How to Find a Job (Yes, Even Now)
In a job market that’s nothing short of daunting, these nine women recently landed terrific positions. They share their strategies with you.
“I Used My Alma Mater’s Alumni Services”
The job she landed: Director of Internet marketing and sales.
How she did it: When Jenny was laid off from her interactive-marketing job in May 2009, her good friend and former college roommate Kathy gave her one piece of job-seeking advice: “Call the alumni career office!” (Kathy had done that back in 1987—when they were graduating from Lehigh University, in Lehigh, Pennsylvania—and had an offer before graduation.) One week later, Jenny, 44, sat in Lehigh’s Alumni Career Solutions Office as Lori Kennedy, director of alumni career solutions, made suggestions for strengthening her résumé and refreshed Jenny’s memory on interviewing techniques, since she hadn’t interviewed in eight years. Jenny returned to her West Chester, Pennsylvania, home armed with a specific plan: to update her profile on LinkedIn.com, an online professional networking site; compile a list of possible local employers; spend six hours a day job searching; and check in regularly with the career office. The plan worked. Within two months, she had two job offers. She is now working for a Philadelphia-based medical-publishing company, and like Kathy, she can’t recommend the alumni career office strongly enough. “People pay thousands of dollars for the support that I received for free,” she says.
Make This Strategy Work for You
- Check out your alma mater’s website to see what career services are available to alumni. If you don’t live near the campus, “chances are, you can still work remotely through phone appointments or Web seminars,” says Kennedy.
- Don’t show up empty-handed. Have a résumé drafted and ready for critique. Bring all of your job-search materials—what you’ve tried, whom you’ve spoken to—so the office can help you move forward.
- Network through your alumni association. “Most have a database of alumni contact information that you can search by specific company or industry,” says Kennedy. Or attend an alumni event. “You could meet someone at a tailgate party who is looking to hire,” says Kennedy.