First, the good news. The economy is on an uptick. The country’s unemployment rate of 5% could be better, but it’s a far better picture than the situation in 2008 and the next few years that followed.
Unfortunately, the jobs market for millennials is more cutthroat than ever. With millions of previously unemployed individuals now applying for jobs, millennials have to compete with older, more experienced job searchers. Still, not all is lost, as there are ways to increase your chances of landing the job you want.
Work On Something to Pad Your Resume
If you’re fortunate enough to have someone (i.e. parents) cover the cost of your bills and daily living expenses as you wait for a call from your dream employer/s, don’t waste whatever free time you have. Do anything that can be used to pad your resume, whether it’s taking on an unpaid internship, or engaging in an entrepreneurial project. Anything that can be used to make yourself look better than the competition can go a long way to winning a job.
Network for New Connections
Another thing you can do while waiting for callbacks from employment agencies and employers is to network. The best place to start as a millennial is, not surprisingly, online; look for connections on social networks like LinkedIn, keeping an eye out for potential insider contacts, as well as communities that share your interests. When you’re looking for a job, you want the right people to know it. All it takes is one recommendation to a well-placed insider to dramatically improve your value in the eyes of employers.
Work on Your Cover Letter
Cover letters are critical to getting past gatekeepers, with many hiring managers looking at them to see if candidates are competent enough to string together a well-written sentence. Don’t just rehash your resume when writing a cover letter like most millennials do. Instead, use your cover letter to creatively describe your skill set, experience, and interests. In fact, the more detailed and eccentric your cover letter is, the more likely it will be noticed.
Turn to College
Not to get a degree or go to graduate school, but to mine for connections via your alma mater’s job boards and contact lists. Your old professors may also point you in the right direction, even if it’s not necessarily job-related.
Star Staffing is a great resource for those directly out of college, who are looking to gain experience and make connections. Only available on a short-term basis? No problem! Both short and long term assignments are available.