9 Keys to Job Searching

It has been a long week of burying myself in a huge pile of applications. The bad job market is not just a topic for the news, it’s my reality. I’m convinced that there are too many “right brain” creative people in this world because those jobs are impossible to find whereas “left brain” scientific jobs are plentiful. If only I understood biology!

On top of the job hunt I am also solving the, “Where am I going to live?” crisis. “The world is your oyster” saying has taken on a whole new meaning. I envy those who have been able to find a full-time salary job, that they’re actually interested in, straight out of school. Then from that, they get to live in a super cool place. I’m still living in my college town and its job market is definitely not cutting it. So, to reiterate, “The world is my oyster.” Well, at least, the continental United States. I couldn’t imagine searching for a house and job worldwide.

Luckily, I’ve had two little buddies to aid in my job search frustration by providing an adorable distraction.

Back to the point….. Finding a good job with a decent salary in a cool place with a perfect house is just not playing out for me yet. Journalism is not an easy career path right now. So I have had to deviate a little a lot from my desired jobs. Journalism turns into event planning which gets me thinking about public relations which reminds me of being a communication director and that leads me to consider human resources or a secretary which slowly turns into, “Hey, I guess I could work at a grocery store. That could maybe lead to what I want to do….” So in the interest of not working at a grocery store for the rest of my life I have compiled some tips for job hunting….

  1. Be prepared – Draft a few cover letters to pertain to different jobs. Do the same with your resume. If it pertains to your field, pick out a few work samples. Keep all of this stuff in a folder on your desktop. This way you will be prepared to apply for anything at a moment’s notice saving you time and energy.
  2. Don’t sell yourself short – Brag about yourself and your experience but only as it pertains to each position. Use your cover letter to include information that can’t be put in your resume including in-depth explanations of job duties and experience.
  3. The Resume – Include only relevant information: contact information, job experience, education, computer skills or special certificates, and references. This is not a place to brag about your sorority winning 1st place during Greek Week.
  4. Choose a Company – Find a company or organization for whom you’d like to work and pursue them whether they have openings or not.
  5. Don’t limit yourself! – Concentrate on industries that are expanding and find a way to fit into them. I have a journalism degree but I could also use my writing and communication skills to pursue public relations, event planning, grant writing, etc.
  6. Use your connections – Attend networking functions and job fairs, stay connected with your professors, and seek out advice from everyone including acquaintances and family friends.
  7. Take what you can get – Yes, you want a full-time position but that may not be realistic. Consider freelancing, temporary positions, PRN jobs, or part-time positions if you have to.
  8. Use broad search terms –  You may be qualified for a job you never considered. So when searching use a variety of terms and search engines.
  9. Stay Positive – Applying for job after job, day after day and sifting through jobs can be tiring, stressful, upsetting, and about a million other emotions. Stay positive and keep trying. The only obstacle between you and your new job is you!

Back to the grindstone for me! 38 jobs down today… Who knows how many more there are to go!


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