Cast a Wide Net
Employers typically recruit on campus, but the process is different now and you need to innovate, says Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.
That means researching employers in your field and smaller ones that don't necessarily recruit. The Internet is an extraordinary tool for researching these employers—and their competitors.
Work Your Network
I cannot emphasize this enough. In this economy, chances are you're going to get a job by word of mouth. You have to talk to people, tell them what you're looking for and ask if they know of openings or if any of the people they know do.
Chat up family, friends, professors, alumni. If you had an internship during college, get in touch. Be sure to have a professional profile on networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook.
Focus on You
There's a lot of competition, and many laid-off workers who've been sidelined for a while are applying for anything they can get.
Don't let that get you down. Focus on what you offer. A lot of employers are looking for new energy and ideas. Show you offer that.