As I mentioned last week, I think it’s important to reflect on what you’re doing right in your job search, as well as what needs improvement. I focused largely on the need to be a ‘hirable’ person. Though the definition can be different for each job seeker, it’s crucial to market yourself in a positive way. More often than not, potential employers will look to see: if you’ve done internship work (and what this experience taught you), if you’ve volunteered or given of your time, and if you are capable of networking.
As I spoke with current job seekers this past week, a reoccurring theme was the importance of internships. Not only do they give you a real-world experience, but they teach time management, professional expectations, and they may offer the possibility of networking. Some may liken them to a trial run of a career. This is often what introverted and uncertain people need. Aside from providing work, internships may answer lingering questions, such as: Will you like your career field? and Are you confident in your abilities, or at least moving toward the right direction?
Lee Miller’s article shows that employment is on the rise. National Association of Colleges and Employers (“NACE”) surveyed plan to hire 9.5 percent more graduates this year than they did last year. While this is encouraging, it’s crucial that recent graduates and job seekers learn the tools it takes to land the job.
One suggestion mentioned is using LinkedIn and similar sites to their full potential. This means instead of casually perusing the site, you reach out to helpful contacts and seek advice or information about your industry. You can join like-minded groups from your school or field to keep up with discussions.
You should also make sure that you're as persistent as you are savvy. Follow professional etiquette at all times and help others along the way.
Is there a lesson you've learned that you'd like to share?