As part of the Recession Generation series, The Seattle Times, in conjunction with and the Community Forums Network, held a networking event for young professionals Wednesday night.

“Build your network before you need it.”

“If you don’t have a lot of work experience, list your professional associations on your résumé.”

Those tips and many more were offered by professional career counselors at a networking event for young professionals Wednesday night. The event, a part of the Seattle Times’ Recession Generation series, was held in conjunction with and the Community Forums Network.

Job-finding experts gave some general advice and then led small-group sessions aimed at improving résumé, setting career goals and succeeding at networking.

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Bill Gregory, a career officer at Bastyr University, gave a presentation entitled “Expanding Opportunities by Talking about Your Unique Competencies.” Gregory also does career counseling through, which broadens the ways in which job and career searches market themselves and overcome obstacles.

Sonja Price, career coach for Dynamo Careers, provided networking tips as well as résumé critiques.

When making contact at a networking event, Price suggested asking “What are you passionate about?” instead of “What do you do?” Don’t deliver a business card to everyone in the room, she said. Instead, choose a handful of people to make real connections with. “Be authentic,” she said.

Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with multilingual HR specialist Seia Milin, who, while working at Microsoft and Fluke Corporation, recruited undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students from top colleges. Milin provided résumé critiques.

Event co-sponsor Community Forums Network used the opportunity to raise awareness about its current project: “How do we fix young adult unemployment?” Carrie Shaw, the group’s executive director, said some 1,500 survey responses have been received, and that they plan to release a consensus report by the end of July.

Among the preliminary findings, Shaw said, is that older, skilled workers are competing for entry-level jobs, making it touch for young workers to get started.