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Got Laid Off? Call Your Alma Mater

If you're laid off or want to pursue another career, you will probably post your resume on job boards and start networking. There is, however, another effective way to find a job: call your alma mater.

An increasing number of colleges and universities, according to a story in The New York Times, have geared up to help graduates find a job or new career. You can get help even if you graduated from college decades ago.

Here are some of the resources that your school might be offering:

Access to the school's alumni database. Notre Dame University maintains a Web site for grad and undergrad alumni that includes access to its alumni database and professional networks, as well as job listings.

Career webinars. Lehigh University offers online job-skills webinars, which can be attractive to alumni who prefer to seek help anonymously.

Career counseling. When Lehman Brothers imploded last year, Bucknell University sent email messages to its 47 alumni working there offering career assistance, which included a network of 600 alumni in the financial industry.

Resume assistance. Career counselors at Syracuse University critique resumes and refine a graduate's job search.

Career events. Middlebury College hosted a panel in Manhattan that featured speakers from Goldman Sachs and the Blackstone Group that focused on career advice for Wall Streeters. Some schools offer events on navigating social networking sites.

Don't feel guilty about asking for assistance if you've stiffed your alma mater during previous annual donation appeals. Schools aren't discriminating against alumni deadbeats.

What if your school's efforts to help its alumni are lame or nonexistent? Don't worry. The career offices at many state universities are happy to assist their residents with free advice.

Office image by mkkrigsman.

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