I graduated, I’m ready to work, but no one will hire me.  If you’ve ever been in this position, you know how frustrating it can be.  If you’re in this position now, I apologize; it will get better.  Take it from me.  I graduated college almost two years ago and am just now finding my way into the big career world.  I went from hopeful graduate to new resident of a big city in pursuit of my “dream job.”  About six or so months after searching the web for jobs and sending my resume out to countless businesses, I confess I started to feel as if I was doing something wrong.  Is my resume not good enough?  Do I not look the part?  Did I answer that one question in my interview the wrong way?

Before you fall flat on your face in tears (which I may or may not have done), take a deep breath.  I know it is completely frustrating when you hear back from an employer saying, “We’re not hiring right now, but we’ll keep your resume on file.”  Seriously?  Isn’t that just a nice way of saying, “No thanks, you’re not what we’re looking for at all.”  That may be the case in some instances, but what if they’re really being honest?  What if those people you heard from call you back in six months to a year?  As long as you try, you will see results, even if it takes a year or more.

Still frustrated?  Take another deep breath and get out of the house for a moment.  Remember that friend who is in the same boat as you are?  Call her up; grab some ice cream and vent to each other, all the while keeping in mind that you’re not alone.  Sometimes, it feels better knowing that whatever you’re going through, someone has been there and has come through.  Give each other tips of encouragement.  Maybe she knows someone’s uncle’s, sister’s, friend who is in connection with what you’re going after.  Don’t be afraid to ask.

There is some place of occupation that has been looking for someone exactly like you.  So before you throw in the towel, take a look at your resume again.  Change some of the wording around.  Instead of saying, “I helped children with their after school activities at their school,” say “I led children to their after school activities daily at their school.”  That simple word change can make all the difference.  Employers want someone who leads.  Remember learning about action verbs in elementary school?  Some of those action verbs can make a huge difference on your resume.  Need some fresh and new references?  I would suggest picking 3 or 4 from different groups.  A college peer, a previous coworker, a family friend, someone high up in the business world, a college professor, even a high school teacher who remembers how dedicated you were.  Getting a good range of references can give the employer a good idea of the person you will be.  The more they know what a good journalist, teacher, nurse, PR associate, etc. you will be, the better.

Don’t get sucked into the big black hole of searching for the right job.  Stay on top, and I promise, one day you’ll see results.  You can thank me later.

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