Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Advice to Young Job-Seekers

I recently became a member of the site Brazen Careerist. It's a place for Generation Yers to connect and share insight on work and life. Speaking of sharing insight, I just finished filling out a survey from the Center for Intl. Mass Communications Training and Research at UGA. The survey is sent out each year to a sample of students who have just graduated with a journalism/communications degree. The focus of their research is the job search process, how easy or difficult it was to find employment after graduation, what worked and what didn't in terms of searching, how many jobs you applied to and how many interviews you had, how long you searched etc.

After answering all of the questions, (very difficult, networking & online searches, about eighty and about a dozen, seven months), we were given the opportunity to give advice to 2009 grads.

So, here's my advice:

  • Be persistent, even when you feel like giving up.
  • Job searching is a job in itself, so be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to it.
  • Explore every possible connection, even if you feel like you're being annoying or that it can't possibly lead anywhere.
  • Take every interview, regardless of whether you think you'd actually be interested in the job. Nothing is beneath you, and it might sound better when you hear more about it. If nothing else, you'll gain some valuable interviewing experience.
  • No matter how much you practice the "typical interview questions," it's still going to be awkward, and you'll probably get caught off guard by something.
  • After you leave an interview, don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. There's nothing you can do at that point, and all you'll end up doing is increasing your stress level.
  • When you have an interview where you feel totally comfortable and forget about all of your stock answers because you're speaking from your heart, that's the job for you.
  • Remember these mantras, you'll be thinking them a lot: "You never know," and "We'll see what happens."

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