As college graduates soon find out, the real world is tough. Sure, it was hard getting into the right school. But landing a good job is a lot harder. The number of new college grads now outnumbers available entry-level jobs by at least 25 percent. But that figure is as sobering as it is deceptive, given that only a fraction of those jobs are career-worthy. So how do you succeed in a marketplace that's stacked against you?
According to professional career counselors D. A. Hayden and Michael Wilder, you've got to approach the hunt for employment as if it were a marketing campaign. In other words, you've got to make yourself a brand by creating a clear story for yourself, understanding your target audience, and developing an effective communications plan to deliver your message. You've also got to avoid the pitfalls. Hayden and Wilder identify four personality traits that can doom first-time job seekers to failure. Then, through a trademark method they call "Candidate Illumination", the authors prescribe cures for those pathologies and present savvy strategies for every step of the job-search process from finding your focus, to composing a winning resume, to acing the interview. (Note to parents: This book may be the best gift you could give your graduating son or daughter.)
Are there really that many helpless, whiney ivy leagers whose parents paid for their entire education, wrote their term papers and resumes, and argued over grades with college professors? Students are actually expecting career services at their schools to place them into a job? I think their priviledged consulting practice has warped their understanding of the reality of what the majority of us are facing in the job market. Not everyone is moving back in with mommy and daddy and waiting for the big corporations to come calling after posting their crappy resume on Monster.
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