New reports show that graduating college students have had 40% fewer job prospects and the outlook for 2010 is not much more promising. So what’s the new graduate to do?
There are jobs out there. Now your job is to be the one who gets one!
Know what you are selling and market it properly.
Yes, you must view yourself as a product, giving thought as to what makes you unique from the competition. Picture a physical store where employers might go and look on a shelf to find the right candidate. Each candidate is displayed on this hypothetical shelf in a box. What would your box look like? How would the label read? What would be inside the package? How is your box unique from the other 100 boxes on and why would you be the one pulled off the shelf?
This exercise is a great way to start creating a personal inventory that will help you develop your marketing tools.
A solid resume is essential for a job search and it should be unique, not a template. As you take stock, think of who you are, what you have to offer, what you have accomplished and why you are different. These are all key components to creating one of your most important marketing tools for a job search. Make sure your resume is full of accomplishments, not tasks. It’s not bragging, it’s marketing.
For example, a recent college graduate client was unable to see how their part-time job was applicable to future employers. Take a look at one point from the client’s resume.
- Outfitted customers with apparel, footwear, and sports gear.
Now, take a look at suggested changes.
- Possess strong skills in customer service….
- Able to multi-task in high-pressure, fast-paced environments and skilled at successfully working with diverse personalities and clientele.
- Exceeded sales expectations by….
- Top salesman in department exceeding monthly quota by…
Which product would you buy?
Marketing and Networking
In a tough market, it’s all about putting yourself out there and getting noticed in a positive light.
Actively, you can join physical and virtual networking groups, attend events such as career fairs, lectures, workshops and social events that might afford professional opportunities to network. Ask around. Who do you know? Who do they know?
Do your homework. Find companies that you are interested in and send your resume. Call and try and get an exploratory interview. Remember, there is a significantly higher percentage of unadvertised open positions than ones you will see posted online or in the papers. Find a way in the door. If they don’t have a position now, would they consider you as an intern?
Make sure that when they find/research you, they are pleased with what they find. Social media is a fabulous tool for the job-seeker. It is also the immediate death of a career that hasn’t gotten off the ground when the potential employer finds inappropriate content. Employers search, they Google, they will find you on Facebook. What are they looking for? Common sense and good judgment. There is no excuse, there is no second chance. One two-minute Google search can destroy your chances of getting a career off the ground.
When an employer tries to reach you, how will they be received? Is the cell phone message in your voice and professional or will you get a hang up in response to “What’s up? You know what to do.”
We rely today on e-mail. Two fabulous resumes are sitting on a desk, almost identical. Will the employer send a message to KathySmith@aol.com or PartyGirl4Ever@aol.com?
Remember, you are your own marketing manager. Evaluate yourself, package yourself properly and sell your targeted audience on what you have to offer.