Women Today

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Job hunting tips for young women

Young women preparing to enter the workforce may discover a job market that's difficult to crack. Getting a foot in the door in your desired field is not always easy, but young women looking to land that first job out of college can consider the following tips to help them take that all-important first step toward a rewarding career.

• Decide on a path. Blindly searching for work or any old job is a recipe for an aimless search that likely won't land you a job you enjoy. Choose what it is that you want to do and who you hope to do it for, and then you can proceed with a more refined search that does not include you spending time pursuing positions you don't want.

• Don't be afraid to seek advice. Once you determine some companies you may want to work for, don't be afraid to seek advice from people who already work for those companies. Even if such businesses don't have any current openings, you might be able to schedule informational meetings. Treat such meetings like you would a job interview, asking questions about the industry and what you can do to get your foot in the door. Once such meetings have concluded, send a hand-written thank-you note to the person who took time out of their day to give you the informational meeting.

• Learn from each job interview. Many people, especially young people just starting out, go through many job interviews before finally landing a job. Each interview is not just an opportunity to land a job or hone your interviewing skills, but also a chance to learn what employers are looking for. Many interviews for entry-level jobs are similar regardless of the industry, so make note of your responses that went over well and those that might need a little more work.

• Be prepared to explain why you should be hired. Job seekers should be able to explain both their enthusiasm for the job and why they are right for that job. Keep your description of your capabilities concise, but don't be afraid to confidently state why you are the best possible candidate.

• Look for volunteering opportunities. After you have targeted a field you want to work in, you may find that there are few paying opportunities within that field. But you might be able to volunteer or even pursue an internship if you only recently graduated from college. Volunteering or accepting an unpaid internship is a great way to start making some contacts and gaining some legitimate experience, and working for free might just indicate to prospective employers that you are serious about pursuing a particular career and not just landing a job.

Young women may be met with a difficult job market upon graduating from college. But there are ways to make job hunts easier and land the job of your dreams.