Getting a job can be difficult, frustrating and challenging. After finishing school, many young people find it tough to successfully gain employment and become self sufficient. With the worldwide economic downturn, finding a job has become even more difficult. In fact, it is estimated that the number of young people looking for jobs has increased by 30% since 2007. (http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21576663-number-young-people-out-work-globally-nearly-big-population-united)
Quite often, information is shared on how to get a job. Good grades, dressing well, or interview preparation are all given as ways in which to quickly and easily land your “dream job.” However, in many instances, this information simply does not help. Many young people do well in school yet never manage to get a reply to their job application or simply can’t find a job suited to them.
Instead of giving the same old suggestions, here are the top 5 things that nobody ever told you on how to land a job.
- Leverage your connections – One stunning figure that shows the power of networking is the fact that 80% of jobs are awarded by networking. http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/80-of-today-s-jobs-are-landed-through-networking. In other words, you are FAR more likely to get a job by using your personal connections than by writing applications to companies where nobody knows you. Use your friends, family, and acquaintances who can suggest new job opportunities and recommend you to the HR or other relevant manager
- You won’t start off in your dream job – After finishing my degree, my very first job was as a tour guide. My second job was an administrative assistant. Not very relevant for someone with a psychology degree, but I learned a lot and was eventually able to land the position I had been waiting for. While you may be holding out for that “dream job” the truth is that VERY few people attain the position that they desired straight out of school. Those who do are usually in high demand areas (such as teachers) or have great network connections. Instead of waiting for that “dream job” to fall into your lap, take up other employment until you do get a chance to work for your dream company.
- Volunteer – Working as a volunteer is a great way to get a job, for a number of reasons. Firstly, volunteering, especially if you have served in an executive capacity looks great on your CV and can quickly differentiate you from other candidates. It’s actually quite easy to land on an executive board of an organization, or serve within an important position. Holding one of these positions you as a leader and gives employers a great incentive to hire you. Not only that, but volunteering is also a great way to network and meet people who may have a job opportunity available, and sometimes job opportunities present themselves through the organization that you are already volunteering for.
- It’s a numbers game – The more jobs that you apply for, the higher the likelihood of you getting a job. Instead of applying for 5 jobs and waiting for a reply, you should always be on the lookout for new opportunities. While unemployed, you should make looking for a job your own personal job. Make sure that you go the extra mile and contact as many places as possible, which will raise the likelihood of getting a job.
- Establish a personal connection – People love a personal connection. A letter from a stranger to the bank manager will probably either go straight to the file or into the trash. However, a personal meeting with him will almost guarantee that you will have a better chance of landing a job than another random application letter. Instead of sending email or hard copy letters, ask for a few minutes of the time of the HR or other hiring manager and make your pitch. Go to seminars and workshops that will contain managers or other people important to the types of organization you would like to work for. Make sure that the people who are responsible for hiring know your name and your face, and you will have a much better chance of being rewarded with a job!
Getting a job in a tough economic climate isn’t easy, but there are ways to increase your chances of getting one. Follow these simple tips, and you’re almost sure to be working at your dream job in no time!
Daryl George is a youth activist and freelance writer living in Antigua and Barbuda. Currently employed as a youth officer, he also serves on the board of directors of the Environmental Awareness Group, a leading Caribbean conservation group. In his spare time, he is actively involved in cricket and EAG activities.