You’re back in the market for a job. It can be competitive and hard to land the perfect job. With procurement recruiters searching high and low for top talent, it can be tough to land a job.
For some, that might be a temporary thing after an internship or summer job. For others, it’s because they are still digging themselves out of the financial pit created by student debt while looking for work during the recession.
If you’ve been out of work for more than six months, you can pretty much guarantee you’re competing with your peers.
Here are eight tips from the National Association of Colleges and Employers to help you find a job:
● Create a social media profile that reflects your interests outside of work. Use LinkedIn as a resource for networking with others in your industry, including alumni who once worked at companies where you’re interviewing. Keep your profile and e-mail address professional and do not post anything that could be considered offensive or inflammatory.
● Be proactive: Stay in touch with friends, family, professors and former employers – they can give you good information on job openings. Use LinkedIn to inquire about open positions at companies where alumni worked; it’s perfectly okay to do this.
● Don’t forget to network, too: Meet people in your field, either through social events or informational interviews, which are a chance to meet up with someone who works at a company you might be interested in. Bring 10 copies of your resume and hand them out rather than making an ask. And don’t forget the power of the personal touch: If you’re seeking referrals, ask for them. The more specific you are about what job you’re looking for and why, the better chance you have at finding it.
● Keep your resume updated and targeted: List all of the positions in which you’ve been employed and list skills related to those jobs that reflect professional development opportunities throughout college or during your time out of work. Use bullet points and action verbs like “managed” and “launched,” and focus on transferable skills, such as communication and teamwork.
● Be patient: Landing a job takes an average of five months; the first step is to get through the interview. Stay connected with former managers or professors who might be able to provide advice, and stay busy with volunteer work or other activities.
● Exercise: It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re applying for jobs with no response, but it can actually help stress levels. Exercise will help keep you focused, improve your sleep patterns and even boost your productivity (since it releases endorphins).
The starting salary for new college grads has been flat at $45,000 for the past two years, according to a January 2014 salary survey from NACE.
But keep in mind: The number of students who graduated and got jobs fell by 1.8 percent in 2013 – and 8.5–11 percent took low-paying jobs.
“It’s an increased risk of being unemployed,” says Edwin Koc, director of research at NACE. “If you get a job, there’s more competition for it.”
The unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds was 13.5 percent in January 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure is more than double the unemployment rate for high-school graduates with no college education.
We hope these tips will help you land a job quickly.