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Standing Out in an Unstable Job Market

Now more than ever you need to market yourself to get the job you want.

On behalf of all working adults, I’d like to sincerely apologize to those of you who have just graduated college and are entering the job market. For obvious reasons, it’s even harder to get a good job right now than it usually is, and job hunting is no bowl of cherries even in normal times. But there is still hope; the job market is very gradually recovering, with a few million new jobs popping up around the country in the last couple of months. Not enough to recoup the jobs erased by the pandemic, but it’s a start. But if you wanna get one of those jobs, you’re going to need to really shine up that resume and make some connections, because with things as they are, you’re going to need every trick in the book to stand out.

Virtual networking has become more of a norm in recent years than interviewing in person, but currently, it’s pretty much your only option. The first thing you need to do is polish your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters are always browsing LinkedIn; it’s basically the Facebook of business. Any kind of documented skill you can showcase on a profile, do it. Articles, videos, projects, whatever; even if it’s something small, tape is tape. Your LinkedIn should be a mini-library of sorts for your skills and accomplishments.

Resumes, inversely, should be meticulously tailored to whatever jobs you’re applying to. Don’t just mass-mail dittos, job recruiters can tell when you’re just going through the motions. Carefully scope out the job posting, and sprinkle your CV with keywords from it. This’ll show the recruiters you’re paying attention. You should also be selective about what skills and accomplishments you list on a resume. Keep it specific and relevant to the job.

Finally, while you might not want to hear this, you’re going to have to be flexible. It’s already pretty difficult to break into an industry, so with things as unstable as they are, you might need to leapfrog around a few different, tangentially related positions before you can hit your target. The most important thing is putting bread on the table, and even if you’re not precisely in your career of choice, you can still develop some relevant and useful skills for when you get there.

It’s not gonna be a fun process, but you can still find the job you need. If nothing else, take solace in the fact that you’re starting in hard mode, so if you need to find a job again after things get back to normal, it’ll probably be much easier for you.

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