DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been rejected from every job that I’ve applied for since graduating from college last month. I receive generic emails that say the companies have moved on to look at other candidates for the positions. I am eager to start working because all my friends have jobs.
I know that it hasn’t been that long, but I just want to start already. I’ve looked on different job websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. For some reason, nothing is working. I’ve had internship experiences and did well in school, but can’t seem to find anything. It’s embarrassing when people ask me what I've been up to and I have to say I'm looking for work. Am I ever going to get a job? -- Desperate to Work, Dallas
DEAR DESPERATE TO WORK: Take a deep breath and be still. Your attitude is essential to your success, and you cannot be desperate. That energy repels people. You want to make yourself attractive to a potential employer.
As you are continuing your search, look for a place to volunteer. Think of your interests and abilities, then identify a small business or other entity that does something you find appealing. Offer to be an intern or a volunteer for a few hours per week. Let the company know that you are looking for a job, so you may need a bit of flexibility with your time, but pitch yourself strongly as someone who wants to help. If you land a volunteer role, treat it as the highest-paid job ever. You never know. It could lead to a paying role.
Also, be patient. It can take many months before you land a job, based on hiring practices of late. Do not get discouraged. Keep looking. Stay positive and put yourself out there. Go to mixers and meetups for your industry. If you are out there, you may meet someone who can help you secure that important first job.