“Job market” has turned into a somewhat dirty word this past year. Everyone’s having difficulties including those both with and without jobs. The silver lining I find out of these dire situations, is that both people and companies are being as creative as possible to make the recession work for them as best as it can. Those currently thinking outside the box include universities and colleges–yes they are working with their current student population and job placement programs, but they are also working for their students of long past. This weekend’s New York Times wrote about one University’s alumni program that works with their seasoned alumni who need employment assistance.
The first part of the article caught my attention because the featured alumnus discovered her school’s job assistant strategy through networking. It just goes to show you that you may not find the “in” you are looking for without dusting that suit off and getting out there to shake some hands, make some contacts, and perhaps even land a job.
If that suit needs more of a dry clean than a dusting, you may want to make sure you have a few other things lined up before re-entering the hobnob zone:
* Dress like you would to an interview: Clean, appropriate, simple and smart.
* Bring business cards. If you don’t have business cards, you can get some made with your name, contact information, and primary job skill printed for distribution. Some may think that business cards are thrown aside after collected, but you would be surprised how many more people will remember you if they can put a face to the card.
* Bring copies of your resume. Make sure you are armed not just with your contact information, but also with your job skills. If you meet someone who knows someone, it doesn’t hurt to provide that person with a copy of your resume so he or she knows where to send you up the food chain. NOTE: Bring your resumes in a binder folder or something that won’t crumble or crease it. You don’t a folded messy resume acting as your paper representative.
* Even if you don’t have a job at the moment, or if you fear you may be on the verge of a layoff, don’t be afraid to say it! When telling people what you do, say that you are in transition and are looking for available opportunities. People won’t help you if they don’t know that you are looking.
It is convenient in this land of technology having job listings be just a mouse click away; however in these times, a handshake is much more likely to get you in versus an Internet connection. So if this applies to you, give your college a call, get connected to the alumni or admissions department, and find out what they can do for you.