The Job Hunter’s Guide To Getting Back Out There
The unemployed college graduate’s natural response is to fill out applications—anywhere and everywhere. But when the going gets tough and you’re ready to throw in the towel, there’s more than one way to spend your free time. Besides applying, here’s a list of some ways to spend your time and improve your chances of getting hired:
1. Take classes. Be a constant learner. If you’re looking for a job in a technology-related industry, make sure you’re always up to date on the latest software programs and newest developments. And what better time than the present to mess around with new programs and teach yourself?
2. Set up informational interviews. If you’re looking for a job in your area, chances are you know which companies you’d want to work for. Contact someone with the job you want (or someday want) and ask if they’d be willing to meet with you for half-an-hour to tell you what the position entails, what their typical day is like, and what you need to know to be a strong candidate for a similar position.
3. Volunteer. I guarantee there’s a company out there that wouldn’t mind some free help every once in a while. And it looks great on your resume. You won’t have to worry about spending all your time volunteering, either. Many others who are employed full-time still find the time to volunteer—even if it’s just for a few hours a month.
4. Intern. Internships may be paid (although usually not) and many corporations offer internship programs. They’re often more hours than a volunteer opportunity and may lead to a strong recommendation for a future position. And if you intern at a company and realize you don’t like the position, you’ll save yourself the hassle of applying and working there full-time later on. Another perk? An internship could lead to a full-time position if the company needs to fill a vacancy.
5. Attend webinars/live chats/tweet-ups. Talking to real people in real time about your industry is a serious networking opportunity. It’s a chance to showcase your knowledge and gain a strong insight into what the rest of your future coworkers are talking about. And you can have all your questions answered by other professionals.
6. Start a blog. This is especially important for anyone in a writing-related field, but if there’s a niche market for bloggers in your industry, it can’t hurt to get involved. Writing about your industry gives you the opportunity to share your own knowledge, but it also helps you stay informed on the latest trends and news. Along with that, it’s another potential networking opportunity if you interact with fellow bloggers and commenters.
7. Freelance. Not every industry will offer freelance opportunities, and it’s definitely not a money-making opportunity. That said, it is experience and gives you something tangible to show for the period of time while you were out of work. And it’s a little extra cash to keep you afloat.
What else are you doing to keep busy while unemployed? And what suggestions do you have for others?