general resume listing all your qualifications, skills, and accomplishments but do not fire it off to employers; use it only as a reference. Before applying for any advertised position, study the employer's requirements carefully and tailor your resume to suit the requirements.

2. Establish Your Goals And Objectives

Never under estimate having a plan. Having clear and well defined goals and objectives are of utmost important if you want to achieve anything in life. Do you think NASA just winged the Apollo missions? Establish your goals, identify the objectives required to accomplish those goals and formulate a plan to achieve them. Put everything down in writing, put the plan into action and stay focused at all times.

3. Do An Internship

Doing an internship is a great way to gain experience by putting into practice what you have learned. Some post-secondary courses make internships mandatory for graduation. If yours does not, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t complete one. Taking the initiative to contact a corporation solely on your own shows that you are eager to be involved in your chosen field and could lead to a full time position. The best ways to find internship programs are through online research, networking and applying to companies that accept interns.

4. Join A Professional Network

It's never too early (or late for that matter) to join a professional network. Find successful people in your intended profession and reach out to them. If it is not possible to contact them directly, join online groups such as LinkedIn and share ideas with them. Use every opportunity to learn from them and try to impress them with your zeal and knowledge, but be careful not to overdo it.

5. Join A Club Or Sports Activity

Your college or university may have a number of clubs and sports activities throughout the year. Join those that are most likely to serve your long term interest. The main idea here is to build personal contacts, leadership skills and team spirit through interaction with other students.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, learn skills, gain experience and display your talent. Find an organization whose service matches your goals and apply for a volunteer position. It should not be difficult to find one as there are numerous organizations that are in need of volunteers. It shows you are truly there for the experience only (as you will not be getting paid). Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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