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“Job Hunting Today..”

September 15, 2011


After I graduated from college in 2009, I returned home in hopes of finding a job quickly.

I attended school in Indiana, and the financial collapse of 2008 greatly impacted the region.

When I retuned home, I thought that I would get a job quickly. I was wrong.

It took an exhaustive 12-month job search to land a job. However, I learned several valuable lessons that improved my chances in getting a job.

In fact, the most unconventional advice helped me the most in landing my ideal job.

The first step in your job search should be to assess your career goals and narrow your focus.

If you are interested in investment banking, you should focus specifically on getting a job in investment banking. If you want to attend law school in the future, you might want to look for a job as legal assistant.

If you are unsure about your future, you should consider volunteering.

This advice may seem counterintuitive for jobseekers during a recession, but it will yield better results.

During a recession, employers hire only the most enthusiastic and capable applicants.

By focusing on one goal, your enthusiasm will separate you from other jobseekers.

The next step in your job search is to avoid the internet job applications.

Instead, you should research and hire a staffing firm.

At one point in my job search, I submitted approximately 10 online applications per week.

I never received a single interview request.

Within six weeks of hiring a staffing firm, I had three interviews and a job offer.

Companies often have candidates scheduled for interviews by the time the positions are posted on the internet.

Staffing firms have relationships with department managers, so they often know of a job opening before it is made public.

Even with the help of a staffing firm, you will need to treat networking as a lifestyle.

Through networking opportunities, I was able to get a part-time job that exposed me to my desired career path.

When networking, do not ask for a job. The goal of networking is to create a good impression on people in order build a list of business contacts for the future.

Start small when networking. Reach out to people such as friends of your family.

From these people, you should expand your network to new contacts.

When reaching out to people, you should send a polite email that explicitly states your intentions.

The key to networking is making a good impression. You should dress for the meeting as if it were a job interview.

During the meeting, act gracious and show enthusiasm.

You should ask questions about the person’s career journey as well as ones that show knowledge of the industry.

Also, use the meeting as an opportunity to gain more business contacts.

After the meeting, send a brief thank you note.

If you stall when networking, you can use resources such as LinkedIn and professional associations.

Additionally, you should not limit networking to business meetings.

You should take advantage of any possible networking opportunities such as alumni association events.

Another option is take a class with an adjunct professor whose full-time job is in your desired industry.

The class will give you insight into the industry as well as a valuable reference with knowledge of your abilities.

Kyle O’Donnell is an intern at the Daily Local News.


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