It has been two months since spring graduation and if your job search has yet to bring an offer, I challenge you to focus your attention away from worry and instead work increasingly harder on improving your strategies. It is easy to feel a loss of control when sending your resume off to recruiters and filling out applications on job boards, but there are several ways to regain command of your search.
1. What have you learned? Think about your job search history and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding where you excel (perhaps in writing cover letters) and where you struggle (maybe in phone interviews) will allow you to identify areas of potential growth. If you exude enthusiasm and confidence in your cover letters, but come across timid and cautious in your phone interviews try to figure out where the disconnect occurs. Perhaps you haven’t done your research on the employer and feel uncomfortable in your knowledge of the company’s products and services. This discomfort may translate in your interview as nervousness. Sometimes big problems have simple solutions and in this case, doing more research on the companies you contact is a quick and easy fix.
2. The invisible applicant: Has your job search consisted entirely of internet efforts? If so, you are missing out on a key strategy: personal networking. While online networking sites offer new opportunities to connect with professionals in your industry, they DO NOT replace face to face interaction. Relying on internet job boards as the entirety of your search leaves you vulnerable to becoming just another faceless resume in a sea of applications. Identify those in your network who can help and find ways to reach out to potential contacts and employers. Take time to discuss the industry with them and tell them a little bit about your career goals. Putting a face to the name and receiving recommendations from mutual contacts can help your resume rise out of the masses.
3. Take advantage of free help: Visit the career center and meet with someone who can help you improve your job search strategies. Have your resume reviewed or participate in a mock interview to make sure you are on you’re on your “A” game. Career Development Services offers all of these resources plus job search engines, tip sheets, and more at www.auburn.edu/career. Also, receive valuable tips and suggestions by reading other career advice websites. A few of my favorites are theladders.com and newgradlife.blogspot.com. Finally, don’t forget about industry specific websites and job boards that will cater to your particular career area.
Your job search may seem endless but take a quick pit stop, check the oil, and keep on truckin’!