Jul 15, 2011

5 Job search tips

We all know a good job is hard to come by. Jobs with good benefits, decent pay, and coworkers we don't despise are not exactly numerous these days. Unfortunately, many of my friends and family members are in a similar place of being jobless and desperately seeking employment. As a recent graduate, I also fall in this category. If you don't have a job, you don't have money, which makes you possibly more drawn to my blog, but that's not exactly how I want to gain readership. This is my second go at actively seeking full-time professional employment and I've learned some things along the way that I would like to share to help out all those in a similar position.

1. Don't expect to get your dream job tomorrow. So many of my friends still think, despite the economy, that they will and a job in just a month or so. The most important thing I want to stress is to be realistic in your job search. I don't need to tell you that hundreds of people are applying for each job that you are applying for. Expect to find a job 3-6 months at best.

2. Consider seeking out temporary employment while you search. Go to a temp agency or apply for part-time jobs. I currently have a part-time waitressing job and if anything, it motivates me to find a professional job faster. If you are afraid you might get stagnant in the job search by taking something temporary, ask a couple friends to keep tabs on your job search (in an encouraging manner).

3. Have someone review your resume. Ask a friend who has some business success or know-how to take a glance at your resume OR, seek out your old college/university career services staff; those offices are set up to serve their alumni and trained to help you on your job search. Since your resume speaks for you until you get an interview, make sure it's the best it can be.

4. Consider volunteering. The best piece of an advice I got from a professor was to volunteer or somehow get involved in your field while jobless. Go to local meetings, try to join committees, offer to help out with projects of interest in the area for free. By getting involved, you'll meet people, gain current references and gain more experience in your field.

5. Get the word out that are you are job seeking. It's so important to explore your network of friends/church members/family members and seek out old colleagues to see where they're working and who they know. If they are in the same field as you, ask if they know anyone to pass your resume along to. It never hurts to let people know that you are actively seeking employment. Along the same lines, if you meet someone who has a job in a field that you aspire to work in, ask them to meet you for coffee or lunch to find out more about their company/job and seek advice on gaining a similar position. I've done this several times and usually the person is more than happy to share their connection, help me get interviews or tell me about jobs not-yet-posted to the web or newspaper.

I want each of us to have a job we are satisfied with, but even when we get them, we must not forget our thrifty roots. Find a job but don't forget the little blogs that may have helped you on your search!
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