As many new and potential graduates begin to prepare themselves for the job market, two important concepts, networking and mentoring, will help them to strategize. Networking and mentoring are the keys to success! They have become the forefront of the job search process. According to Jobhunt.org, "between 75% and 85% of all jobs are not posted or advertised on the web or in newspapers". These jobs are only known in the "Hidden Job Market". JobHunt.org gives some great examples of how to establish a network and maintain it. I have learned several important tips that have helped me to build a strategy of my own.
My Push Strategy. I like to call this strategy, "keeping hope alive". The first step is to build your image. The type of image you want to build is one that will help people remember you and to establish your personality to them. Remember, the first impression is a lasting impression. You need to make sure that your resume speaks for itself (it should appeal to others as well as yourself). How do you know if your resume is appealing? Try this fun activity.
1. Create your resume. Use "keywords" and be very tasteful when it comes to font sizes, formatting, and page setup. Keywords should jump out at the reader (maintained, implemented, processed, and so on).
2. Make sure to print your resume on very “elegant”, but not “busy” resume paper.
3. Print a mock resume. Instead of putting your name on the top of your resume, make up a name. Print out this resume.
4. Then go into Microsoft Word’s resume template (or on the Web) and print several different resumes the same way you printed yours. Spread them all out on a table. Does your resume appeal to you?...
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...hand out business cards, and keep your black book handy. Internships are also very helpful. Always treat the internship as an opportunity and not as a job. Even though the goal is to get the job, keep networking.
The Maintain Strategy. During this strategy, you are pulling everything together. You are expanding your horizon. Once you are actually employed, never let your network go slack. Keep your network up to par. Call new and old contacts frequently and keep updating your black book. Always have current resumes and plenty of business cards. Stay in contact with your groups and offer to speak at a function.
These three strategies I have discussed are based on my personal experiences and opinions. They can be very helpful to someone building a network. The process may be very long and frustrating at times, but can prove to be very rewarding.
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