Let’s face it, undergrad students and those that have several years of experience who are unemployed are facing the same challenge. So what makes these recent graduate students special about getting press? Nothing! Their ability to obtain a position after graduate school is now making press because the offers are not coming in hand over fist or at all. Additionally, companies are now realizing that they can pull talent from schools in their backyard. Thus, saving companies huge amounts of money recruiting candidates locally.
My Advice for Graduates in 2011
Honestly, I am tired of hearing graduates gripe that they cannot find a job. I know this economy doesn’t make it easy to find a job, but I faced the same challenge with finding a job after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as my job site was eliminated by Hurricane Rita. But you know how I found a new job? Networking. Hey, what a concept.
Any HR professional in the social media stream will tell you continuously that networking is key. If you are solely relying on CareerBuilder or Monster to find a job, you might be waiting a while to get that job offer. Most position openings are not posted and people obtain these positions through their network. How much more can we say that building your network is necessary.
How can you build your network while you are in school?
- LinkedIn – join groups and network with professionals in the industry you want to obtain a position in
- Twitter – great venue to network with professionals and get to know people; you would be surprised where 140 characters can get you
- Blogs – many professionals in different industries write blogs
- Local Associations – each city typically has associations in which students can attend meetings and network (e.g., SHRM, AMA, ASTD, etc.)
- Intern – get involved with courses in your school that provide opportunities for internships; not all internships will be paid and sometimes you may have to take an unpaid internship to get exposure
- Take advantage of courses in school that allow you to work with employers by applying course content to real world with projects
Most of these options are nothing new. Heck, none of them are new. You will see many of these same recommendations across many career articles or blogs.
The thing to remember is that networking is just a portion of your job hunt, but it is an important portion to your job hunt. Therefore, if you are a recent grad looking for a job, quit griping and start developing your network! If you need some assistance on how to get started, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or via email.
Let’s work to get you employed in 2011!
Chris Ponder II is a human resources professional who has harnessed his human resources knowledge and experience across the casino, retail, and service industries, while pushing the extreme in: talent acquisition, employee engagement, training and development, human resources information systems, employee relations, process development and redesign, performance improvement, project management, and human resources analytics. Chris shares his knowledge and experiences at his blog, XtremeHR, but you can also follow him on Twitter at @ChrisPonder.