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The year of “the gap.”

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=gap+year&oq=gap+year&gs_l=img.3..0l10.561.1431.0.1565.8.7.0.0.0.0.139.469.6j1.7.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..1.7.464.o03FhMK6QVc#imgrc=hMYiIAlNWoX0LM%3AWith high school graduation right around the corner, you’re probably planning to spend the next few weeks appreciating every last minute of your senior year. You should be! You’ve spent four years of your life working towards this moment. However, when the joy of your accomplishments wears off, it will be time to take the next big step towards your future. Maybe you are headed to college. Maybe you plan to start work right away. Or, maybe you’ve considered a third option, one that’s increasingly popular these days: the gap year. 

It was recently announced that Malia Obama will take a gap year before attending Harvard for college. While some consider taking a “year off” before college to be a luxury, that really depends on how you look at it. Many choose to take time before college to travel or relax, yes, but others use that time to work and gain experience in the real world, engage in a long-term special project, or otherwise use the time in a constructive and meaningful way. It’s a great opportunity to do a little thinking, save a little money, and get a little experience that might just send you into your college education more focused on your goals and better prepared to succeed once there.

 In fact, gap year statistics show that 60% of gap-year graduates said the experience either “set me on my current career path” or “confirmed my choice of career,” and 88% said that it added to their employability.

If you do choose to take a gap year, it’s a great time to contact a recruiter about temporary staffing. Temp jobs allow you to work in difference scenarios to gain breadth of work experience, exploring different fields without being seen as a flight risk. At the end of a year of temping, you’ll have a better idea of what you do and don’t like about the workforce.

Maybe the gap year isn’t for you, and you prefer to head straight to college. This is certainly the most suitable choice for many people. Just make sure you choose a college with an idea of what you enjoy doing, so you can ensure the financial obligation is worth the time and effort.

Or maybe you prefer to head straight to work, skipping out on the $37,172 in student debt that the average 2016 college graduate holds. This can be a good option too, but it isn’t for everyone, as many careers do eventually require further education in order to advance them.

Whatever you choose, just remember – there’s no one path to a great future. You can carve out your own, that works for you.

Are you considering taking a gap year, and want to speak with a recruiter about temporary jobs? Contact TRC Staffing today.

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4 Tips That Will Help You Set Boundaries in The Office

https://goo.gl/TEhh5BWhen you work 8 hours day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year . . . it can be hard to separate your work relationships, from personal ones. How can it not be? However casual a work environment may seem, it is still work and there is affine line between “work” and “play”. Here are a few tips that will help maintain that distinction.

There are probably some really great people in your office. There should be! You chose to work for that company party because of the company’s culture. However, you should not spend too much time with people you work with, outside of the office. Yes, you will attend the occasional holiday party with your co-workers, maybe a monthly work meet-and-greet, or perhaps maybe even a summer work cookout. The key term here is work. It is a great idea to develop professional friendships within your company, but just because you say something in private outside of the company walls, doesn’t mean it won’t get told to others within the office. If you do develop a friendship with a co-worker, be careful with your words.

Make time to help others . . . just not too much time. This is a tough one, especially if you have empathy for others. You want to help teach people within in the company and see them grow, but if you spend too much time helping others, you may forget to help yourself. When someone comes up to you and is showing initiative, don’t turn them away. Set boundaries that allow you to appropriately groom and teach the individual. This will also help insure that they are learning to do the work themselves and not just rely on you to do the work for them.

Communicate! Let people know what type of work-style you prefer. Do you like to work alone? Bounce Ideas off of a team? Or maybe work with one other person? The key is to let people know what you prefer if you have the option in your current work environment. If you are upfront in an appropriate way about your preferences, people will respect you. This will also keep you from getting a bad reputation within the office.

Know what your goals are. When you start a new job, it can be very unclear what is to be expected of you. Make sure and sit down with your new manager and talk through what is expected. Talk about daily tasks, monthly goals, what your roll is within the company, and what you will be expected to complete by certain deadlines. Hopefully, most of these details were covered during the initial interview process, but if there is any confusion, ask questions up front. This will set expectations and it will also help you complete assignments on time.

Ultimately, there are different office situations that pop up that you NEVER think would happen. These are a few main tips that will help you set boundaries in the office. Do you have any situations that you have had to establish boundaries for? Tell us about them by commenting below.

 

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10 Thoughts You Have When Finding Your First Job

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=first+job&oq=first+job&gs_l=img.3..0l10.5850.6810.0.7012.9.7.0.2.2.0.96.561.7.7.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.9.581.U_aC0WFTS0s#imgrc=cGciSESLD5sYPM%3AIf you are about to graduate in May and have been proactive with your job search – on resume tweaking, interviewing, and networking your last few months. If you have been, “enjoying” your last few months of college and not focusing on your job search, May seems like a scary month. Don’t worry, you still have time to network and apply for positions. Here are 10 thoughts that will probably run through your head in the next few months.

This is going to be easy! Wrong. If this is your first job search, you will have a very optimistic attitude. You should, landing a great job is exciting for any person, at any point in their career; however, don’t think it is going to be a piece of cake. It takes dedication and lots of “no’s” to land a great job.

I put my resume on all career sites and my phone is blowing up, this is AWESOME! Career sites work by filtering the most updated and relevant information. If you post a new resume online, recruiters will contact you and you could have a lot of opportunities. Make sure you take the time to weed out the great opportunities from the average ones.

Wait, why do most of these job postings not have any salary information? Most employers do not list salary information on career sites. They do this because they want to keep their options open for different pay scales to determine if the person is the right fit.

Yeah, I’m taking a bunch of calls and talking with people. This is great! One of the best parts about applying to multiple jobs is the interview experience you will get. Try to schedule a few a week. By doing this, you are not only giving yourself the maximum amount of opportunities, but you are gaining interview skills that you will use for the rest of your career.

First round of interviews! Holy cow, I am nervous! You may nail your first interview or you may have to bang your way through it. It’s all a part of the process. Keep your head up and remember this is all part of learning.

Okay . . . none of those interviews were something I was interested in. What now? Back to the drawing board! If you don’t find a position you really love, don’t settle. Keep looking and narrow down your job search. You will start to notice the difference between good job postings and job postings that are just looking to fill a spot. You are not just a number on an excel document, so get out of there and find a quality position.

Okay, I’m going to read the whole job description this time and not just “quick apply”. Good! Take your time and really research the descriptions. Also, see what else is out there, some companies will only post available positions on their company page, some will only spread it through word of mouth, and some will simply go straight to a recruiting service. Use all of your resources.

Hey, this one looks pretty good . . . After all of your hard work, you will find a position that really reaches out to you and catches your eye. When you do find that position, do your research and prepare. It all comes down to you!

I rocked that interview! You had a great interview? That’s awesome! Take notes after the interview is over and write down everything you liked, and what needs to be worked on. After an interview, it is important to send a follow-up “Thank You” email. Now, it’s time to wait.

I haven’t heard from them . . . should I email them? No, I should wait. Should I . . . ? You may have a lot of thoughts going through your head right now but NO, you should not email them. If you haven’t heard from them in a few days, just wait. If they want you, they will reach out to you. If you reach out to them first and you were their top pick, you will give away all of your negotiating power. Be patient and wait.

I got the offer! You have officially received your first verbal offer! This is very exciting but remember, nothing is official until you get the written offer.

Hello offer letter! Now it is time to celebrate! Congratulations!

Did we miss any thought you may have had during the job hunt?

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How-to Change the “College” Mindset to a “Professional” Mindset.

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=college+dress+code&oq=college+dress+code&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i5i30l2j0i8i30l4j0i24l2.2538.7219.0.7388.20.17.0.2.2.0.102.1208.16j1.17.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..1.18.1149.zwCo4Ug0sPM#safe=active&tbm=isch&q=college+student+mindset&imgrc=2bgtnPRYxLzFwM%3AIf you have graduated from college in the past few years, you know that there is a BIG difference between a “college” mindset and a “professional” mindset. In college, it’s easy to get consumed by exams, late nights, Greek life, and the most recent dorm drama. Once you enter into the workforce, you may still have a few of the same issues, but you will have a completely different mindset. If you are about to graduate this spring, check out these tips that will help you adjust to the workforce successfully.

Broaden your group of friends. It can be really easy getting comfortable with the same friends. Heck, that’s why they are YOUR friends – you like to be around them. However, if you find yourself going to the same karaoke bar every Wednesday with the same people, staying up late, and rolling out of bed 30 minutes late the next morning – try to broaden your horizons. Meet with new people, try new activities, and break up the routine. This will give you a chance to make new friends, get out of that late night college routine, and maybe learn a little about yourself. Putting yourself in different situations will also help your communication skills when you land that new job. A great way to do this is to join a Meetup group.

Move to a different city. Sometimes, old habits simply die hard. It may take moving to a new city to help you get ready for your adult work life. Let’s face it, going to class hungover is not a big deal, but going to work hungover could get you fired. Try out a new city. This will give you new perspective, get you to try things out of your comfort zone, and get you to start actively thinking about the future.

Take on more responsibility. We aren’t saying go out and buy a house . . . but maybe it’s time for you to get your first apartment. It was great living the dorm life in college, really great . . . but having your own place will be even better. Carve out a space in this world that is just for you. Having the responsibility to create a home (and pay for it yourself) is a huge accomplishment.

Get ready for competition. It can be easy to get use to the classroom lifestyle. You work in groups, individually, or sometimes, just don’t show up to class if you aren’t really feeling it. Very few college professors care if you got an A, C, or fail the exam or class. Their job is to present you with information and you do what you will with it. There was never any real competition. In the workforce, there is. Get ready to work as part of a team, bounce ideas off each other, answer to a boss, and work towards something that is much bigger than a letter grade. If you have a report due 12:00 p.m. on Friday, there will be no extension, there will be no excuses – it’s simple due.

Lastly, use your peers, family, and professors for support. Start talking with people about what to expect. Find professionals you feel comfortable with and simply ask about the future. They can tell you funny stories, horror stories, and what NOT to do when you enter the workforce. What better way to learn than to ask someone who has done it?

Do you have any funny “first job” type of stories? Comment below and tell us about them!

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4 Tips That Will Help You Advance in Your Career

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=advance+in+your+career&oq=advance+in+your+career&gs_l=img.3..0i24.1599.5997.0.6140.22.12.0.10.10.0.92.681.11.11.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..1.21.708.n_EIhYrKfFM#imgrc=x0TNLGkup57F2M%3AIt’s easy to get comfortable in a position where you do the same thing every day. You can master this one task and be the best at it. However, if you do not continue to challenge yourself, you could be limiting your career success. The key is to keep learning, growing, and acquiring new skills. Put your best foot forward and advance in your career with these 4 tips.

It starts with initiative. It all starts with you. This is your career, no one else’s. Whether you are working in the Technology field, the Marketing field, or even in Customer Service – your advancement, depends on YOU. Research the standard “norms” of advancement in your career and use this knowledge to draw a general timeline of where you are, and where you wish to be. Once you have a general idea, make a list of short-term and long-term goals.

Do the research yourself. Research top selling books, articles, blogs, or maybe even consider going back to school. It all starts with what you know . . . and how you continue to develop that knowledge. Employers want to see that you haven’t hit a wall. For some positions, you may have to go back to school – for others, it may be as simple as brushing up on your reading. If you find yourself looking at an old stack of dusty books 200+ pages, don’t cringe. Think about how it will help your future.

Analyze where you are. Do you work for a company that has an amazing growth program? Or is their really no advancement opportunity where you are at? These things matter! Take a look at your current position and review your company culture. Some organizations hire within. They take someone, mold them to fit their needs, and help them work up the company ladder.

If you look around your current company and see quite a few new faces, it may be time to start networking. You don’t want to limit yourself when it comes to your success. See what else is out there and speak with recruiters about available positions. Also, research websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Careerbuilder to see what is available. If you have the experience, this would be a good opportunity to start looking at those dream positions and weighing your options.

Take action. If you are happy with your current company, and you are looking to stay and advance – start by simply asking. Schedule a meeting with your boss and ask about your future. Express you interest in taking on more responsibility at work, and talk about what it will take to advance.

Do you have any suggestions on how to advance in your career? Tell us about them by commenting below.       

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How-to Customize Your Resume

https://goo.gl/qxi86GIt’s Wednesday and you’re more than likely dreaming about your weekend plans. Well, if you weren’t – you are now. Let’s say a friend texts you and asks you to play ball. What kind of ball? Basketball? Football? Soccer? You have to text them back and ask “what kind?” You don’t want to show up for a basketball game wearing soccer cleats! If you wouldn’t use one ball for every sport, why would you use one resume to apply for every job? You wouldn’t. Check out these 4 tips that will help you customize your resume.

Research key terms. When applying for positions in one general field, it can seem like most of the key-terms are the same. Sometimes, that just isn’t the case. For example, if you are applying for sales positions . . . inbound and outbound sales are two completely different animals. These two positions require different personality types, they have opposite job duties, and they require different terminology on a resume. A Digital Marketer who utilizes Facebook Ads to track ROI, wouldn’t put that they have experience Cold-Calling potential clients. Even if you are applying for one specific title, make sure your terminology represents the position you are applying for.

Research the job. When you are preparing for an interview, you SHOULD research everything about the company. Look at the company history, the culture, research Yelp reviews, Facebook, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Use these online resources to learn about the company and use these details to put some personality into your resume. By taking the time to sprinkle important key-points and verbiage about the company throughout your resume, you are showing you would be a great fit and will be remembered over other candidates.

Spell check! It can be easy to forget to update all parts of your resume when you are constantly making changes. Make sure you don’t apply for a Customer Representative position with a major corporation, while your objective speaks about how important it is for you to work with a small business. Double check every term on your resume and make sure you read, re-read, and get someone to spell check each version before you hit submit. If you have grammar and spelling mistakes, you will almost immediately get dropped from the potential candidate list.

Write a different cover letter for each job. When applying for jobs today, writing a cover letter is essential. In fact, some positions on CareerBuilder, Indeed, and LinkedIn require you to submit a cover letter to even apply for a job. It shows that you are taking the time to customize your resume and that you care about the company you are applying for. Don’t just use one generic cover letter, tailor it to each company.

Resume writing can be a tedious task. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. It can seem . . . overwhelming at times, but it’s important to put the effort into it. Your resume is what represents you. It’s your life, goals, and aspirations on one piece of paper. The more work you put into it, the better you represent yourself. Have you already landed a great job interview? Do you need to run through a quick checklist? Make sure you are prepared and check out TRC Staffing Services’ blog Interview Etiquette.

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6 Top Q&A’s You Should Know About W-2’s this Tax Season.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=W-2&view=detailv2&&id=5E8D6F4C5B990CF3569B4B03F0DB3A2D6A228DAE&selectedIndex=27&ccid=l18C0jWP&simid=608027049140293155&thid=OIP.M975f02d2358f6652fc6a5237064ccb41o0&ajaxhist=0It’s that time of year again – tax season. If you are like most people, you probably don’t enjoy the process of filing taxes; but, unfortunately it’s one of life’s necessities. Luckily, most companies are switching to electronic W-2’s making it easier for employees to access their personal information. No more waiting for paper copies in the mail!

With most companies utilizing these technologies and providing information online, there will be a learning curve. If this is your first time accessing your W-2 online, know that if you register before December 31st of the prior year, you can “opt-out” of receiving a paper copy. If you register AFTER the 31st of the prior year, you will receive a paper copy in the mail.

What date should you have your W-2 by? This may seem like a straight question but it can be a little tricky. In a perfect world, you should have your information by the end of January. However, this can sometimes be delayed a little if the end of January ends during a weekend. The important factor you need to watch out for here – is that your documents need to be post marked by the 31st. If they are post marked after this date and you still haven’t received your information by mid-February, you need to contact your previous or current company and ask them when they sent out the papers (and where to).

Does that last sentence ring a bell in your head? When and WHERE your W-2 was sent? If you have recently moved to a new location and you didn’t receive anything in the mail regarding taxes, it may be because your paper copy was sent to your old address. If this has happened, go ahead and contact the post office and ask them to set up mail forwarding. If you want another copy to be sent through the mail, you will need to contact your previous or current company and ask them to update your current address and resend the document. If you have the ability to, you can also go in and pick up a paper copy yourself. However, this is one of the perks of using the electronic W-2 portal online. You can just login . . . and all of your information is easily accessible!

How do you log in? When you first started working for a company, they probably sent you an email about logging in, creating an account, and how to access your personal information. If you are currently trying to login to your account and don’t remember anything like that being sent to you . . . start with the basics and try to create a new account. It may have just been forgotten during the initial hiring process.

What if you lost your password? If you can’t create a new account or if you do not remember your account information, you do not need to contact the online service your W-2 is located on (for example ADP). Instead, contact the company that you worked for and they will assist you with any further Username and Password questions. If you are having trouble specifically with TRC Staffing Services W-2, send questions to w2@trcstaffing.com

What if a company you worked for over the year – went out of business? Unfortunately, this can happen but it doesn’t have to be a pain to deal with. If you worked for a company that went out of business, they still SHOULD have sent you a W-2 for the time you spent with them. If they didn’t, search through some of those old emails and try to find an email from HR. This is the best way to reach out to them and try and access the information. If no one responds, DON’T go into panic mode. The IRS has separate forms for you to fill out that will pretty much recreate your W-2 from the past year. You can send this form in with your return and it will complete your taxes.

Lastly, when contacting previous companies you worked for, staffing services, or small businesses – know that they cannot send you this information through email or fax. It has to be sent through the mail or accessed online. This may seem like an inconvenient rule but at the end of the day, it protects your identity.

Do you have any further Q&A’s about W-2’s and taxes? Comment below and tell us about them!

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Perform a Quick and Painless Online Job Search.

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=online+job+search&oq=online+job+search&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i30j0i24l7.1852.4182.0.4332.17.13.0.4.4.0.100.873.12j1.13.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.17.915.Ta4ROF4xvds#imgrc=9WrnH8y86DM3-M%3ASearching for a job online can be quick and easy if performed correctly, or lengthy and unsuccessful if not performed correctly. Instead of getting overwhelmed and distracted by thousands of listings, perform a more efficient, targeted, and painless search using these tips.

Narrow your search results. Use the filters provided by search engines to hone in on what you’re really looking for. You can filter by posting date, company, location, industry, salary, and employment type. You can also exclude certain results, like national jobs or jobs without pay information.

Keep several versions of your resume. Tweak and tailor your resume to suit the various industries and jobs you’re considering. Use keywords in the resume body that apply to the industry or job. This is important because applicant tracking systems that pick up on keywords are commonly used to screen applicants. As you apply to jobs, submit the best version of your resume for that position to increase your odds it’ll actually be seen – so you’re not wasting your time applying.

Look beyond online applications. You should always apply online as directed for the job you’re interested in. However, it pays to do a little digging for the department manager’s or hiring manager’s email address, too. As long as you’re truly interested in – and a fit for – a job, sending a quick and personal note to the hiring manager will give them a heads up and potentially get your resume seen before the hundreds of others that were submitted the traditional way.

Make these simple adjustments to your online search, and you’ll decrease your time looking and increase your odds of landing the job you want. After all, the Internet is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder.

 

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How to Prepare for a Video Interview

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1364&bih=651&q=video+conference+call&oq=video+conference+call&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i8i30j0i24l7.17908.25338.0.25535.21.15.0.6.6.0.99.821.14.14.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..1.20.870.hmCz24o1jHs#imgrc=C8dbn4utPI3meM%3AMore and more companies are arranging video-chat interviews with candidates, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of having interviewees hop on a plane for an in-person meeting. It’s great, except conducting a video interview requires a different set of considerations for the candidate preparing to put his or her best foot forward.

Besides all the traditional considerations that go into prepping for any interview, here are some tips for preparing in particular for the video interview:

Consider your setting. The background you choose is like a frame for your interview, and says a lot about you to your employer. Try to avoid the window with the sheet draped over it to block out the light, and choose a wall with nicely framed art, for example, instead. Make sure that the people in your home know to steer clear during the interview.

Dress as you would for an in-person interview. You don’t need to wear a three-piece suit, but look professional, not like you’re in cleaning mode or just had your bath and are ready for bed.

Make “eye” contact. Eye contact means look at the camera – not at your computer screen, tempting as it may be. When you look at the camera, you’ll be looking at the interviewer in the face, and come across more confident and engaged.

Do a test run. Technical difficulties are common and not the best way to start an interview. So make sure you set up your interview spot and your camera, position yourself, and practice talking just to make sure things will go smoothly during the real interview.

Try these tips, and you’ll look like a true professional for your video interview.

 

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Tips for College Seniors: How-to Develop an Online Presence

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=online+presence&view=detailv2&&id=F77D1F546BEE8F30FA2940289F18F9CBEE798CE1&selectedIndex=0&ccid=Ezl%2fmtpG&simid=608036897464321476&thid=OIP.M13397f9ada46d99575296873f1d4cbffo0&ajaxhist=0We recently published a blog article called “Attention All College Seniors. Use the Holiday Season to Your Advantage!” The article focused on the extra time college seniors have during the Holiday season and gave some suggestions on how to start crafting a great resume. Today’s blog will continue to focus on seniors getting closed to graduation and provide you with a few steps you SHOULD be taking before May.

It’s mid-January and you are probably settling in to your new class schedule. Most seniors usually choose one of two routes for their final semester . . . wait to take all the hard classes or save all the fun ones for last. If you have found yourself leisurely walking from Yoga class to Aerobics, make sure to use this time wisely. Start developing an online presence on career sites and cleaning up your personal ones on social media. Even if you have a huge workload, it would be wise to start doing the same.

There are A TON of career sites that employers and recruiters post available positions on every day. Some of the top pages used are Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. All of these sites provide you with the opportunity to put your new and finally tuned resume online. If you put the work into it during the Holidays, you should have a resume filled with keywords, your experience, and maybe even a few hobbies listed at the bottom. If not, get on it ASAP! By posting this information on different networks, you are self-marketing and making your potential job opportunities expand greatly.

Don’t just stop after you upload your resume, take a professional photo of yourself. A LinkedIn profile picture is different from your Facebook and Twitter account. You will need to upload a very conservative photo. You don’t have to get a professional to do it for it to be a great profile photo. Put on a professional shirt, ask a friend to come take a photo of you, stand against a blank wall and take a nice headshot. This is the perfect profile picture for any career site.

Another great way to attract recruiters to your profile page is to update all of your skills. Start making a running list of all of your skills you have used throughout college. From Social Media to WordPress, put anything you think will help you attract recruiters during your job search. Just make sure you pick skills that relate to the position you are interested in applying for.

Lastly, start looking through available positions. You will go through hundreds of job descriptions on these websites and not every position is going to catch your eye. In fact, many of them may not. Start now to see the norm of the market and what is available. Do your research and also start looking up the average annual salary for the position you are interested in applying for are.

Are you a college senior who is in the middle of the job search process? Do you have a few tips that would help college seniors network themselves? Tell us about them by commenting below!