What To Do When Part-time Work Experience Is Not Enough?

by Marcus
(Miami, Florida, USA)

When you think entry level, think of where the entry will take you

When you think entry level, think of where the entry will take you

I worked part-time through college. I just graduated and I have about 2 years worth of work experience. But the truth is that even with my experience I still can't make any headway in getting a job.

I've been sending out resumes to companies for countless different job positions that ask for 1-2 years work experience. I never get a single response. When I call to ask if they've received my resume, I'm usually told that they've filled the position with someone with more work experience.

I know I can do the work. I know I'm qualified. But it makes no difference. Employers pick someone with more work experience than me. I feel ripped off. I thought for sure the part-time work I did, plus my degree would help me at least get a full-time entry level job.

Sending out resumes and filling out tons of applications just to try and get 1 interview for a job is getting me nowhere. I'm ready to throw in the towel, except I don't know what that's like.

Already I'm back with my parents. I'm again only working part-time. I spend hours online, where most of my community is. Nobody seems to have any practical advice for me. It's an entry level job for goodness sake! I'm not asking for an executive position! Why should it be this hard?

Anyway, I get what you're saying about delivering benefit-laden offers to potential employers. I guess that's way better than just filling out job applications and sending out resumes that don't get me anywhere. At least I'll be unique in doing something others are not doing.

But what's the best way of figuring out what benefits I can provide that a potential employer would want?

----- Arturo's Reply to Marcus -----

Well, Marcus, welcome to the worst job market in 60 years. Now, let's dispel some assumptions that your friendly yet mistaken career adviser might have given you while you were in school:

  1. A resume will get you an interview: False! This is like saying that a sales rep at an electronics retailer's showroom giving you his business card will get you to sit down for 15 minutes to demo a $3,000 sound system that he is peddling.

    Would you spend 15 minutes that you don't have to hear a sound system that you don't want on the mere basis that you received an unrequested business card that added to the other equally useless 500 that piled up in your hand the moment you said in the showroom out loud "I'd like to hear some good music. I think I need to change my iPod for something better"?

    A resume is nothing more than a glorified business card, Marcus.

    Marketing yourself well to the right people, at the right time and through a variety of appropriate vehicles used by the people who you wish to reach will secure you their attention. Try this for starters.

    But the best way to get an audience with someone is to be introduced by someone else.

  2. A part-time job will distinguish you from graduates without job experience: False! There was a time when this was the case. But now you are competing for fewer jobs in a world of many experienced yet unemployed workers, who can outbid you as well as out do you in experience. You need to become distinct in other ways. Part-time experience doesn't cut it any more.

    What you need in your college grad job search is to learn how to put together a work proposal. Follow the link to learn more about it.

  3. Social networking online is a highly effective job hunting technique: False! Social networking can be a huge time sink hole if you don't have an objective regarding who you want to work with and what you have to offer them.

    Used in a careless fashion, social networking online can leave a trace of irresponsible behavior that you cannot erase but that future employers and clients can trace to your detriment.

  4. Instead focus on a very narrow group of people who you wish to know and strive to develop connections to them to learn about their wants and deliver a work proposal that fits these.

The best way of figuring out what benefits you can provide a potential employer is to think of the employer as a client not as a surrogate parent. Then start behaving like your employer is your customer and not your mommy.

Begin inquiring as to the employer's wants in the area of profitability, and work your way logically along a trajectory that can demonstrate how you can impact this area, by delivering a service that is unlike any other.

Then put that in your work proposal and present it to those who would give their left eye to have you deliver it for them.

This is called being intrapreneurial.

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