Unemployment is no fun.
Yesterday, I learned that the job market in the United States is bad. Really, really bad. I hunted yesterday for a summer internship, hoping to find something outside of DC. I first looked where I expect jobs: New York, Chicago and other major cities. As it turns out, most employers there are afraid to hire mail room clerks or interns, let alone a college kid with zero experience.
The job market, in general, looks pretty bleak. Last month’s national unemployment rate was 9.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The local economy has faired the recession well, thanks to the federal government. Still, Susan Gordon, Director of the AU Career Center, sees slowdown in hiring. Before the crisis in 2008, 40 percent of all student had a job by graduation. For 2009, that rate dipped to 29 percent. That’s still higher than the national rate of 25 percent, but not as good as before.
Gordon sees some improvement, as more employers went to the AU job fair with full-time jobs. Of course, you can advance your search further. Here are a few ways you can maximize your job search.
- Network — It’s not about what you know, or even whom you know. It’s about whom you click with. Generally, you click with like-minded people. D.C. offers a wealth of professional networking organizations, but if you find that intimidating, people love holding casual events. Try looking for a group you’ll enjoy at meetup.com. It’s a wide city, and there’s sure to be a group for every interest.
- Use LinkedIn — It’s a nifty tool to see who knows who, like Facebook, but for the working crowd. Of course, you have to use that to find a job.
- Have the Career Center Help You — The AU Career Center wants you with a job. They won’t find one for you, but they will give you tools to network with employees, and make the most of your experience. More than the Career and Internship fair, the Career Center hosts networking fairs for employers in every single school. Check out their calendar of events here.
- Meet with a Career Center Advisor — They don’t bite. In fact, they want to help with your job search. AU students can schedule an appointment with them if they need help starting, or at any spot along the way. They don’t do placement work, but they will give you the tools to search on your own, possibly long after your first job.
- Search Job Posts — Job postings are a hit-or-miss. Everyone can see them, and everyone goes for them. If you do pursue them, try a job post aggregator like Indeed.com. Indeed.com and other sites search other job posting sites, giving you the best offering to suit your interests.
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