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Gaining Meaningful Experience through Community and Civil Service Programs

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By Marcia Powers
Contributor, Career Servicesglobal-youth-service-day-2015-apu

During a tough economy, landing a job can be difficult for anyone. However, it can be especially rough for recent graduates with little to no past employment experience. Entry-level positions tend to be competitive and attract a wide variety of candidates, including professionals who already possess many years of working experience, making it difficult for recent graduates to secure those positions.

If you are a recent graduate in a similar situation, you’re probably looking to gain experience and become more competitive in the job market. Believe it or not, there are community and civil service programs set in place that aim to help young professionals and recent graduates develop their skills and gain meaningful experience.

AmeriCorps
This program is near and dear to my heart, as this is the route I took after college. As stated on their website, AmeriCorps aims to create opportunities for young people who are just entering the workforce. The AmeriCorps often appeals to recent grads because of the many focus areas in which one might serve (e.g., disaster relief, education, environmental stewardship, etc.). Pursuing AmeriCorps service opportunities that are in line with your career goals could help you begin the journey down your ideal career path. For more information regarding this program, visit AmeriCorps.gov.

Pathways: Recent Graduates Program
If you are interested in working your way into the federal government, the Recent Graduates Program through Pathways might be a great opportunity to consider. This program intends to promote civil service opportunities to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions. To learn more about Pathways Recent Graduate Program and to review specific eligibility requirements, please visit usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads.

Although these opportunities are not the only means of gaining employment experience for recent graduates, they are certainly worth checking out. Not only can community and civil service benefit society, but it can benefit your career as well.

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