Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It Might Not Be So Easy To Find That First Job For ’08 Grads

I’m only two years out of college, so I remember how scary the prospect of finding your first job is for the class of 2008. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article,

“As the credit crunch roils financial markets and the U.S. economy sputters, new college graduates are plunging into the rockiest job market in recent years.
The bleaker picture is in stark contrast with last year, when colleges and employers reported robust hiring, and students in finance, accounting and other hot fields were choosing among numerous offers. Now, companies that just a few months ago were planning substantial increases in entry-level hiring have scaled back their plans as economic conditions have worsened. In turbulent areas such as financial services, some firms are slashing the number of fresh graduates they intend to employ, and students are curtailing expectations of finding their ideal position.” Here is a link to the whole article:
For Class of '08, A Scramble for Jobs

Here are a few tips for job hunting in this tough market, whether you are graduating this year or have a few years of work experience under your belt:

Make finding a job a full time job.
Until you get that first offer, you should be blanketing the internet with your cover letter and resume. Carry if with you EVERYWHERE because you never know who you might meet while you’re in Starbucks or on the subway.
PLEASE have SEVERAL people critique your resume and cover letter(s) for errors। Have peers, professionals in the field you want to work in and even a professor your have a good relationship with look at the resume. Your resume won’t even make it to the HR department if it is filled with spelling mistakes. Do practice interviews with this same set of people also to combat nervousness.

Join a professional organization in your field--they may even have a discount for students or recent graduates.
Almost every field of work from Business to Chemistry has a professional organization. You may have even been a member of the organization's pre-professional chapter as a student. So, take an extra step and the money to join one (or a few) professional organizations in the field.

Volunteer or take an internship in the field you want to work in.
If you have to take a “stepping stone” job at first, explore volunteer or internship opportunities in the field you want to have a career in. If you want to be an entertainment publicist, volunteer for the best entertainment publicist you can find. Maybe that person can even connect you with others in the field who are in the position to offer you a job.

Network with your school’s alumni association.
Make sure to get added to the alumni job listerv if your school has one. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and make yourself known--persistent but not pest-like--to the career services department at your school…preferably before your senior your. If you have already graduated, don’t hesitate to contact them, many schools help connect students and alumni with jobs.

Surf job sites that focus on the field you want to be in.
I know you’re already surfing the web, so while you’re on Facebook or reading your favorite blogs, check out job websites. Monster and Careerbuilder are good starting point.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, explore several options before settling for a job you loathe.
Hey what is another year of living as a student (aka, broke) while you explore a career path that will fulfill you? You have the next several decades to worry about working। You should never settle in life, especially for a job. Most people spend more time with their co-workers than they do with family members, so you might as well enjoy them and enjoy what you do everyday.

Stay positive.
A good attitude combined with visualizing yourself with your dream job is way more productive then feeling sorry for yourself. So get out there, dust off that suit and start hustling to get that job!