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No Job Yet? Do This

Starting to panic because you have finished college or your training program, but you don't have a job yet? As time passes, you're likely to start feeling like everybody else has already been hired, so it's natural for worry to set in. What should you do? What should you not do?

Starting to panic because you have finished college or your training program, but you don’t have a job yet? As time passes, you’re likely to start feeling like everybody else has already been hired, so it’s natural for worry to set in. What should you do? What should you not do?

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(Photo Credit: David Blackwell/Flickr)

Understand Your Constraints

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Get a handle on your budget. If you are living on your own, understand how long you have before your funds run out. If you are living with your parents, speak to them frankly about how long you think it might take for you to get a job and to be able to afford to move out (note that those are different things). Estimate how much the start-up costs of living on your own might be: “I will need at least $X saved before I can afford an apartment on my own / with roommates.” Understand your healthcare coverage, and make plans to get coverage if you will age out of your parents’ coverage umbrella.

Stay Prepared

Keep your resume and LinkedIn up to date, and have a set of appropriate interviewing clothes clean and ready to go. Make sure you have transportation to an interview or the means to pay for it within your geographical search area. Prepare a response for when people ask you “How’s the job search going?” Don’t be flip (“Whatever; I am not worried”) or annoyed (“You’d think with who’s getting hired that I’d get hired, too”). The person asking may have a lead for you, but may not want to share it if you don’t seem polite or professional.

Get Any Job

Employers like hiring employed people, and they like hiring people who care about working. If you haven’t landed your dream job, get almost any paid or volunteer job: the home improvement store, the animal shelter, the garden store, a local restaurant. Temp work is an excellent want to learn about a job, a boss, and a company, and temp-to-hire happens frequently. You can craft an explanation of why you took a job apparently below the level of your training that will reflect well on you: “I don’t want to be idle, and this way I am learning [a skill].”

Act Like Someone an Employer Would Want to Hire

When you get rejected for a job – and we all do, a lot – consider asking the person who rejects you whether there are skills or training that would have made a difference in the hiring decision. Make it clear you understand that learning is not over, and consider whether you can acquire the recommended skill or training. Also ask whether there is anyone whom you recommend I speak to about this field. Do not ask “who do you know who can give me a job?”

The Golden Rule Really Is Golden

Treat everyone well, and as if they are someone who might give you a job, or a connection to a job, or who might recommend you for a job. When it’s your turn, give leads and tips and introductions to people who ask, if you can.

Good luck!

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What advice would you give job seekers? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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13 Comments on "No Job Yet? Do This"

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Hello! I will be hiring soon for a part time position in the Toledo, Ohio area. I was wondering if anyone could tell me the best place to post this position with its details to hire for the Fall 2015 semester. Training will occur in September 2015. If you are also interested you may email your resume to the email above. Thanks!

siti aliah

Im only has past my diploma in malaysia (undergraduate). what are the jobs that suitable with my able and skill ?


Excellent idea to keep working at anything, Paid or Unpaid. Having a schedule & something to be commited to keeps your mind POSITIVE!

joseph Mokotjo

Hi I did get some promotion of being a safety spotter,after three month probation they told me that it have money and they give me more job of front end loader without paying me,they told me that I don’t operate it every day,please I need help,I don’t know what to do any more.

Most of the employers do not comment on their rejection decision. They send a semi-automatic e-mail saying “sorry bla-bla-bla.. due to a large number of applicants we cannot provide any feedback”. Some rare feedback that I received was “you have the relevant skills but not the relevant experience, go and get some”. So any work and volunteering (as advised) would not give relevant experience required for the job. If your are a student, then the best way to get closer to your dream job is doing as much internships as possible. Then you have a chance to get into a… Read more »
Ria Erlank

Good advice. It all boils down to a good attitude ~ to keep on treating people well, to get more skills if possible, to get ANY job(so true, as it just helps you in yourself to seem less desperate ..), to stay prepared and yes to tighten your belt. It’s not always easy but know that this time will pass and eventually you WILL land the job … but now use you go around with a pessimistic horrible attitude.


Tips No. 3 Get Any Job is crucial. New grads or experienced, you would not be highly regarded when unemployed, you would be grilled during the interview, be seen as hard-selling yourself when presenting your aptitude or achievements. And you would be pressed for less pay. Cruel but true, behold.


Excellent tips, not only for the younger workers, but a great reminder that good manners and a desire to work will help open doors, even in a poor economy.
As an older worker, I ask more questions in the interview than I used to: a poor workplace culture is always a mistake in any economy.
Thank you!


Brad’s comments above are right on! I know journalists have to journal about something, but I totally agree with his assessment. Usually obvious stuff. I have never gotten a job from someone I knew either. Most people are too afraid to help or are worried you’ll get their job, or something.

Bell R

Interesting how the crappy economy and high rate of unemployment spawns and feeds the “how to get a job” industry.

Brad Overbeck

All of the above, all “dumb”. You will never have the opportunity to know exactly why you have been rejected. Recruiters pass your CV on to a manager. That manager may have to have approval of his manager? Many companies are heavily micro-managed. Sometimes, you can more experience than the employer is willing to pay for. I’ve never gotten a job rec from a friend. Internal applicants have the edge on getting a new job posting. Often the “advertised position”, is just a “formality” to hiring someone internally.


hii….. Iam from Hyderabad,Telangana, India., iam soo simple.. i completed my PG., i need earn money.

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