Do I have a sign on my back that says “Do not hire me!” Can I still blame it on the economy? As a new graduate student in Mount Mary University’s English program, I find myself frequently asking these questions as I struggle to find my place in the working world. When am I ever going to find that great job – that career – that pays the bills and lets me go home every day feeling satisfied?
I realize there are not many people fortunate enough to wake up every day excited to go to work and loving what they do. However, I would still like a job that utilizes my abilities and rewards me with a competitive salary to justify the long hours I spent studying. How does one do this?
Fine tune your resume
While searching for a career in higher education, I found an administrative position advertised at a technical college that seemed perfect. I spent a great deal of time customizing each bullet point on my resume to meet the skills and qualifications required of this position. I included as many highlights and accomplishments as possible, from typing speed to leadership abilities, extra-curricular activities to volunteer work. My resume became a well-rounded representation of me.
Armed with my new and improved resume, I attacked as many job boards as possible, from LinkedIn to CareerBuilder. Every time my resume was updated, it became new again for the recruiters or hiring managers searching for it. I also learned that hiring experts recommend following companies on Facebook and Twitter. Try commenting more frequently to discussion forums.
You may find a connection that turns into a referral.
The Advising and Career Development Office in Mount Mary’s Student Success Center offers career development counseling and workshops, resume critiques and mock interviews. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., located on the first floor of the Haggerty Library.
Mount Mary students and alumnae can locate resources describing internships and employment opportunities free of charge. I visited the career development office for assistance with my resume, and what a difference it made.
Although I secured an interview for my desired technical college position, I received a message a week later thanking me for my time. They informed me that other candidates would be pursued. Here’s the most important lesson: Don’t get discouraged! It can take months to find the job that’s right for you. If I had a nickel for every job I didn’t get, I wouldn’t need a job, period!
Adding a dose of reality to your aspirations always helps, so don’t discount any progress you may have already made. Even if, like me, you are working in a humdrum job that doesn’t necessitate a college degree, be grateful for the experience as well as the paycheck. I wish all students the best of luck in your own job searches!