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The big news at one of our staff meetings recently was that
With a series of internships, both paid and unpaid, Sam gained experience and contacts. He was working as an independent contractor at a media firm when a full-time production job opened up, and he jumped at it. “I’m proud of him,” says his mom. And well she should be. The job market for new grads -- and for workers in general -- seems to be picking up, but the positions still go to those who hustle. As a magazine editor who interviews job candidates, I’d like to offer my best advice for getting your foot in the door.
First, a note to parents: Steer but don’t hover. It’s okay to refer your children to people you know who can help with their job search. But let them make the contact. One father I know kept his son Andrew’s résumé on his computer. When he saw an ad for a job for which Andrew was qualified, he’d fire off a résumé. But it was up to his son to follow up. (Andrew landed a temporary gig that he hopes will turn into a full-time position.)
Insulated from face-to-face (or even voice-to-voice) contact by social networks and text messaging, many young people in particular have a tough time picking up the phone or meeting someone in person. But it helps if people like me can attach a face, or at least a voice, to an applicant.
Once you make a contact, send periodic reminders that you’re still interested.
Even if an applicant seems promising, a single e-mail is often buried under the daily
deluge. Polite but persistent e-mails are more likely to get an answer -- eventually.
Review the job description and troll the company’s Web site to become familiar
with what it does. My husband is in charge of hiring entry-level employees at his
small firm. He once received more than 100 responses to an ad posted on
Remember that a job e-mail is not a text message. “R u hiring?” or the equivalent is no way to address a prospective employer. Get the spelling, grammar and punctuation right.
And take heart. Like Sam’s, your perseverance will pay off. A study by the
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