Frances Bridges Forbes.com
I was unemployed for over a year.
It’s why I ended up spending a lot of time on my bathroom floor, and have tile grid marks branded on my backside to prove it. When I graduated, I wish someone sat me down and told me not to do the things I’m telling you not to do. Instead I got the same generic, common sense advice every graduate gets.
So for the recent college graduates, or for the young and newly laid off, here are the five things that were the biggest wastes of my time when I was unemployed.
1. Filling out a gazillion online applications
Filling out online applications willy nilly is like letting go of your stack of resumes on a windy day, and hoping one flies into the right person’s face.
Online applications eat enormous amounts of time. Unless you know someone at the company who will flag it or personally e-mail it to the right person, your application is more hay in the haystack. Your time is better spent meeting people in your field who can do something with your application than just filing out application after application after application with no response.
2. Going to “Getting the Gig” events
These are the worst. This is how these events usually go: You register, get a nametag, shell out $20-$45 to eat pretzels, carrots, brie and ranch dressing and hear one keynote speaker or a panel of five people (give or take) discussing what they look for in interns and employees, and what it takes to make it in that particular field. You are in blank conference room in a blank hotel or conference center with anywhere from 50-3,000 other people who are also looking for a job, all of whom will be queued up to talk to whoever spoke afterwards.
They’re all hoping the same thing: that they will hit it off so hard with one of the speakers that they will get a contact or a reference from them, then somehow through someone get a job. They think they will stand out in the crowd of other recent college graduates with the same degree, the same experience, the same elevator speech, the same, the same, the same.
Don’t throw your name in the raffle hoping it’s drawn. Create situations where you’re the only name in the bowl.
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