Tips for Grads Looking for Employment During the Recession

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Being a college grad in the middle of a recession is one of the toughest times to try to find a job. Unfortunately, there are thousands of students who have recently graduated – or are about to cross the stage – who will be looking for employment with 4 million others who have recently been laid off. So how can someone with very little experience compete against candidates who have years of know-how and education under their belts? There are a few tips to consider that can help to make the job search a little simpler. Let’s take a look at what they are … Take Advantage of Your Youth One benefit that recent grads have over professionals who have been in their chosen industry for years is youth. While it’s true that many employers like to play it safe with an employee who has tons of experience, some employers understand the need to stay ahead of the curve in most all industries due in large part to constant technological advancements in the business world. This gives a great advantage to the recent grad. One reason for this advantage is that students who have recently graduated have been “raised” in these newer technologies and know them like the backs of their hands. Also, by having recently studied them, recent grads are able to take them and move forward with fresh perspectives that veteran employees may not offer. So as a recent grad, it’s good to amplify any technological expertise you have, as well as any other fresh perspectives you can bring to the table when applying for jobs. If you do, your youth may just offer you a major advantage in your job search. Describe Your Experience Creatively In addition to focusing on the fresh perspective your youth can bring to a company, it’s good to put a creative spin any experience you have. This is especially true if your list of jobs and skills stops halfway through the first page. Unfortunately, your competition will have tons of expertise under their belts, so it’s your job to spruce up your experiences to make yourself more competitive. For instance, if you have yet to hold a job, but you have volunteered for a number of organizations, you can focus any skills acquired from these experiences (along with extracurricular activities and other events you’ve participated in that can be added to the list) to heighten your chances of being hired. Make Use of Your Contacts Another tip to consider when conducting a job search during a recession is making use of your contacts. Sometimes, when there aren’t many job openings in comparison to the number of talented individuals applying for them, who you know means much more than what you know. So if you have good relationships with professors, campus officials, or employees from various internships, now is the time to start networking. Also, joining social networks and organizations geared toward your field can help you create new professional contacts. Finding a job in the recession can be difficult for anyone, but even more so for a recent grad. But don’t give up hope that you’ll find that great job. With a fresh perspective, creativity and some confident networking skills, you’ll snatch up a great job in no time.

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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks so much for the comments. I think you're right, Ken, many college career resources departments are dropping the ball when it comes to preparing grads for the job market. Thanks for sharing.
  • Ken Sundheim
    Ken Sundheim
    I think your articles are quite on the mark.  I run an executive recruiting firm out of New York Ciy and firmly believe that students are not getting the benefits they should be from their career resources department.
  • Beat Any Recession
    Beat Any Recession
    That's great. Kaplan announcement shows how much they prepare their students to obtain a very high passing rate on the law exam. This is certainly a great strategy to improve something.
  • Beat Any Recession
    Beat Any Recession
    I admire this site for giving a high importance and value for the newly grad students, leading them motivated into the employment chapter of their lives. This is despite the recession that caused a lot of danger to the world's economy.
  • Nic
    I would definitely recommend WetFeet's series on interviewing, finding a job, resume writing, etc. All of the books are really useful for recent grads or people graduating soon, but can be just as useful 10 years later.  
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