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Staying Sane During the Job Search

UAlbany IST Graduate Katie Farrell will be guest blogging on job search tips and strategies this summer. Here is her first installment:

With the recent graduation at the University at Albany there are several people entering the work force, many for the first time. It’s no secret that the economic climate is bleak and finding a job can be a difficult endeavor. As a graduate from the University at Albany in December 2010 who is still without a job, I’ve discovered first-hand just how difficult finding a job can be. This post will hopefully help you stay sane during this unpredictable and sometimes depressing journey.

1.) Stay in contact with professionals in your field: This may seem like a no-brainer, but once you’re done with school and left alone to job hunt, it’s easy to lose touch with those valuable contacts you made while in school. Whether they are valuable internship mentors, professors, or past co-workers, keep in periodic contact. These people are interested in your future and may have some job leads that you would otherwise be unaware of. It’s also a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in your field of choice.

2.) Attend conferences: If you can afford to attend conferences, do it! This is a great way to network and meet those working in your field. Getting your name out there and seeing what’s available is never a bad idea. Conferences are also a great way to continue your education. You’ll be on top of the latest trends in your field, making you more marketable.

3.) Create a new email account: Now that you’re done with school, your professional sounding school email will no longer be available to you. If your current email is anything but professional, you definitely need to create a new one. Typically, firstname.lastname@emailaddress.com is an appropriate address. I created a new email account only to be used when I applied for jobs. This made it easier to separate my personal correspondences from my professional ones and made sure I didn’t delete anything important (I accidentally deleted a very important email because it ended up in my personal account where I often get a lot of junk). Having a separate email address just for job applications also makes your inbox less cluttered and more manageable.

4.) Join a list-serv: List-servs in your field of choice are often a great a great way to learn of job openings. Subscribe to as many relevant list-servs as possible and pretty soon your inbox will be full of job opportunities.

5.) Apply for jobs regularly: It’s easy to fill your day with absolutely nothing if you’re unemployed. Make applying for jobs your number one priority. Applying for jobs is its own occupation and requires a lot of work. Dedicate a large portion of your day to working on your resume and tailoring your cover letter to specific openings you’ve found.

6.) Do something you love:
Are there things that you enjoy but never had time to do them when you were in school? Now is the time to pay attention to your long lost interests. It’s important to stay busy applying for jobs but you also have to do something for yourself that makes you happy. Maybe you like to build model airplanes or read books on ancient history. Make sure you take the time to do these things. They will keep your spirits up during the grueling job process.

More tips to come. Happy job hunting!

Blog post created by Katie Farrell