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The Waltonian Guide to Job Hunting and Interviewing

Summer is approaching, which means both college students and graduates will be home from school and looking for jobs. With pre-collegiate teens lining up for summer employment, and considering the tough economy, jobs for the last few years have been hard to come by. Jobs for graduates fresh from college can be scarce as well. Here are a few things you can do to shine in your interview and land that paying position.

Step one: How to Job Hunt

1). Research. For those still in college, beggars can’t be choosers. Summer jobs are hard to come by, so fill out applications anywhere that is hiring. Considering the current economic realities, even those about to graduate might do well to take this advice.

If you are a graduate-to-be and need to narrow down your options, try looking for jobs that involve the things that you do best. Say you worked in the Writing Center in college. Copy editing jobs might be a good fit for you because you already have some experience. Lead with your strengths.

2). Pull some strings. In the job search, networking is key. If you have met someone that you think can help you find a job, or at least write a recommendation, seek them out. If you have family members or friends that can get you an “in,” go for it. Even if your starting job is not what you were really looking for, at least it is a start. Besides, chances are that you will end up doing something different in your career later on.

3). Be persistent. Employers love an employee who shows that he or she is interested in the job. If a week or more goes by after filling out an application and you have not heard back from the company, call. Explain that you filled out an application and you want to make sure that they received everything properly.

Step two: The Interview

1). Dress to Impress. Even if you are interviewing for a summer job at a farmer’s market, do not come dressed like you just rolled out of bed. Dress like you want the job. First impressions can make or break an interview, and if you dress sloppily, your manager might think that you are sloppy. Use your own judgment. Aim to look a little nicer than you think you will be dressing on the job.

2). Do your homework. Impress your future employer by having some knowledge about the company and what it stands for. The interviewer will appreciate your interest in the business, and it will show that you are a thoughtful person.

3). Show your skills. Build a portfolio and bring it to your interview. Fill it with resumes, recommendations from previous employers and some of your own work that relates to the job that you are seeking. Portfolios are made to show your future employers your capabilities and your past performances on the job, as well as your involvement and performance in college. A shining portfolio will impress your employer.

Attempting to find a job might seem scary because they are hard to find and there are so many applicants. The trick to landing a job is to make yourself stand out above everyone else. If you are able to do that, the position is yours for the taking.

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