In today’s society, news travels at light speed.  Where in olden times, the time it took for news to be delivered, the message would soon become old news (pardon the pun).  However, in today’s world, the happenings around the globe are a mere fingertip away on computers, laptops, televisions, and radios.  In spite of the ease of access to the information of the world, what the vigilant individual needs to be aware of is that the news flows through facets that are corporate entities or government controlled enterprises.  The information is not as free as one may assume.  In this ambiguous present, a new source of information emerges, Wikileaks.

What does it mean that the information is not necessarily free?  In most instances, the impact of this statement is not noticeable.  A natural disaster strikes, a crime takes place, and other such occurrences stimulate the news networks around the globe without much thought behind the reporting.  However, when a story such as the RBGH controversy turns up, the question of honesty in then news world becomes much more vital.  To those not acquainted with this story, it took place when two Fox reporters discovered that dairy farmers were injecting their cows with growth hormones which in turn had harmful effects on the health of consumers.  Instead of reporting outright about this controversy, the reporters were essentially gagged by the network.  The reason behind this action was that the maker of the bovine growth hormone was the chemical company “Monsanto”.  This company just happened to be a major advertiser and monetary supporter of Fox news.  This created what they call a conflict of interest.

Another factor that impacts the ability of the news to be delivered is the control that the various governments have over the flow of information.  For example, the functions and machinations of the United States government are considered a matter of national security to a degree and are therefore subject to secrecy and redaction at the government’s discretion.  What this means for the general public is a lack of disclosure.  This fact makes the issue of governmental accountability rather difficult when situations that may involve corrupt bureaucrats or questionable military tactics arise.

Ultimately, what these two issues come back to is disclosure, accountability, and an ethical obligation to the people.  Out of this moral quandary, we see the birth of a wild card, Wikileaks.  Wikileaks is a non-profit international organization that publishes submissions of private, classified, and anonymous documents on their website.  Since it’s formation in 2006, Wikileaks has claimed to be in possession of classified documents quantified in the millions.  The publications to date have included such releases as “Afghan War Diary”, “Iraq War Logs”, “U.S State Department Diplomatic Cables”, and other such documents.  It goes without saying that a large portion of information released by Wikileaks is making many officials cringe.  Wikileaks stands for the freedom of information and is viewed by many to be the savior of the information age.  Yet, is it really?

There is another side of the coin to this organization.   How does Wikileaks come by the information that it publishes?  It receives the classified documents and secret communications through individuals that violate the national security of their given nation and illegally obtain these documents, giving them to Wikileaks for publishing.  The problem arises with the lack of control regarding the leaked information.  The documents that get published may contain harmless tidbits about international diplomacy or they can contain strategic military maneuvers that have no business being public knowledge.

The current trend is to applaud Wikileaks for the honest “reporting” that it provides.  However, at the end of the day, Americans are putting stock in the moral compass of an organization that has openly expressed anti-American sentiment.  The problem with an organization like Wikileaks is a complete lack of checks and balances.  This is not an organization that is concerned with issues of national security or necessary statutes of secrecy.  They open a can of worms and leave those that are affected to deal with the fallout.  What if the information that this organization releases exposes vulnerabilities in domestic security, putting lives in jeopardy?

Issues such as disclosure and accountability should always be approached with the idea of a balanced solution.  Declassifying documents after an event has run its course is less risky than revealing those documents in the middle of an operation.  The question isn’t always if something should be revealed, but when.  Wikileaks is not willing to engage in this balancing act.  Utilizing the simplest category of operation, Wikileaks is a radical organization.  This organization is willing to do whatever it needs to in order to achieve the necessary objective.  However, the masterminds running the website are not interested in ethical quandaries or the ultimate impact of operation.

As was stated at the beginning of this article, the news isn’t free.  The government may have a say in the control of information and corporate obligations skew the bottom line.  However, does this mean that we must put our stock in an organization like Wikileaks?  The answer is no.  Wikileaks is an organization with no conscience.  The purpose of this company is to reveal secrets without a thought to the aftermath.  Furthermore, the past statements released by the founder, Julian Assange, have revealed that Wikileaks is biased in it’s culture and operation.  This is what it all comes down to; an organization that knows more than it should with the power to make waves.  The problem is that those waves will be directed by the prejudiced and biased views of Wikileaks.

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The Islamic community center that is slated to be built several blocks away from ground zero has been dubbed the “Mosque at Ground Zero”.  People have met this structure with more than cool disdain.  It has sparked a debate and drawn a clear line between supporters of the construction of the “community center” and the opposition, claiming that this structure is a mockery and an insult to Americans that suffered a terrible loss on 9/11.  Ultimately, this is not a legal battle, but a social one.  What kind of message is being sent by this debate and what will this structure stand for?

Before getting into any debate, it is first prudent to establish some unbiased facts about the Muslim Community Center.  Firstly, proponents of the community center have established that the community center is not solely a mosque.  The structure, titled Lot 51, will feature a performance arts center, lecture hall, swimming pool, gymnasium and other such amenities in addition to a prayer hall.  Essentially, this is a religiously tailored YMCA.  However, with these features in mind, one must ask what sparked such a social opposition?

For one, the PR for the project labeled it a Muslim institution from the onset.  Perhaps it was an honest and innocent attempt to be forthcoming with the public; however, it sparked media frenzy.  This project went from being a community center to a symbol of Islam, extremism, and a reminder of the terrible acts that were committed on 9/11.  Furthermore, the proximity of the community center to ground zero fueled the outrage that to this day has not abated.  Since that moment, any attempts to distance the project from a mosque have been unsuccessful.

If this issue is viewed from a strictly legal perspective, then there is no dilemma here.  The project is protected by legal rights and has the full allowance of the law to exist at the chosen location.  Any attempt to argue against this project on legal grounds will be largely unsuccessful.  However, this issue is also arguable form a moral perspective.

If viewed through a moral lens, this division of perspectives over the issue becomes much more understandable. Many people that suffered a loss on 9/11 will view this community center/Islamic center/mosque as a desecration of sacred ground.  The structure would be visible for at least several miles from multiple directions.  In addition to being a visible scar to many, there is a deeper meaning that can be contrived from the building of a mosque.  In history, the building of a Mosque was a sign of conquest, erected over conquered territory in the name of the Islamic god.  Though some may argue that the act is an antiquated tradition that no longer holds much meaning in the modern world, they would be overlooking the fact that Islam is a religion that still exists within the realms of antiquity.  Many practices that existed in Christianity’s and Judaism’s past have long since become extinct as society progressed past the era’s of enlightenment and into the post-modern.  The problem is that Muslim society has not kept pace with social progression.  Muslim traditions, practices, and customs have remained relatively unchanged.

Americanized Muslims will view the building of the community center as a symbol of hope and remembrance.  However, traditional Muslims as well as Americans may view this structure as a symbol of success and “conquest” for the Islamic extremists that caused this nation such a great pain.  The backers of this project have my sympathies if they mean this community center in good faith.  However, the truth stands that the horror of 9/11 was carried out in the name of the Islamic god.  Not the Jewish God, nor Christian, nor any other denominational God.  The attacks were carried out in the name of allah.

When considering the social implications of constructing the Muslim community center, the legal reasoning seems almost moot.  This project will cause a lot of pain to a lot of people.  There is good reason to stand against it.  Some may view it as an act of racism and discrimination.  However, there must come a time when people grow thicker skin and swallow their pride.  America stands for freedom, equality, and the pursuit of happiness.  In spite of this, America cannot stand for the construction of this Muslim center.  This project spits into the souls of those individuals that will live in eternal pain from the loss experienced on 9/11; pain that was inflicted in the name of the Islamic religion.  Those individuals do not seek reparation; they only seek a small measure of pity.

Many may think that I am a little late to the table with this article.  However, allow me to correct your misconception.  I am not a person that makes rash statements.  Before addressing this issue, I wanted to wait for all of the details to be brought to light and for the news outlets to run their gamma of stories.  Only after analyzing the situation for a week, I am confident in taking a firm stance in full support of Israel’s actions aboard the flotilla.

The events that took place have sparked an international outrage, once more labeling Israel as a hateful, violent, and hostile state.  Let us examine the pure facts without adding in any biased views on the events that took place.

Israel has had a tight maritime blockade on Gaza since January 2009.  This blockade was installed in order to intercept any possible weapons, weapon components, or materials to make bunkers.  The blockade is in response to both continued rocket fire into Israeli territory as well as the previous Gaza offensive.  However, despite the blockade, Israel has offered any groups wishing to send humanitarian aid the option of sending it to an Israeli port for inspection before it is transported to Gaza.  Despite these conditions and the maritime blockade, on Monday, May 31st, 2010, a flotilla carrying Turkish activists, attempted to cross the blockade and head to Gaza.  This ship was intercepted by Israeli commandos.  The confrontation between the activists and the commandos resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists.  Israel has released statements, testimonies and videos in support of their claims that the soldiers aboard the ship were attacked by knives, bottles, and even pistols (wrested from commandos).  As a result, Israel claims that their soldiers were acting in self defense.

These are the facts as they have happened without any embellishment.  If Israel allowed this ship to pass, then such an action would open the door to even more breaches of the blockade and threaten Israel’s safety.  Nevertheless, the incident has sparked an international outrage and condemnation of Israel’s actions and policies. Why?

The answer to that question is both complicated and simple.  The complexity lies in the way that the international community portrays the Israeli state and that view is independent of events that took place aboard the flotilla.  Israel has always been held to a double standard as demonstrated by the military clashes in past events.  It is no secret that thousands upon thousands of rockets have been fired into Israel.  Yet this fact has not been met with international outrage.  In fact, it does not even graze headlines anymore.  However, if you reverse this situation and analyze the reaction of the world community if Israel responds to these rocket attacks with military force, then a whole different picture is painted.  Islamic protestors crawl out of their homes across the world and protest against Israel’s inhuman actions.  How dare that Zionist state fire upon Muslim territories!  My question is simple and one I have asked in past articles…Where is the protest and outrage when rockets rain on Israel?  More than that, how can so many Americans support the Palestinian position, when a great majority of the Middle East was cheering and celebrating when the Twin Towers fell?

The funny thing is that the Muslim community is riddled with hypocrisy, ignorance, and extremism.  This is one of the only times that you will hear me make such a generalization.  This is not a racist statement, it is fact.  As mentioned before, the second that Israel retaliates, the Muslim community is in an uproar.  They do not care for details or circumstances.  Their position on the issue is dictated by corrupt Muslim leaders.  However, when Muslim nations engage in ethnic cleansing, the mass killing of their own people, and illegal occupation of territories (Turkey anyone?), for some reason, you could hear a pin drop.  I guess it can be deduced that Muslims hate their own people as much as they hate Israel.

The world community is famous for condemning Israel for its actions.  Yet, not once did any nation propose an alternative solution aside from naïve fantasies of peace.  Why isn’t the U.N physically monitoring the borders of Israel?  Why isn’t any other nation inspecting cargo and controlling the import and export of illegal arms in the Middle East?  Yet, there is always criticism to be made in spite of the fact that no other nation does a damn thing to stop or monitor the violence in the Middle East.

Now fast forward to the events that took place on Monday.  Before even beginning to analyze the situation, we must first define a very important term; activist.  Activism means to engage in direct and aggressive action to meet an end.  It is important to understand this term because it is what the Turkish passengers aboard the flotilla called themselves.  However, activist is not inherently a benevolent title.  An activist can be a person that is fighting for human rights.  On the other hand, an activist can also be another name for a terrorist.  I am not defining this term because I believe that the members of the flotilla were terrorists, however, this is the term being used to attract compassion for the activists in the same way that foreign labor exploitation is a phrase that is used to condemn the globalization of the factors of production.

The facts speak for themselves.  Israel had a military blockade and offered to pass on any humanitarian aid as well as laying out the actions to be carried out if the activists refuse.  The activists chose to refuse Israel’s offer and push forward.  Israeli soldiers seized the ship and in the process were attacked as demonstrated by captured footage.  As any soldier is trained to do, the Israeli commandos defended themselves and the result was nine dead activists, a price that could have been avoided if there was cooperation.

This flotilla was not meant for humanitarian aid.  Israel puts no restrictions on humanitarian aid, only contraband items that threaten it’s security.  This flotilla was merely a tool used to demonize the Israeli state.  Yet, there was not a single word of caution to the world community for allowing this ship to breach the blockade without intervening.  Nevertheless, as I write this article, a second flotilla is headed for Gaza from Ireland.  Let us hope that there will be peaceful cooperation.

Allow me to make a sleight deviation from standard topic based critique and instead insert a nostalgic reference to one of my favorite shows, “The Simpsons”.  Watching this show through the years has been a very unique experience.  As a child, I would laugh at the comedy and watch the show like any other.  However, as an adult, watching the older episodes is a renewed experience because I begin to notice the greater messages buried deep within each plot.  The episode “Trash of the Titans” is particularly resonant in our country’s current political state.

Trash of the Titans starts with a large department store trying to come up with a new holiday.  Their goal is, of course, to make even more of a profit.  The result of their pondering is the creation of “Love Day”.  After the town celebrates, this results in a large collection f trash.  Homer Simpson is tasked with taking out the garbage in his household and ends up fighting with the Garbage Men.  The disagreement leads to the city’s refusal to collect the Simpson’s garbage.  After Marge Simpson forges an apology in her husband’s name, Homer Simpson goes to the city sanitation commissioner to retract his apology.  After a heated and very comedic exchange occurs; Homer decides to run against the current commissioner (Voiced by Steve Martin).  Homer Simpson runs under the banner slogan, “Let Someone Else Do It”, promising that the Sanitation Department will take care of all of the tasks involved with taking out the trash.

Does this sound familiar yet?  If not, you have not been following the current political climate. President Obama has promised Americans universal healthcare, Wallstreet reform, and so many other changes.  The problem is that all of these promises are both a large undertaking as well as an expansion of government control.   I think if we looked at some early drafts of Obama’s campaign, we would find the very slogan concocted by Homer Simpson as an early option because “Let Someone Else Do It” is the current banner under which our administration is flying.

The more government takes control of our society, the less people have to think.  People only like capitalism when it’s working for them; however, if you throw in a recession, suddenly everyone is a socialist.  Like Homer Simpson, our president is making outlandish promises of universal benefits and government expansion.  To those unfamiliar with the episode, the inevitable result of the outlandish promises made to the public, is that Homer Simpson ends up burning up and overstepping the budget in a month.  Is this ringing any bells yet?  If not, please look up the costs of all the proposed changes being made by the Obama administration and try not to jump.

The climax of the episode is when Homer Simpson realized that the only way to pay for the government services is to make backroom deals with other cities, allowing them to dump their trash in Springfield.  This ends up destroying the environmental climate of the city.  So, after all the promises and backroom deals made by the Obama administration, you may still wonder what will come next.  Well, you have but to finish the episode of the Simpsons to find out.  The populous realizes that Homer Simpson did not know what he was doing and remove him from office.  All in all, it was a happy ending for Springfield.

The funny thing is that the writers intended the message to be an environmental one.  However, they were able to portray both the public’s gullibility and the ineptitude of a government official to realistically deliver on promises made.  The scary thing is that we are currently living this episode.  Please, when the time comes, remove Homer Simpson from office.

Arizona continues to draw heat from the liberal media and a large portion of the American population regarding it’s Immigration law.  The state decided to pass legislation that would require law enforcement to check the citizenship/alien registration of people in the course of legal police operations (I.E Traffic stops).  Despite targeting illegal immigration, advocates against this law are claiming that it encourages racial profiling and discrimination.  Yet, the fact still remains that more than 50% of Americans are in support of this law.

I am not saying that the opposing side of this bill does not have a valid argument.  Laws such as the one put forth in Arizona have a history of enhancing opportunities to discriminate against a particular group such as the old anti-black laws that riddled society.  Furthermore, it must be noted that this law is taking place in Arizona, a state that has a very large Latino population.  Many of the state’s Latino’s are citizens of the United States and would therefore be inconvenienced by these added regulations.

One of the biggest problems with this law is not the law itself.  It is the media representation of the effects of this law.  I am not one that immediately jumps to blaming the “Liberal Media”.  However, when the media outlets in this country are all focusing on the disgruntled citizens and anti-immigration law lobbyists, there is something profoundly wrong with that.  What hasn’t been underlined in the media is that the majority of Americans actually support this Law.  Another fact that the news stations don’t mention is that this law is not a radical new step.  It is merely enforcing Federal law that is already in effect and has been in effect for many years.  Lastly, the problem is that people don’t actually read the law and just take the word of mouth interpretation.  People believe that citizens will need to carry with them special identification to prove their nativity.  However, the law explicitly states that a valid driver license, amongst other forms of identification, is sufficient proof of citizenship.

In spite of these arguments, immigration reform is needed.  The amount of illegal immigrants in the U.S is currently hovering around 12 Million.  Some of these people may be hard working and family oriented.  However, it is important to not just look at the sob stories that riddle television screens.  The truth of the matter is that illegal immigrants come to this country, compete in the job market, and do not pay taxes.

One of the hardest hit industries is the construction industry, where contractors are forced to drastically reduce their prices to remain competitive against illegal immigrants that are willing to work below the standard wages of America.  As a result, we see a lot of independent contractors going out of business due to drastically reduced profit margins.  This isn’t a question of finding the cheapest means of labor and production in a global economy.  This is a question of employing laborers that have no legal right to work in the United States and whose earnings are not taxed for the benefit of this country and it’s citizens.

In addition to having a negative impact on the American work environment, illegal immigration is a slap to the face of legal immigrants that waited in lines, abided by immigration law, and ultimately becoming contributing citizens in the United States job markets.  Furthermore, legal immigrants pay taxes, while illegal immigrants still reap the benefits that this country offers.

Illegal immigration also has a profound impact on the American immigration regulating authority as well as the nation’s law enforcement agencies.  Legal immigration is controlled through agencies and works within a legally controlled government sector.  Illegal immigration is unregulated and is therefore a tool used to transport both drugs and criminals into this country.  Yes, I know it is considered a social taboo to say things like, “illegal immigrants are the cause of a lot of the crime in this country”.  It is almost paramount to claiming that Blacks are the source of all that is bad in this country.  However, this comparison is the result of the Liberal media using old comparisons of racial discrimination to battle the Arizona immigration law.  The truth of the matter is that illegal immigration is equivalent to a black market.  It is unregulated and therefore creates a veil under which criminals, drug traffickers, rapists, and murderers can cross into this country.

After stripping away all of the political banter, the skewed public opinion polls, and the media frenzy, a problem still remains.  This country needs to take a proactive step to battle illegal immigration.  In fact, it is prudent to specifically target employers in addition to regular law enforcement activities.  The truth that people do not want to admit is that this law needs to be enforced and implemented nationwide.  Yes, some people will be inconvenienced.  Yes, it may even encourage racial profiling.  However, I have not heard a better alternative or a more viable solution.  All that I have heard from the opposition is criticism instead of solutions.  Furthermore, I have been unfortunate enough to witness the lengths that the media and politicians are willing to go to in order to discredit Arizona’s immigration law.  I have heard it compared to Nazi Germany’s discrimination against Jews, a comparison that I find quite insulting.

If a person were to travel anywhere in Europe, chances are, they will be asked by authorities to present papers authorizing them to stay in that respective country.  America is one of the only countries in the world that currently does so little to battle illegal immigration.  The reason for this wary approach is to maintain the image of the “good nation”.  We are the nation that wants to be everybody’s friend and appear to the public as the ultimate equalizer.  However, there comes a time when a problem is big enough that it needs strong actions; even at the expense of citizen’s personal comfort.  In this regard, America can take a leaf out of Russia’s book.  Whatever you may think about Russian policy, one cannot deny a simple fact; if Russia believes that a certain action or policy is in it’s best interest, then Russia will push through, even at the expense of a public backlash.  America needs to be willing to take a PR hit for the benefit of this country.  Let us finally start enforcing our own laws and fully address the problem of illegal immigration.

South Park has built an unwavering fan base since the show’s start.  After years of off the wall humor that transcends social norms, Comedy Central was getting ready to air the 200th episode.  This show is generally known for not holding back on issues that are of a sensitive nature such as religion, race, and sex.  The 200th episode was scheduled to feature the “Prophet” Mohammad of the Islamic faith.  However, there was a snag in this plan.  You see, the folks at Comedy Central did not anticipate a threat against the creators.  Apparently, a radical Islamic website named revolutionmuslim.com issued a statement that if the show airs images of Mohammad, then the creators of the show could face violent retribution such as was faced by Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch film maker that was killed for documenting violence against Muslim women.  As a result, Comedy Central decided to block the images of Mohammad, censor references to him, and even go as far as putting him in a bear costume.  Has this country sunk so low as to succumb to ambiguous threats?

According to the Islamic faith, it is a sin to portray the image of the “Prophet” Mohammad.  Therefore, I sympathize with the reasoning behind the Islamic community’s discomfort at the prospect of having their “prophet” portrayed in a comedic cartoon.  Just like Christians find the “Da Vinci Code” to be an affront, Muslims weren’t ecstatic about the announcement.  However, nothing gives an individual or a group the right to threaten the life of another individual if they do not agree with his/her actions.  Nobody is throwing this TV show in Muslim’s faces; they always have the option to turn off the television set.

Furthermore, what will Comedy Central say to all of the religions that were portrayed on the show?  Does it make it alright to portray Jesus, Moses, Satan, etc…? How will this TV network answer to the viewers?  Imagine for a moment that South Park made fun of Black people or Latino people.  Then they decide to do an episode poking fun at a white person.  Well, white people don’t find that funny and they decide to censor the episode.  Would this action be right?  The answer is no.  This country guarantees it’s citizens the freedom of speech and expression.  This means that even if an individual is putting forth ideas that another is in conflict with, the constitution of the United States will protect the individual.

However, this situation transcends mere conflict over the first amendment because this censorship did not take place because of public outcry.  It took place because a radical Muslim organization made threats to the creators of South Park.  Does this mean that various groups around America and the world can call their respective media networks and issue threats in order to “edit” the various T.V shows to their liking?  The last time I checked, America was fighting a war on terror and yet, here we are, allowing threats to dictate our media.  Where has the patriotism gone?  Where is the fight against terrorism and oppression?

Though I am not a regular viewer of the show, nor do I personally subscribe to that brand of humor, I recognize that comedy of the nature featured on South Park is geared towards broaching topics that society is too sensitive to approach.  Despite the below-the-belt comedy featured on this show, there is value in it.  Comedy Central has not portrayed consideration in it’s actions.  Instead, it has shown weakness in the American Spirit, revealed a glimmer of a sad truth.  The people’s trust in the government’s strength and protection is fading.  Don’t let this happen.  Let us stand strong and show that mere threats cannot dent our freedom, safety, and patriotism.

Welcome to the job market.  For some of you, it has been a long haul past challenges over a 4 year span.  For others it was a longer or perhaps even a shorter experience.  You have left the theoretical world of academia and have been thrust into the cold hard world of employment.  The problem is that college has painted a world of opportunities for you.  You have become such a believer that it seems that jobs will be lying on the sidewalk for you to find.  As a result, after doing simple online searches for job offers, many people become discouraged when their quest for the dream job is not realized as readily as was promised.  In addition, the constant reports of rising unemployment and tougher economic times are an additional hammer blow.  It is easy to become depressed when considering all of these factors; however, the situation is not as dire as society has made it out to be.  There is still a plethora of opportunities and jobs to be found.  Therefore, I have compiled a checklist for job search tips, interviewing techniques and job attainment optimization.

1. Occam’s Razor

Occam’s razor is the theory that the simplest solution is often the correct one.  Let us apply the same principle to job searches.  People spend their time searching sites like ‘hotjobs’ and ‘monster’ to find job wanted ads.  It is good to diversify; however, the problem is that people often limit themselves strictly to these databases.  There is a much simpler way to find job opportunities.  Pick a company in the field that you are interested in.  Go to that company’s website and select the option to view career opportunities.  In addition to searching the site, it is also a good idea to call that company’s human resource department and inquire about available positions.  You will be surprised to see the sheer volume of in-demand positions available at Fortune 500 companies.

2. Pack Your Bags

One of the limiting factors in job searching is location.  For the most part, people tend to limit their search to a location close to their current residency.  If you have a family and are therefore tied to the area, it is understandable.  However, if you are fresh out of college and unhinged from familial responsibilities, then you should strongly consider the possibility of uprooting yourself and moving to where the job market is.  This is especially true for individuals in rural communities, far from metropolitan areas.  The main idea is to keep an open mind and not immediately turn down opportunities.

3. Be Realistic

Your optimal job may be an overseas business venture for a wealthy and well known corporation.  However, the truth of the matter is that when entering the workforce as a fresh college graduate with little to no experience, your optimal job may be out of reach for some time.  A corporation will not invest money in you if you cannot bring experience and dependability to the table.  However, that is not to say that such an opportunity will remain out of reach.  Once you gain experience and are a dependable asset to a corporation, that dream job may not be so far away.  The important thing is to avoid being fixated on instant gratification.  Be willing to work up to that esteemed position.

4. The Resume

A resume is the key to get you into the door.  If a potential employer has hundreds of resumes coming into his office at a given time, how much time will he spend looking at yours?  Therefore, your resume must be well formatted, optimally organized, proofread, and tailored to the job you are applying to.

Make sure to look at some formatting templates online.  Though the arrangement will vary, the key piece of advice to adhere to is to avoid cliché phrases.  The good old days of saying that you take initiative is no longer enough.  Companies are looking for things such as figures (sales oriented), specific tasks, projects, and primary responsibilities.  Resume writing is an art in itself and should be given its due attention.

5. The Research

Let us assume that you have found a company that has a wonderful job opportunity in your field.  Is resume building and question prepping the only steps that should be taken? NO!  Keep in mind, there will probably be many other candidates with similar resumes, recommendations, and the exact same questions prepped and ready.  How do you distinguish yourself?  The answer is research.

Imagine for a moment that you walk into an interview room, sit down, and break the ice with a nervous laugh, droning on about your resume (which has already been read), answering questions with the cliché responses.  Or do you walk in with confidence in your posture and a firm handshake.  Imagine for a moment that you sit down and get asked what you know about the company.  Your response is filled with eloquence and knowledge.  You address the markets that the firm is operating within, the company’s strengths, the edge this company has over competitors and possible new markets that could be expanded into and tie in all of this knowledge with your own experience in dealing with these markets.  You top the interview off with an explanation of why you would be an ideal candidate for this position and finish off with a solid thank you and a handshake.  You leave as another candidate enters the room after you; that same monotonous mess that you would have otherwise been.  Research makes all the difference.

Read up on the corporation.  What is this company about?  What is their mission statement?  What kind of fields does this company deal with?  Is it an international firm?  What markets is it entering?  These are all questions that demand answers.  Your interview may go as far as asking you to divulge what you know about the company.  However, it is up to you to take the initiative and be able to address all of these factors.

6. The interview

Remember that outstanding resume you were crafting?  That’s basically out the door.  The resume’s purpose is to get you the interview.  From then on, it is important not to use it as a crutch.  Know it well, but don’t reiterate everything that was written down.  Instead take a different tactic.  Approach the interview with one phrase in mind, “Let Me tell You a Story.”

At this point, you are moving away from one phrase answers that will put the interviewer to sleep.  Answer the questions by drawing on experience and offering a narrative.  Don’t just say that you take charge when the opportunity presents itself.  Instead, say, “When I was working for XYZ company, we had a big problem arise.  We needed to finish project ABC two weeks before the original deadline or we would lose the account.  Instead of panicking and relying on management to give an easy answer, I performed a crash analysis of the project and was able to cut project time and mitigate costs by identifying and eliminating non-essential processes.”

If you answer this way, it informs your interviewer of how your experience directly correlates with the company’s interests.  It also shows the interviewer that you can effectively communicate ideas.  This is much more effective than simply stating that you are a ‘self-starter’.  In fact, never use that phrase again.

7. It Is Not A Bad Economy

Whether at home or on an interview, avoid internalizing the phrase, “It’s a bad economy.”  It does two things.  It kills your drive to push through in the job market, instead, encouraging a more defensive approach.  Secondly, if you even let this phrase slip to a potential employer, you convey yourself as being weak, easily discouraged, and pessimistic.  Companies will not want to hire you.

Instead, tell yourself and the interviewer, “People say it’s a bad economy, but I don’t see it that way.  There are opportunities in every type of economic cycle.  The key is to find those opportunities and maximize them.”  Convey this message and you will find yourself looking at the job market more optimistically.  Convey this message and you will find yourself one step closer to getting the job you want.

8. Be Sincere

Don’t walk into the interview room with a cocky attitude.  Chances are that your credentials are not staggeringly better than another candidate’s.  However, you went to school, dedicating your time and money to study a particular subject.  Furthermore, you have done extensive research on the company and the markets the company operates within.  Therefore, you have to convey these things to the interviewer.  After seeing a multitude of candidates waltz through the interview room, you have to make yours the most memorable.  The only way to do that is to leave an impression that you are very interested in the job, understand the challenges that come with the position, and are looking to meet those challenges head on.

These are most assuredly not the only steps to take in preparing for the job market.  However, they illustrate a strong framework for starting a career.  Don’t let the economy and a tough market beat you down.  Instead, find those hidden opportunities that are always circling the job market and seize them.