OK, Class of 2007. With a diploma in hand, a proud family behind you, and a bright future ahead, all you need is a job.

OK, Class of 2007. With a diploma in hand, a proud family behind you, and a bright future ahead, all you need is a job.

Landing one can be an overwhelming experience. So we asked local career counselors and employers for their top 10 tips for college grads: What to do, what to avoid and what to expect in the job market.

In general the job hunt can take three to six months, says Dawn McCaw, assistant director of the career resource center at SUNY New Paltz. It will be frustrating, and there will be rejections. "Dedicate your time and effort to your job search and consider it your full-time job," McCaw said.

"Eighty percent of jobs are filled by word of mouth," said Linda Newman, interim coordinator of career services at SUNY Orange. Search engines like Monster, Hotjobs, or Vault show a limited number of job opportunities. Plus, it's the Internet — the whole World Wide Web will be vying for that one job.

Instead, Newman suggests job seekers "get out and meet people." Chances are someone knows someone who knows someone who might be able to help you.

If you don't know anyone in the industry, that's OK. Newman advocates informational interviewing. Call the employer directly, and ask if they have openings.

Don't forget about your alma mater. As an alum, many college resources are still available — resume advice, job boards, solid leads. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, about half of 2007 college grads landed their first job because of a job fair sponsored by their college career center.

Typographical errors and an inaccurate work history are big mistakes, and can kill your chances before you even set foot in the door. Employers will double check, says Gary Cassiello, a partner at Middletown accounting firm Judelson, Giordano, and Siegel, CPA, PC. Make sure every date, name and fact is correct.

Come up with a career goal, now. It can change, and employers like Cassiello will expect that. But they want to know that you have some direction. Other things to keep in mind; bring copies of your resume, dress appropriately, and don't forget to fill out the entire application — neatly.

Do some research

Now use the Internet. Look up information regarding the company's history, hierarchy, and the job you seek. "I can't tell you how much it impresses me when someone tells me about my firm," Cassiello said.

Interviews are nerve-wracking. Employers realize that and, "really, we discount that," said Cassiello. The important part is bouncing back from missteps to show why you want the job.

If the employer doesn't get back to you, call them back yourself, Newman says. It's important to show interest and take the initiative. Also, send a thank you note afterward.

Increase your chances of landing the job by gaining experience first. The pay will be minimal to non-existent, but the experience and contacts make up the difference, says Joanna Greenwald, managing partner at Greenwald Law Offices in Chester. "A foot in the door is priceless," Greenwald said.

Make sure you understand all the details of your offer. And, if it wasn't exactly what you wanted, remember, "Your first job doesn't have to be your dream job," McCaw said.