The Times West Virginian

May 11, 2009

Finding a job

Class of 2009 faces a challenge

By Taylor Jones

Entering the job market is a scary time for any college graduate, but at a time when the economy is being compared to that of the Great Depression, finding a job just out of college will be more difficult than ever for the Class of 2009.

With a current unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, recent college graduates are going to have to work hard to fight from becoming just another statistic standing in the unemployment line, and finding a job in the field they desire is going to be harder than ever.

“(In this economy), the job search is going to be tougher,” admitted Tom S. Witt, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “It’s going to be longer. It’s going require people to be much more flexible in terms of what (job) they’re looking for. There are job opportunities out there. It just takes more time for people to find those opportunities.”

There are a few tips to help stand out from other applicants as one begins on their job search.

• Internships

Having on the job training is a great advantage when applying for a job. Getting that experience with people interaction, whether it be in fast food or the field you wish to work in, is very beneficial.

“I think it’s valuable to have experience,” said Beth Gallon Lefevre, developmental advising specialist at WVU. “If you’ve never interviewed for a job before, any kind of job, then that means you do not have that experience.”

Volunteer work and community service work can also serve as highlights on a resume.

• Flexibility

In a time in which finding a job in your desired field is scarce, being able to move or travel at the drop of a hat is a very desirable trait.

“Too often times, students have too restrictive of a view of where they want to live,” said Witt. “What they need to think about is where they want to be five or 10 years from now. Sometimes, in the short run, that means living in what they might deem a less-desirable part of the U.S. It can represent an opportunity, if they are successful with that company, to move to a more desirable part of the country. Companies value flexibility.”

If a new employee is willing to move for their job, it shows commitment to the job. When competing for a job, willingness to relocate could be the deciding factor. The ability to relocate easily is something that sets young, college graduates apart from other applicants.

• Organization

Yet another way to set oneself apart during the job search is to come prepared and organized. Showcasing your organization should start at the job interview while presenting one’s resume and portfolio and carry onto the job.

“Make sure you have everything in order to the last detail,” advised Lefevre. “Organization is very important. It’s impressive when someone is organized and they go into an interview. The interviewer knows whether they’re organized.”

During this time in the American economy, even little things can make someone a standout job candidate. Being organized and flexible can make the difference in getting a great job in your field or just finding a job to pay the bills.