April 19th, 2010
The job search can be an extremely confusing, stressful, and sometimes even discouraging. But it is important that you are able to stay positive and use your emotions to motivate you and not bring you down. Instead of putting undeserved pressure on yourself, focus on the big picture and realize it may take many strokes to paint it. If you want to be able to handle the job search and not lose your mind in the process, be prepared and keep things in perspective.
Be prepared. Have a professional resume ready before you begin applying for jobs. Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has of you, so it needs to be a good one. Get a resume critique by someone at your school's career center and learn about the best ways to present your information in a way that will get a recruiter's attention. Also prepare yourself for the interviewing process. Learn as much as you can about how interviews are conducted and what you need to do to succeed in one. Reflect on your work experience, education, and career expectations, and prepare for questions related to these areas. It is also a good idea to practice being interviewed, so have a friend or career counselor conduct a mock interview with you. The more comfortable you are with the interview process the better you will be able to portray yourself in the best light.
Keep things in perspective. When all you want to do is get a job so you can start paying back your student loans and no one is calling you back, things can start feeling pretty hopeless. If you graduated three months ago, don't freak out because you haven't been offered a job yet. Finding, applying, and interviewing for a job takes time, and even though you may need a paycheck tomorrow, a company may not need to fill a position for a few months. You can also keep things in perspective by setting reachable goals for yourself throughout your job hunt. Writing down goals for yourself, such as mailing out your resume to specific companies or securing at least one interview in the next month, can help you stay focused on the things you need to do immediately. Reaching these goals will not only motivate you in your search, but give you a sense of accomplishment, something you might not have felt since you graduated.