Based on their sometimes lengthy and arduous experiences, young Washington job hunters offer these additional tips:

Be "assertive" and "pushy" if you have to, but "keep a smile on your face so you won't offend."

After a job interview, write a letter "so they know how much you want it."

Be imiginative."

While a Vanderbilt senior, Mimi Conger arranged a careers day in Washington for undergraduates to meet alumni for possible job contacts.

John Cunningham took an unannounced two-day marathon plunge into Wall Street, ending up with a job offer from a bank that he considered seriously before deciding to remain in Washington.

Flatter the interviewers by asking them how they got started "It's subtle," says Conger. "They can feel for you."

Know what you want. When he got out of school, says Cunningham, "my major stumbling block was lack of a clarification of goals." Once he competed for a selling job, but lost out in the final decision "because my heart wasn't in it."

Remember that July and August are slow job-hunting months, with many of the people who do the hiring away.

Try to avoid spending too much time filling out application forms Says Cunningham: "I tried to see somebody I could talk to."

Asked everybody you meet about job openings, or contacts you might talk with in their firms, and follow up. That may be the day they're hiring.

Stay alert during interviews. Interviewers may try to "put you into a lull" and then suddenly ask, "Well why do you think we should hire you?"

Display "confidence, confidence, confidence. Nothing sells better than success."