It’s the typical college senior dilemma. After four years of hard work have gone into earning a degree in a field that now provokes second and third thoughts, it’s time to start making a mark on the world.
The only thing many recent or soon-to-be graduates are sure of is they want a good job after being in school for so long, but have no clue in what industry or for what company they want to work.
I myself am in this exact situation. Degree in hand, I have applied for 20 jobs and sent my résumé to 20 more employers but have yet to receive a single response, save for a simple rejection letter from Google. Even worse is that, despite my four-and-a-half years of journalism coursework, I still don’t have a clear idea of what I want to do with my life, and have a pile of student debt looming over my financial future.
Simple solace is here, though, in ink and paper form. The Princeton Review is simplifying the recent graduate’s job search with the 2006 edition of "Best Entry-Level Jobs," co-authored by Ron Lieber and Tom Meltzer. The book features 74 different companies’ entry-level jobs. Those employers hire more than 26,000 people annually. There is a myriad of different information presented in the text, including data for deciding if a job is the right one, all the way to tips for helping you land the job.
"It’s a good book even if you’re thinking of changing your career in the first couple of years," said Robert Franek, editor of "Best Entry-Level Jobs."
The book prefaces the job listings with useful sections on maximizing networking, writing an effective résumé and cover letter, and tips for acing the job interview.
Jobs are listed alphabetically by company or organization, and information pertaining to each one is organized so that it can be quickly reviewed according to what criteria are most important to each reader. Categories include information on salary and benefits, training and advancement, job responsibilities, locations, longevity, what it’s like to work for that company and what kind of competition can be expected for the job.
The authors share a wealth of testimonials from people currently in the positions documented in the book, and those testimonials helped determine which companies were highlighted. Franek said the co-authors conducted between seven and nine interviews of recent graduates currently working at each company.
One testimonial from a grad with City Year, a volunteering program, talked about relationships with co-workers. "The camaraderie is excellent – [there is] a ton of outside-of-work social gathering, hanging out, etc. Some of my best friends are corps members I serve with."
Another entry-level jobber’s testimonial discussed his experiences with Deloitte, a financial services firm. "I am almost never bored. When I am at work, I am always thinking and keeping myself busy and the time flies by. Sometimes the amount of work can be a little overwhelming, but that makes the time go by faster."
"Best Entry-Level Jobs" presents a wide-spectrum of companies, each with their own advantages and perks.
- Go behind the scenes of a live news show as a desk assistant with ABC News.
- Gain life-changing experiences and make life-long friends working with Americorps.
- Employment at Electronic Arts guarantees $100 toward the purchase of a video-game console.
- Start climbing the corporate ladder with General Electric’s Corporate Leadership Development Program.
- Enjoy the generous benefits package offered by Internet giant Google.
Franek says all of the companies mentioned in the book are great to work for and offer excellent opportunities, but the Oxygen Network and The Princeton Review really stood out as two of his favorites.
"It’s wonderful what so many companies do for young employees," Franek said.
Wherever your interests lie and despite what your diploma lists as your specialty, the 2006 edition of "Best Entry-Level Jobs" has options for anyone looking to get in on the ground floor or at least land a great post-college job.
"I think finding your passion and finding a job where you can accommodate that passion is really where the value lies here."
The 2006 edition of "Best Entry-Level Jobs" is currently in bookstores and the 2007 edition is slated for release this spring.
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