Job Search Expert’s Tip of the Month – March

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10 Ways to Turn Your Job Search Frown Upside-Down

Today’s entry-level job search is frustrating. It’s almost infuriating. You sound perfect for an open position and then you read minimum 2 years experience required. And you’re thinking, “How can I get experience without any experience?!”

Sometimes it seems impossible. Job searching is like riding a rollercoaster — it brings so many emotions with it. There are ups and downs. Knowing how to manage those emotions will help keep you on the right track in your job search. Here are some ways to overcome those negative aspects of your job search and some things you can do when you get really, really, really discouraged.

1. DON’T GIVE UP! This is the most important thing to remember when you get discouraged. If you give up on your job search, you’re only hurting yourself.

2. Know you’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of discouraged workers was up 70 percent to about 717,000 between the first three months of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

3. Expand your job search. You may not be finding a job because of the area you are looking in. You may want to widen the search to statewide or to another surrounding state. You could even expand to a nationwide search. Or, perhaps consider looking in another industry altogether that you hadn’t thought of originally. This opens you up to a lot of other options.

4. Don’t just apply to job postings you find online. Some companies may be hiring but don’t post their openings other than on the company Web site — or not online at all. Get out there and network — in person. (A great resource for job postings on company Web sites:

5. Use LinkedIn’s companies section. LinkedIn will show you if you have any contacts at the company, jobs posted, and company stats. It should also provide a link to the company Web site. Reach out for an informational interview or job shadow. You never know where the opportunity might lead!

6. Contact three prospective employers each day. Research three companies that interest you. Then, send an e-mail to the person in charge of your area at those organizations, for example the head of public relations if you’re in PR. The e-mail should be a sort of mini cover letter targeting your next job.

7. Network as often as possible. In-person or online, networking is a great way to find out about job openings. Also, networking in person gets you out of the house and can help you see your job search in a different light.

8. Be accountable to someone. Talk to someone who is interested in how your job search is going. This could be a significant other, family member, friend or peer. Talking to someone about your job search can help keep you confident because they know your skills and can help keep you motivated.

9. Participate in a job search support group. Yes, these do exist, and there a greater number more now than ever because of the struggling economy. If you don’t have one near you, you can always start your own. The members of your group will support each other and give suggestions in their job searches.

10. Start a journal. List all your fears and perceived barriers in your job search. Then, write out potential steps you can take to overcome your fears.

~ Heather Huhman, Job Search Expert, Campus Calm

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