For many students and recent grads this year, it seems there’s little they can do to find good internships, summer or entry-level jobs. Job postings have been down on major job boards, like Monster, and many students have even found it difficult to land a good co-op position through school.
With nothing but a thin resumé, a handful of short-term work experiences, and maybe one or two letters of recommendation, finding a meaningful job in the current economy can seem nearly impossible.
In Get the Job You want Even When No One’s Hiring, long-time career consultant Ford R. Myers offers tips, tricks and – crazy, I know – homework assignments to help job hunters navigate the murky waters of the current job market and create the tools they need to sell themselves to potential employers, particularly those in the “hidden” job market. That is, job openings that aren’t advertised and may not even exist yet.
A serious, diligent job hunter can – and probably should – spend hours completing Myers’ questionnaires, surveys and assignments. Let’s just say that if you like Mad Libs, magazine quizzes and thinking intensely about yourself, you’ll love working through this book.
All kidding aside, however, this book forces job hunters to think seriously about their careers (both past and future) in ways you’ve never thought of before. Perhaps more importantly, it helps develop tools you didn’t know you needed.
You should already have a resumé (which Myers says is your least important tool), but what about a whole job-hunting portfolio, including written accomplishments, verbal presentations, a professional biography, a target-company list, a contact list, professional references, letters of recommendation, a networking script, and a job-hunting tracking system?
Probably not. But the lazy days of summer might be an ideal time to work on them!
Now, although Get the Job You want Even When No One’s Hiring is a great tool for job hunters in general, it’s definitely not aimed specifically at students and recent grads. Many of the examples used in the book are based on more traditional and formal corporate structures which might feel foreign or outdated to students and new grads. (What’s not outdated, however, is the section that outlines how to take all the above tools and put them online to establish a strong web presence.)
Also, from an entry-level perspective, some of the examples are a bit intimidating. One accomplishment story details how the subject saved his/her employer $250,000 on a project, and other examples demonstrate decades of experience on the job.
To that end, I asked Myers a few student and new grad-specific questions to fill that void. Stay tuned for my questions and his answers tomorrow!