A long but worthwhile post from Career Alley. Lots of good stuff here.
Today’s post covers a variety of topics to help you in your job search.
Before getting started, though, a word of hope. We know you keep hearing about all the jobs lost and the high unemployment rate. What you don’t hear about is that businesses of all kinds are still hiring.
Even in the slowest of times, some are growing, while others need to replace employees lost for a host of reasons, including discharge, resignation, retirement, promotion, and even death. When you hear there are six employees for every position? Tell yourself one-in-six aren’t bad odds.
Awkward Interview Question: “So, What Have You Been Doing Since You Graduated?”
You’re at yet another interview. It’s early October. Summer is but a fond memory (and school an even fonder and more distant one). You’ve gone through the usual questions without any problems and think you have a pretty good chance at landing this job.
And then the trouble starts:“I see you graduated in May, what have you been doing with yourself?”
“What have I been doing?” you think. “I’ve been looking for job,” you say.
“Looking for a job since May? Don’t you think you could have been putting your time to use?” the interviewer asks.
You think, “What are my options, what should I have been doing with my time besides looking for a job all the time?”
The Volunteering Option Can End Up Helping Your Job Search
The interviewer continues to dig it in: “Have you thought about volunteering?”
“Volunteering? Doesn’t seem to be much of a career in that,” you say defensively.
After months have passed, many potential employers are going to wonder what you’ve been doing in your spare time since you graduated from school last May. “Looking for a job” sounds like a logical answer, but you know what? It’s not going to fly five months after you graduated.
Volunteering allows you to gain some valuable experience, while giving back to the community. But it also tells potential employers that you are ambitious and not just sitting on your hands. Yes, you should still be looking for a job almost every waking hour, but you also need to get yourself out there. After all, who knows whom you will meet?
Volunteering for College Grads
Here’s where you can find some great information on volunteer opportunities to make productive use of your unemployed time:
Volunteer work for college grads benefits from Serve America Act — A short article from the National Student News Service about some of the benefits (some of them financial) of volunteering. Take a look. (Pssst — Serve America is not 100% unpaid volunteering: an education award of around $5,000 given to those who complete their service can be used to pay off student loans, or be put toward further degrees).
Volunteering Up Among College Grads— Another short article, this one from Jobmonkey.com, supports the premise that volunteering is becoming more popular for college grads. Also take a look at Jobmonkey’s Volunteering Abroad link.
Volunteer Match — This site provides resources for finding volunteer jobs.
The center top of the page has the main search engine where you can search by location and keywords. At the top of the site are a few tabs for volunteers, non-profits, and more.
The old standby of career fairs may not be your best bet in these times of high unemployment, but are always worth considering. Here’s some helpful information for making the best use of them:
The Ten Keys to Success at Job and Career Fairs–- This article, by QuintCareers.com, provides excellent advice on preparing for career fairs. It will help both college students preparing for college career fairs, as well as experienced hires preparing for professional career fairs.
CareerFairs.com –- This site allows job seekers, universities, and employers to coordinate the job fair process, and makes it more efficient for all, via a searchable database. You can search for upcoming job fairs and employers can pre-screen students.
Mosaic Career Fairs–- The website for this series of career fairs, organized by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), says the purpose is “to connect talented minority students with leading advertising/marketing and communications companies that are seeking to hire entry-level candidates.” The site provides the dates of upcoming fairs as well as registration forms. There is also a link to the AAF Job Bank. This is but one example of many specifically targeted career fairs.
Job Fair Directory & Employment Resources – This directory, provided by www.carouselexpo.com, allows you to search for job fairs by State. Click a State, and scroll down to see when there will be a career fair near you.
Job Search Sites
If I had a nickle for every job search site or job board . . . So hard to choose, but here are a few less well known ones to consider:
CampusCareerCenter.com–- “Jobs, Guidance, Networking . . . Options” is the tag line for this site. It leads with who’s hiring, with several employers listed on the main page. There are a wealth of resource links on the first page as well, on topics including internships, cover letters, preparing for your interview, and more. There are also tools and resources down the left-hand side of the page, including research companies and job search. Click the “Post Resume” tab at the top to register, post your resume, and get started. Looks like you must register to use the job search.
CollegeJobBoard.com— The main page of this site lists featured employers, with job categories on the right hand side of the page. There are related article links as well as a resource center (which is a little light on content). The job seeker home link is restricted to registered users only.
Center for Career Opportunities-– This is a Purdue University site and is designed to provide additional sources of information and job leads. The right-hand side of the page lists a number of databases to help in your job search. This is primarily a list of resources, so you will need to explore from here for it to help in your search.
Groovejob.com–- This is a pretty neat site. It focuses on teen, student, and summer jobs. The site lists featured employers in the main section of the screen. There are a number of resources as well -– on resumes, career assessment, interview tips, student resources, and more. Most of the jobs appear to be part time, but I did not register on the site to see the full functionality.
Good luck in your search!
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.