Don’t Blame the Economy!

You are a recent graduate who just can’t seem to find a job. You may be motivated, have received excellent grades and have committed to multiple internships, so you can’t figure out why the job search process isn’t any easier! It’s often hard to pinpoint exactly where something is going wrong, but founder Kathryn Sollmann (9 Lives for Women blog) highlights some great areas to examine in her recent post titled “7 Reasons Why Jane Has No Job.”

 Kathryn, who met a “bright and accomplished 2011 college grad who has not yet found a job,” discovered that there were at least 7 reasons why this grad’s job search had stalled. Surprisingly, none of them have to do with the poor job market! Keep reading for some crucial areas to work on.

 Most people think that they can look for a job effectively while doing many other things. But Kathryn points out that “finding a job is truly a full-time job. You have to spend at least 40 hours a week on your search to get any significant action. Keep non-search activities to 20 hours a week. If you can’t afford to limit the temp job, make sure that you’re maximizing your job search time in the evenings and on weekends”

 Similarly, many jobseekers have difficulty networking properly. I always recommend the importance of making industry contacts and building relationships, but many college grads may be doing this in a non-meaningful way. Kathryn writes “there are benefits to networking meetings, but success depends if you just happen to meet the right person. Limit in person networking to one or two events a month that are targeted to a desired industry— “

Beyond maximizing networking events, some people are reluctant to utilize other social gatherings as means of networking. According to Kathryn, her college grad “needs to extend her networking circles and think about people she knows from every aspect of her life (schools, clubs, religious affiliations, sports groups, etc.).” Every time a recent grad is socializing, he or she should also be thinking about ways to network! You never know when the right person comes along that might have the job or connection you need to get your foot in the door.

 Kathryn discusses many other essential job-searching tricks in her post, such as creating a job search strategy, using LinkedIn correctly, and maintaining energy in communication. Read more of Kathryn’s wonderful advice and ensure that you are job-hunting most effectively and efficiently.

9 LIves for Women Blog:

Special thanks to contributing editor, Leora Kanner

No Business Card? Shame on you!

Picture this: You are at a networking event with the hope of making new contacts and maybe even finding a good lead about a job opportunity in your field.  You take the time for proper grooming and a professional looking outfit. You know it’s important to “look the part” even though you have been unemployed for several months following a downsizing. And why shouldn’t you look the part? You have 10+ years in your field as a top performer. As an avid reader and someone who likes to be prepared, you constantly read industry journals, business papers, and follow daily events so you can speak well about current events and industry trends. At this event, you have been having a great discussion with a VP level person who seems interested in your background and asks for your card. Feeling embarrassed, you look down and sheepishly state that you do not have one because you are in between jobs.

Now tell me, what impression do you think this leaves on the VP? As a professional, a business card is part of your outfit. Just like a pen. Just like a suit. Just like a decent haircut. Or anything else that a professional would have. They are easy to get and relatively inexpensive. (In fact, on you can get them for free.) So get one – you have no excuse and no reason to feel  embarrassed….(unless you do not get one.)

How to create a professional card? Look at others for ideas. Keep it clean looking and include your name, phone number, email address, linkedin URL, and maybe a QR code linked to your linkedin profile. Use a “headline” to define your expertise such as “Sales Professional” or “Marketing Manager.”  Add a few bulleted items to highlight 3 or 4 areas of expertise. Perhaps use a light color or texture for the background to make it a little interesting.

Once you have your new cards, you will have more confidence in networking and know that you are fully dressed for the part!