Be Proactive:For you to achieve great success in the job market, you have to put in great work. Thus, here are things you should know and do in order to increase your chances of succeeding in the job market:
a) Scout out new and exciting positions. Do not restrict yourself to positions that you feel you are only qualified for. Look out for other openings that require skills and qualities you might have acquired from your past and apply to them as well (i.e. skills learned from a random class you took while in college, an internship, or self-taught skill). Many a time, people possess talents and skills that they do not know are invaluable assets to some organizations, and therefore do not include them on their resumes. Others only search for jobs they think are related to a college major or potential career without realizing that one could create another career from one’s talents and skills. So before you send out your next application or resume, think again about those pottery, mandarin, khmer, fishing, theater, blogging, social media etc skills you know you have, and use them when next you apply for a job.
b) Research on different companies that you are interested in and create your own ideal position that will appeal to them, and then propose to do it without pay: The title says it all. This to me is a no-brainer. Find a company you are interested in, research and write-up a proposal for a position you believe they need and do not have, and suggest it to the right people. Indicate that you are willing to work without pay to prove the relevance of your created position. This often turns into a full-time position if one distinguishes one’s self.
c) Volunteer and intern judiciously while you expect interview appointments: Volunteering and Internships (check out previous article), are very important to job searches, and could end up becoming the foot that gets you in a company’s door. At other times, if you do not secure a job at that particular organization, you may get a worthy referral or recommendation to another organization from your internship for a position you otherwise might not even be qualified for.
d) Become an entrepreneur and offer services to businesses as a consultant: This is my favorite one because it could also serve as the beginning of the end for your job search. While searching for your ideal job, you can actually brand yourself as an entrepreneur. Find that one thing(s) that interest you and that you are very good at, and brand yourself as a specialist in that area. Print business cards and distribute them at events while networking as vigorously for a job. Ideally, this is the path I advise people to take because it might end up becoming a self-sufficient job, or growing into a small business if you market yourself right. I unfortunately don’t believe so much in fulltime jobs anymore. I think that most employees should have room to create and recreate something of worth that they could benefit from financially even while working at other jobs.
e) Join Professional organizations and attend Career Fairs: Professional organizations like National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the likes usually host career fairs and networking events for their members. Join those that are related to your field of interest, as well as attend as many career fair events as possible. Fraternities and Sororities also help out their members a great deal; so look them up, or try to get referrals from other members who know highly connected people.
f) Apply, Network and Apply: There should not be an end to your application process till you start that job that you seek. So never stop applying. You never know where the ideal employer will come across your resume. Use social media like LinkedIn, Facebook etc; friends; friends of friends; events; and past connections to network. When you do, always make sure you ask people if they know about any job openings in your desired field(s). Remember, closed mouths don’t get fed. You have to constantly ask people if their jobs are hiring, or if they knew people who knew any hiring recruiters, and follow up on made requests and promises.
I’m sure these will help you succeed in your search. So once again, share your questions, comments, additions etc with me on here. I’d love to read and respond to your comments.
Don’t forget to check out the other College to Career Series on here.Sincerely, Chike Ukaegbu