Dear J.T. & Dale: What would you suggest recent college grads do to get hired now that there are no jobs? – Tristan
J.T.: There actually are jobs. Maybe not as many as there were prior to the start of the pandemic, but there still are jobs. And many of them are entry-level.
DALE: Whole sectors of the economy are humming along, so the first thing to do is to refuse to let yourself fall into the “no jobs” mindset. Instead, keep up your motivation by filling your mind with thoughts like, “Somebody out there really needs my help, and I’m going to find them and they’ll be glad I did.” You aren’t scrounging around begging for help. You’re looking to provide it.
J.T.: As a recent college grad with no extensive work experience, my suggestion is you identify at least 20 companies you would like to work for. Focus on what they do for work and why you believe in what they do. Then, follow them on social media and check out their career pages on a daily basis for any new opportunities as they arise. Most companies will not bother to post their job openings on big job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed because they don’t want to get thousands of résumés from unemployed workers who are just applying for the heck of it. Instead, they will post jobs quietly on their own website careers pages, knowing that only their truest fans will see it first and apply. In short, you can find a job – it just requires a lot of targeted research and networking. This is a great opportunity for you to take control and learn to build your job search skills. Treat it like a full-time job, and you will get results.
DALE: To make it a full-time endeavor, you’ll also need to crank up the networking. Put that expensive college education to work for you. Connect with your fellow recent grads and see how their searches are going. Find alumni to ask for introductions. Just remember, your mission is to find a place to make a contribution. Do that, and opportunities will appear.
Dear J.T. & Dale: I’m married to someone in the military. We move every couple of years. As a result, my résumé looks like I’m a job hopper. I was recently told by a recruiter that this works against me. Any tips on how to explain this to employers, or will the explanation just make them not want to hire me more? – Erin
J.T.: This is a very common challenge for military spouses. Some give up on looking for work. Some opt for hourly jobs that are below their skill level but are easier to get and give up when they move. And some focus on starting their own side-hustle that can move with them.
DALE: But the job you really want is the one that’s toughest to find – one that lets you advance your career within a great company led by enlightened management. Unfortunately, such places are reluctant to hire someone with a limited time horizon because they know, no matter how great they are to you, you’ll be moving on. Unless … unless you can work remotely.
J.T.: And your timing for that is perfect, because there is a new trend emerging, an upside due to the pandemic. More companies are hiring remote workers. Meaning, more jobs are going to start to come available that can be done from anywhere. My advice is to study your résumé and look for patterns in the jobs you’ve held. What skills can you show you used consistently to build up your expertise? Then, start a proactive search for jobs that you can do remotely. Connect with people on social media that work at these companies and explain your situation. In this case, they’ll see your desire to stick with an employer as you move as a plus! The key is to keep networking and searching. Your job is out there, but nobody will hand it to you – you’ll need to hustle!
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2020 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.