Job searching, while not the most exciting or even fun experience to go through, is a very important experience to have. It’s a skill that should probably have its own section on your resume. There are so many rules that you have to follow when trying to navigate the seas of finding employment. I have just recently graduated from college and am currently facing the job searching experience myself and I have had some very positive experiences with my search! However I have also had my fair share of negative experience and overall though there is a lot to learn from filling out job applications. While my experiences are not necessarily the same as everyone’s hopefully everyone can learn a little from them.
What is important to note about job searching is that unless you follow a certain career that has a clearly defined path that you need to follow, there really is no exact way to go about finding a job. Some people recommend scrolling through job board sites like Indeed or Monster.com but other people recommend going through a job recruiter who does all the heavy lifting for you. My recommendation on this particular matter is to just do what you are comfortable with. Try the different ways to get a job because speaking from personal experience, sometimes the last place you think would uncover a job, is the exact place you find it. During my time at Indiana University they had a separate office specifically for job recruiters and this brought the job search directly to our campus which was incredibly convenient.
We all know the expression, “it’s not what you know it is who you know”. As frustrating as that is to hear it has never been truer in today’s culture. There is really only one sure fire way to guarantee you will get your foot in the door and have your resume looked at when you apply somewhere, and that is to find a reference to hand it into directly. There are a few ways to go about this and in my experience the best one that has worked for me is networking. Indiana University had several organizations on campus that were both able to help advance my career skills but I met a lot of people who had the same interests and I am using them as business contacts now. Having those contacts coming out of school was incredibly helpful because as we all found jobs we could then rely on each other for introductions whenever there was a new opening at a company.
There will come a time though where the search will be very draining on your energy. In those times it is important to remember that the great things in life don’t come easy. They require immense effort and can be very taxing on the mind and soul. I reached a moment like this during my own job search and it was a very tough time. I was passed on a particular job I really wanted and I knew I was qualified for it. I took the evening to process the disappointment of missing that particular opportunity but I learned to not be discouraged and instead think of a new way I could use what I learned at school and its application to my career. Whenever you experience a setback it is important to fall back on the lessons you learn in school because those are what prepare you for your future career.
The experiences I have had certainly do not represent the collective experience of everyone who is currently trying to navigate the job market right now. However I think the job market can be very difficult to navigate and I am thankful to everyone who helped me throughout my career and prepared me for the job market and how to navigate it. It is not a fun experience and can sometimes be a borderline grueling one, but it is so important to put the time and the effort into your application because there is no magic resume you can draft that will make every company want to hire you. All any of us can do is learn as much as we can at school, apply what we know to our careers, and continually push ourselves to learn and acquire new skills that will help us find the perfect career.