7 Job Search Strategies in a Tough College
Employers have had to cut their campus recruiting staff and
budgets in the past three years. Since fewer employers are
interviewing on campus, grads will have to seek them out in
other ways and work overtime to uncover hidden job opportunities.
Recruiting Trends 2009-2010 survey fielded by Michigan
State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute
gives the employers' side of the employment picture. Here
are several tactics based on the employers' needs reported
in the survey that new grads can use to implement a more effective
1. Know your offer
Young professionals who know what they bring to an employer,
can prove it by past performance, and articulate it in interviews
will be most competitive in the hiring process. These graduates
know their interests, values, personality and natural talents,
or aptitudes, and how to translate who they are to what they
do best. They know what knowledge and skills proficiencies
they can deliver and what problems they can solve. They have
researched the company and are knowledgeable about industry
best practices, challenges and trends. They can describe how
they could increase productivity or quality, increase revenue
or sales, or cut expenses, demonstrated through prior experience
in part-time or summer jobs, internships or co-ops, and class
projects. Be one of these savvy young professionals!
2. Know your job target
In a tight job market, keeping your options wide actually
works against you. When your job objective is vague or too
open, it is difficult to know how to go after it or tell others
what you are looking for. It's also very difficult for others
to know how they can help you. Be specific without being rigid.
Be focused and directed.
3. Create a list of target companies
Small companies with less than 500 employees represent the
sweetest spot for new hires in this economy. Job seekers can
work with a career or reference librarian, or search the internet
to create a list of 25 target companies or organizations that
could hire them, if the company had the funding. Grads can
check with their campus Career Services staff for assistance,
or ask if their alma mater provides access to an online database
of potential employers called CareerSearch.
4. Network with a clear purpose
The Recruiting Trends 2009-2010 survey indicates that young
adults who are connected and learn how to work their networks
to their advantage will have a competitive edge in their search
for employment. Employers like to hire candidates recommended
by current employees. At your target companies, can you or
others you know identify someone as a contact? Introduce yourself
to them via email or a letter and follow up with a phone call.
As they get to know you, perhaps you can request that they
submit your resume internally through an employee referral
Create a professional profile on LinkedIn if you haven't
already and start building your contacts group. Scan the contacts
belonging to your contacts for possible bridges into your
target companies or career field. Pretend you are an employer
or recruiter and cast a critical eye on your Facebook page
to see if any modifications need to be made. Small companies
use social media to source candidates. Don't miss out!
5. Study company web sites
In spite of smaller recruiting and advertising budgets, companies
will always post positions on their web sites. Better yet,
use your networking prowess to uncover newly-open positions
which haven't hit the company web site or online job bank
web sites. Stay ahead of your competition.
6. Take advantage of local job search resources
In addition to fully utilizing your college's Career Services
resources, turn to the community career centers and job
search groups in your area. For little or no cost, you
will have access to programs on job search best practices
and volunteer coaches to help you one-on-one with resume editing
and interviewing practice. Join an accountability group to
ramp up your search quality and speed. You'll mingle with
other job seekers, sharing job leads, inside tips, and learn
from their wealth of experiences. Expect that most of the
members are mid-career adults. Tap into their life and work
wisdom, and you'll be far ahead of the game.
7. Be positive and persistent without being pesty
This is the toughest job market most of us have even seen.
Each blind alley and rejection gets you one step closer to
employment. Shake turndowns off and say, "Next!"
just as top athletes do while in the heat of the game. Keep
your focus on discovering as many job leads as possible, and
remember that you only need one job, one great match between
candidate and hiring manager.
Wanted: Focused, Directed and Connected College Grads
Why Gen Yers Fail to Launch
© Copyright 2010, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted