Not that I’m an expert at this by any means, but I thought I’d write a post to explain how to get a job in this day and age of high unemployment rate and seemingly no jobs. There’s so many different factors that affect this, but for the most part, getting your dream job can happen and isn’t impossible.
It’s kind of about location. If you want a job doing something in your field, but you live in a small town with minimal opportunities, you really have to move. And it may be expensive and take some loans or very helpful parents, but get out of there. It’s not possible for everyone to leave, but applying online for a position that will be there when you arrive, or literally being a hobo in the city for a few weeks before you have enough money to make it should definitely be on your mind. Obviously the city isn’t for everyone, but it will be easier to find something tailored for you in a larger place than staying in your hometown or college city.
Be annoying in a nice way. And by that, I mean, you have to become that person who sends out 50 resumes a day and is constantly going through Craigslist and other job boards to find something. And apply for everything. Apply for positions that aren’t even posted. If you have a dream company you want to work for, send them an email and ask about open positions or possible internships you can create. Just don’t call them. Most businesses hate getting phone calls about job inquiries. They will call you if they’re interested. It may take awhile to hear from them, but it may eventually happen.
Elaborate and build yourself up. Most people just out of college have a pretty pathetic resume. You may have gotten lucky to get an internship during college or work somewhere on campus doing something vaguely related to what you want to do in life, but for the most part, you’ll have only worked retail/food/service jobs. Take every small accomplishment you’ve done and figure out the most professional way to talk about it. Make a website portfolio with classwork that you are proud of. Create a well-designed resume that stands out from the crowd. Make a boring assignment you did sound like it was the most amazing thing you’ve ever done. Don’t lie, but create hype about everything.
You’ll have to go on a million interviews. It’s not going to be an instant thing. The past generations don’t understand why it’s taking new graduates so long to get jobs, but that’s because it truly is hard to find something these days and a college degree doesn’t necessarily equal instant job, unless you went into a science or math-type field. Us creative types have to try a lot harder to be taken seriously. Go to every interview you get because even if you don’t get the position, you’re at least getting in some experience with talking with someone about your qualifications (even if you have none).
Be a snob and don’t give in. If you got a degree in marketing, don’t apply for waitress or barista jobs. Leave those jobs to the people who really need them and continue your search until you get something in your actual field. I’m not saying the food service jobs are bad (I’ve had my fair share of them and very much enjoyed being a barista), but you paid a lot for college and there is a great job out there for you, even if it takes awhile to find. And if you did get a “in-the-meanwhile” job, you could miss out on the perfect opportunity because you start to get too comfortable.
Follow your dreams, but be patient. I cannot stress this enough, that if your dream is to move to New York City to be the CEO of a major company, don’t give up that dream for any reason. You’ll get bad days where you don’t see where your future is going, or think it’s going to take too long to get to your goal, but it’s your dream and as long as you’re working toward it, then no one can tell you you’re not being ambitious or have a path in life. Yes, it may take some time, or even longer than you thought, but good things come to those who wait.
Take every opportunity possible. I read somewhere that you should do as much free work as possible, and while this applied to jobs within the entertainment industry, it can apply to other areas of life. You don’t want to work for free forever, but if you can get your dream internship and it doesn’t pay, you still get invaluable experience. Doing things on the weekend in your field is always great too. If you’re a photographer, shoot stuff for free. Designers can make a logo for a budding business. You can help promote a improv show if you’re looking to get into the comedy world. Put yourself head first into the world you’re interested in and that gives you more contacts and helps with networking, which is so important nowadays.