10 Tips to Best Face Bleak Job Outlook

Helpful and somewhat provocative career advice for the current weak job market is provided by career expert J.T. O’Donnell who offers 10 Tips About Careers (That Nobody Ever Tells You).

My favorite tip:  Your Career Story.  “You MUST be able to articulate your professional strengths and short-term career goals in 30 seconds or less.” 

O’Donnell warns against the “spray-and-pray” job search, noting that the average job seeker must send out over 100 resumes to get just one response.  But there’s hope.  O’Donnell provides a number of suggestions on how to break through the clutter, including informational interviews which we discussed in the last post

O’Donnell also cautions against staying in school to get additional degrees.  She cites the true cost of such degrees and notes that 40% of all advance degree recipients end up in jobs that didn’t require the additional degree. 

Another tip warns against the temptation of taking a year off after graduation, and she also urges avoidance of the “Cinderella Syndrome.”  She explains:  “The sooner you break your addiction to acceptance, praise, grades, rewards and other bribes, the sooner you’ll find personally satisfying work that is professionally rewarding.” 

O’Donnell is founder of Careerealism.com and she also blogs about job searches and career strategy for young professionals, ages 18-40.  Much of her advice is free, but she sells her book and other career counseling services through the site. 

3 thoughts on “10 Tips to Best Face Bleak Job Outlook

  1. Could you go into more detail as to why taking a year off is not a good idea? I found that my year off was very satisifying both personally and professionally. Will this brought up in future interviews?

  2. J.T. might elaborate on what he means, but I feel a year off is okay if you or your parents can afford it–and if you do something during the year off that can be cited on your resume, such as a volunteer experience or learning a new language while traveling in Asia. I don’t feel the time off will hinder you in future interviews, but you do need to be able to explain it. In fact, some hiring managers will envy you. Others might wonder about a “silver spoon.”

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