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ISSUE 120 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/13/2007

The dreaded job search

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor


Friday, April 13, 2007

My friends have started being rejected from jobs they forgot they had applied to. I have only heard back from two of the 20-plus jobs to which I have applied. The nearer we come to the end of senior year, the more desperate we all become.

As anxious and excited as I am to graduate, I find it terrifying knowing that if I do not have health insurance and a steady income, I am not going to make it on my own. Instead I will continue to be dependent on my parents. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are lovely people. But the point of a college education is to break out, become a productive member of society, be someone important. To accomplish this I feel as though I need a job, and not just any job, but a career job.

The anxiety builds as more and more people get plans: graduate school, lucrative jobs with Target, Teach for America. Those of us with no jobs cling to each other – if we stop talking to those other people, we don’t have to feel bad about ourselves any more.

For those of you who are continuing to look for jobs, here are some perhaps misguided but well-intentioned tips from someone who has been so far unsuccessful.

– I learned this year that resumes are supposed to only be a page. Apparently employers do not want to read a seven-page resume. To avoid a similar faux pas, have someone look at your resume. Have someone at the CEL do it or a friend or parent who has experience in hiring. They can also provide helpful hints on things like cover letters.

– Try those giant job websites. Just as you have heard of websites like monster.com and Craigslist as places to search for jobs, so have employers. These may be jobs off the beaten path, and certainly are not the major corporate jobs. But since many higher paying jobs require experience, getting your feet wet at that small entrepreneurial software company may be the ticket. It is a quick and easy way to search a specific area and type of job.

– If you have a dream employer, go to that company’s website and poke around. Or if your interest is much more general – say you like to run, so you check out running apparel companies – check out the website of all your favorite companies. Often these major corporations have employment opportunities on the websites. If you get lucky, you will be working for a company that you love and believe in. At the very least, you could get sweet discounts.

– Send out letters of inquiry to dream employers if there is nothing on the website (or they don’t have a website). Including a resume and gush about the company in cover letter. Couldn’t hurt, right?

– Check out the CEL or other colleges' job websites for postings. As someone who wants to return to the west coast, I did not find the CEL that helpful. But, if you are staying in the Midwest, the CEL can offer some good links. Other colleges in the area you want to apply may have more local links to jobs.

– Apply for anything and everything that you might be qualified for, and even some for which you are not. Everyone is unique and brings something different to a job. If you play up strengths that may make up for other shortcomings, perhaps you will get lucky. At the very least, what can it hurt?

Good luck to all seniors scrambling to find semi-permanent employment and underclassmen trying to nail down summer internships. If you need to find me to get more sage advice about job searching, I will be at the local J. Crew peddling argyle sweaters.





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