Does anybody have any advice on the daunting task of looking for my first job aftre graduating. I have registered with search sites such as http://college.monster.com and www.jobs4graduates.net but have had much look yet. Is it just the way the economy is at the moment ?
I have heard some investigative reporting on public radio that indicated that lots of human resource people are using linkedin.com to look for people, as it uses networking, which monster.com does not. I would encourage you to put a profile there, as well. #2 is right, networking is vital, as is presenting a positive face online. I would advise you to google yourself and check out what comes up online - better that you should find things that you want to clean up before someone else finds them.
Another way to both network and get something to add to your resume is to volunteer. Choose something that is meaningful to you, and set aside some time every week to go volunteer. Get to know the other people that work there, and make sure they know you are looking for a job, and what you are hoping to do. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations, either.
Oh, and if you have not done so already create a professional-sounding email address and start using it. It can be a free email like gmail, but use your name or some version of it. I once sat on a hiring committee where an applicant used "thunderthighs86@----.com as her email address on her resume. It was very hard to take her seriously after I saw that.
Job placement agencies such as Manpower and Bonnie can help to find temporary employment while you look for a job that fits your education and degree. In larger cities they often have contacts for permanent placement as well as suggestions and general advice. Some even take your information and spread it to other job placement agencies; they want you employed, so they do a lot to help.
Your college no doubt has a placement office and probably a website you will be able to sign up for. Often, there are postings that are not on the more generic websites. Also, as you look for jobs, bear in mind that your cover letter and résumé should be tailored to suit the situation. And as litteacher says, networking is important. You should tell everyone you know that you are about to graduate and will be looking for a job.