Personalized job searches start with proactive attitude

Typically, when people I know are laid off, fired or plan on quitting, they all come to me. I enjoy assisting friends and family in their job searches, but I am realizing that everyone has to develop a job search strategy of his or her own. I usually compare this individualized search to a patient treatment plan.

Last week, I spent a lot of time with my newly unemployed mother. Yes, it is very unfortunate for her, but I do what I can to assist her. Almost every time we get together, she talks about how job searching isn’t “how it used to be.”

She has a very valid point — it isn’t.

So, to go back to my treatment plan comparison, what kind of job search strategy should college graduates use? Is there a set guideline to follow beside submitting applications? For college graduates with no relevant industry experience, the answer is yes.

As a professional recruiter, I noticed the Class of 2013 making many mistakes in its job search.

The biggest issue is not being proactive with the search. I watch my friends who graduated last year make posts on Facebook about how college was a waste and that they will never find a job in their field, posted between their shares of Candy Crush scores, Instagram images with alcohol-related hashtags and notes of how great it is to live off of their parents.

I hate to break it to you, but that strategy will not get you a job as a social media editor with The Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

If you are a semester away from graduation, you needed to start your job search yesterday. Networking is highly crucial to build industry-related relationships, and I don’t mean sharing the lunch you had on Facebook.

Build a LinkedIn profile and start connecting with industry professionals. Make an appointment with ASU Career Services to create your résumé and profile, as well as practice your interview techniques. If you have relatives who are professionals in your industry of choice, reach out to them about being a reference. Speak with your instructors about recommendation letters and include those attachments in your application.

The most important thing I ever did to boost my career was find a mentor five years ago (at the beginning of my college career) and maintain the relationship.

My mom is right job searching is not the same as it used to be. We cannot just grab a “Help Wanted” sign out of a window and land the job. Competition is fierce and getting through the application “gatekeeper” is even fiercer.

Get your name out there so that the hiring manager on the other side of the application will be looking for it.

Reach the columnist at or follow her on Twitter at @chelsieeacret

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