If At First You Don’t Succeed….(in finding a job)

December 8th, 2008

As a child, when I would try something and be unsuccessful, my teachers or family would repeat this old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”   Nowhere is this advice more true than in the job search.

The job search always requires persistence and resilience, even in good economic times, but even more so in bad economic conditions like we are now experiencing.  The job search will likely take more time and effort than it may have in the past.  There is no use sugar-coating it, hiding from it or complaining about it.  (Okay, you are allowed to complain a little).

In this economy, you are likely to apply for many, many positions before successfully landing a post-graduate job opportunity.  Upcoming graduates seem to be shocked when we tell them that applying to 3-4 jobs will probably not result in a job offer.  You will most likely have to apply to many more than 3-4 jobs in order to even land an interview!  This is where the persistence part comes in.  Apply to as many jobs as possible, as long as they are opportunities that interest you in some way, or will provide you with skills and experience you need to move to the next level.  Also, if you aren’t getting interviews for the types of jobs you desire because you lack experience, look for positions that are the next level below the type of job to which you aspire.  Depending on the career field you are seeking to enter, this may be the only way to gain a position, due to the levels of competition for certain types of career opportunities.

Rejection is also just part of the process. You will apply to jobs, and despite following up with the employer with a well thought out phone call or email, you won’t hear back from them at all.  You’ll interview for positions and be turned down.  Here is where the resilience comes in…pick yourself up and just keep applying and interviewing.  Don’t let the rejection get you down, because this will negatively affect the next interview.  Learn from each experience and you’ll do better the next time.  And don’t eliminate a company just because they turn you down – if they have other jobs later on, apply for those as well!  Sometimes the employer may like you, but just not think you’re the right fit for one position – but you may be the right fit for a different one!   (Yours truly would not be writing this blog entry if I had given up on the College of Charleston – I applied twice for the exact same position.  I was rejected the first time, but the second time…well, here I am!)

If you have questions or concerns about how to conduct an effective job search make an appointment to see a staff member in the Career Center.  We’d be happy to assist you in developing your own personalized job search plan of action.

Finding Full-time Jobs in Charleston

December 1st, 2008

When you left home the first time for college, the majority of you did not know where you wanted to be after four years of school. Some of you might have had an idea about the type of job or career. Or, some even might have had the geographical location down. But it is a trend for many graduating students to want to remain in Charleston after living here for four plus years. It is a great city with many things to offer, but now you are wondering how do I find a job in Charleston doing what I want to do? Well, there are a lot of different ways you can go about the job search with the Charleston area as your focus.

One of the best resources for finding professional positions is CISTERNonline. This system is hosted by us, The Career Center. On CISTERNonline you can search nation wide, but you can also limit your search to a geographic area including Charleston and limit your search with keywords or other parameters. And the only requirement to search on this site is that you are either a College of Charleston student or Alum.

Another great tool for the local job search is the newspaper. The Post and Courier lists hundreds of positions in their classifieds section (http://www.charleston.net/) Yes, there are the part-time and non-professional jobs listed but it lists professional careers too. With this tool (like the majority of them) you should check it weekly. New jobs are constantly being listed so you need to stay on top of them before someone else snaps up your dream job.

And finally, have you thought about the Charleston Chamber of Commerce member list? This is a list of all the member business in the Charleston area. You can narrow your search by industry and such. The list is a great resource to finding business and contact information. Use the list to start your networking endeavors and start sending letters and resumes!

Do you know of any other great resources? We are always looking for more great websites or tools to suggest to the students and alum of the College of Charleston. Share your sites and let’s start searching for that perfect career!