With graduation fast approaching for many of the nation’s young people, the questionable economy is no doubt a concern for the hundreds of thousands of soon-to-be-minted grads about to enter the job market. And with many economists and other prognosticators predicting the economy won’t bounce back until 2010, such trepidation is completely understandable.
Although the current job market is less than ideal, there are a handful of things prospective grads about to enter the work force can do improve their standing. It just takes some persistence and some willingness to try new things in an effort to get that first job.
• Seek internships. While it’s common to associate internships with undergraduates, in the current economy, grads should be willing to take anything that can help them get their foot in the door. An internship offers an insider’s view to a company and a field of work, allowing interns to get a better grasp of how a given business works and what they can bring to such a business. Such a view from inside could help new graduates in an interview down the road when being considered for a full-time position.
• Go the extra mile. When responding to an ad, rather than sending out a form letter and resume, tailor each depending on the prospective employer. Other materials, such as writing samples for writing-based jobs or design samples (professional or from class) for graphic design positions, can be included as well to help you stand out from the rest.
• Network. Networking can be difficult, particularly for recent graduates, but many people end up finding work through word of mouth from friends, family members or business associates of parents or even professors. Those about to enter the job market should use their school’s alumni network to their fullest advantage. When looking for a job, it never hurts recent graduates to discuss the search with as many people as possible. One never knows from where their next opportunity might come.