Graduation is almost here. According to Ben Carpenter, it’s time to switch from “college” thinking to “real-world” thinking. If you treat each résumé-and-cover-letter combo the same way you do midterm papers (i.e., write, submit, hope for the best), you’ll spend eons in job-search purgatory.


Carpenter, author of the new book “The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals About How to Find a Great Job, Do a Great Job, Be a Leader, Start a Business, Stay Out of Trouble, and Live a Happy Life” offers tips for finding and keeping a great job including:


Reach out to a lot of people. At this point in your job search, how many people have you contacted for interviews? How many more do you intend to contact? If you’re like many of your peers, chances are the number tops out around 15 or 20. That’s nowhere near enough, says Carpenter.


“I tell young people they should prepare to contact at least 40 to 50 people in the industry of their choice,” he says. “While they never say it to me out loud, I can almost hear them thinking, You’ve got to be kidding! as their eyes widen and their eyebrows shoot up. You may have a similar reaction, but let me assure you that making 40 or 50 connections is necessary. It may take you fewer—or more—interviews to get that coveted offer, but this is a good number to plan for in order to conduct a professional, and ultimately successful, job search.”