If you are a recent college graduate, you no doubt know that now is an exceptionally tough time to enter the job market. The unemployment rate is remaining stubbornly high at more than nine percent. That means there are a lot of unemployed people looking for work. So, even experienced workers are taking entry-level positions, making it all the more difficult for those just entering the job market.
So, what can you do to increase your chances of landing an interview, to make yourself stick out from the crowd?
One thing is to make sure that you are networking. Networking is something that everyone should be doing if they are looking for work. You need to make sure you are using LinkedIn and Twitter, which are the best social media sites for professional networking.
You also should check your college’s alumni office to tap into alumni organizations to see if you can make any contacts that way. In addition, check around for any professional organizations in your field or any other business groups, such as the local chamber of commerce, that you may be able to join. Volunteering also is a good way to make connections.
Make sure your e-mail and voicemail have look and sound professional. The funny music, jokey voices or other sounds on voicemail were fun in college, but they won’t go over well with possible employers. The same is true for e-mail. Anything that is humorous or off color will not look good to possible employers. For your e-mail, your name or initials will do.
Finally, keep your expectations realistic. The job search is probably going to take a while, and it will demand just as much effort as the job itself. The salary, the job’s duties – or both! — may not be quite what you expect. But you will get to where you want to be in time.
Aim to avoid the emotional roller coaster, the highs and lows that come with good news and bad, and keep steadily working toward your goals in spite of setbacks you’ll inevitably face.