Entering the Job Market in a Down Economy: How to Survive
Recent graduates who are looking for a job are embarking upon an uphill battle. With the national unemployment rate reaching 12.3% last month, the highest percentage since April of 1983, job seekers must approach finding a job with creativity and, most importantly, determination (www.bls.gov) Alex Kearns, a recent graduate from Swansea University in the United Kingdom, decided to take a "different" approach in hopes of landing a job interview. After months of disappointment, Kearns choose to make himself stand out by constructing a 10 foot long resume, which he posted in Trafalgar Square, a major London intersection. Along with his giant resume, Kearns held signs that read "Save a Graduate! Give me a Job!" Kearns self-marketing campaign paid off, as he now holds a position with a major international business group. This is not say that everyone should run to the nearest rooftop to frantically wave their resumes. Yet Kearns' tactic should inspire graduates to think outside the box when applying for jobs. Here are some quick tips on how to survive your quest for employment.
- Do your research ñ Figure out what industry interests you and how you can utilize your skills to succeed within that field. Research exactly what companies are looking for and then tailor your resume and cover letter to fit that profile.
- Pick up the phone ñ Make a list of businesses that you would like to work for and call them directly. In this economy, some businesses are hiring but they are not advertising their jobs due to the high volume of resumes received. Ask if they are hiring or offering any internship positions.
- Hit the streets ñ Tour business parks and other industrial buildings. Walk inside and ask directly if they have any open positions or internships available. Some employers may appreciate your hard effort and conduct an interview on the spot.
- Follow through ñ Follow up with the company by phone or email after an application submission or an interview. This shows employers that you are interested in the job and may set your application apart from others.
- Think outside the box ñ No matter how much effort you put forth, your industry may not be hiring. Look for alternative employment in markets that are still hiring despite the recession that will utilize and better your skills for your dream job. This will come in handy when the job market opens up.
- Network, Network, Network ñ You may often hear that when it comes to landing an interview it's not what you know, but who you know. This is especially true in a down economy. Keep in touch with you contacts. Send them your resume and let them know that you are looking for a position. Ask if they will keep an eye out for any available jobs.
- Stay positive ñ Remember that this is temporary ñ the economy will eventually improve. If you find yourself getting discouraged, surround yourself with friends and family for support. Keep on truckin' and a job offer will eventually come your way.
(Adapted from job.com and thedailymail.com)