Job Hunting in a Recession

Don't Recess Your Job Prospects: Tips for Job Hunting Right Now

By Ann Baehr, Sara Brian, Michelle Engen, Brian Wedl

College graduates are desperately searching for job opportunities. Corporate layoffs are at an all time high. Jobs are evaporating into thin air. Yes, we’ve all heard these unfortunate developments, but here’s where the headlines stop and the opportunities start.

In order to find these hidden jobs, it is important to develop experience in multiple fields, create a personal network of mentors and professional contacts, and recognize all available opportunity.

Jessica Gardner, Career and Employment Manager for the College of Business said, “No matter what major, the most important building block to success in your field is gaining valuable experiences that will differentiate yourself from your competition.” Many companies will not focus so much on your academic background as they will focus on your specific skills and knowledge gained through work experiences she said.

What to Do?
First, apply for an internship or consider volunteer work. Sounds easy right? But given this economy, it may not be as easy as it sounds. You must be willing to fully commit yourself to the job search. This includes writing cover letters and resumes geared toward specific job descriptions.

Volunteering is another great way to gain valuable experience and capture the attention of potential employers.

It is also crucial to network. Bill Gates once said, “Your net worth is just a representation of your network.” Building a solid base of contacts with business professionals and colleagues alike will give you an inside edge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many job openings are never advertised to the public. With an interconnected network of business professionals, you will get notice of new job openings before anyone else.

When building your network, remember contact names and collect their business cards in order to keep in contact with them. These connections may lead to your dream job.

What gives you the edge here at Eau Claire? Career Services provides many opportunities throughout the academic year to network with local business professionals. Even though the number of job opportunities is low, it still is beneficial few you to explore all opportunities that are available. Some of these opportunities available through UW-Eau Claire Career Services include:

  • Resume building
  • Internship Mania
  • Blugold Career Link
  • Patty Practice ( job interview practice)
  • Explore Your Possibilities Week

To find out more, visit the Career Services office at Schofield 230, or online at www.uwec.edu/career.


Ann BaehrSara BrianMichelle EngenBrian WedlFrom left to right: Ann Baehr is a senior marketing major from Thorp, Wis; Sara Brian is a senior accounting major from Eau Claire, Wis; Michelle Engen is a senior marketing major from Greenville, Wis; Brian Wedl is a senior marketing & physics double major from Neenah, Wis. They wrote this article for their advanced business communication course.

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