Scoring a Job in a Bad Economy

Dressed for success!

While the economy may be pulling a slick game on your job search, there are still a few ways to make yourself a more interesting candidate that don’t involve printing your resume on bright pink paper or calling your perspective employers every hour on the hour.

Get Experience
Now many of you are saying, “That’s what I’m trying to do by finding a job.” Well, in this economy, employers have the edge. There are people with five-ten years experience applying for your entry level job which means volunteering your skills is now your best bet at proving you have what it takes to do the job. Volunteer in administrative services at a non-profit, volunteer at a hospital, library, or wherever you feel is related to the field you want to break into!

Get to know the people in your field. Contact an established professional and ask to meet with them to discuss how they got to where they are and if they have any tips for you. If you’re shyer, LinkedIn is great place to scope out professionals, fellow students, and alum. Never be afraid to make a contact and always remember that networking is keeping the line of communication open even when you don’t need something. That means shooting off an email just to see what’s up on their end and always maintaining a reciprocal relationship.

Have an Open Mind
Maybe your dream job isn’t really in demand right now, or maybe the job market in your area has been so affected by the economy that no one is hiring. I suggest moving your search from a different sector or an area. If you can’t find a job in one area in the city or in a specific sector, look for a job in another area/sector. It’s amazing what a 15 minute drive will do for job opportunities.

Apply to Work Abroad Programs
If you seriously can’t find a job in your area, I would suggest what many of my friends are doing and that is getting experience abroad. While a few would say this is throwing in the towel, my friends would say this is experience plus. Not only when they came back were employers more willing and eager to meet with them, but it really gave them an edge in the workplace.

Be professional. Always present yourself in the best light and that means no text speak, proper punctuation, diction and grammar, and always be polite.

Remember: You may not land your “dream job” right out of college and that’s OK. Experience is humbling and that’s what you want. You can’t get to the top without a few bumps in the road. Consider this a life lesson and a good story for your kids one day.


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