Landing a job in today's market

Courtesy 7 San Diego

People are going back to work – but that doesn't mean it's easy to get a job.

In today's world, it takes hard work and a few tricks to land that gig. It's not just finding a job opening that can be tricky, you also have to convince the company that you are the right person for the job.

But, whether it's your first job, a new job or an upgrade, employment experts say the key is being smart and persistent.

Of course, nailing the job interview is crucial but what's also important is what you do after the interview is over, according to Phil Blair with Manpower San Diego.

"It's really important to follow up. I call it ‘polite persistence,'" said Blair, adding that there's a fine line between that polite persistence and stalking.

So, as tempting as it may be, don't call the employer six times a day asking if you got the job.

Instead, do some writing.

"You're going to send a very quick email thank you, followed by a hand-written ‘Thank You' note because those are so rare, that you really stand out from anyone else," Blair explained.

Now, if you send a brief email or "Thank You" letter, don't make it generic. Be specific and refer to something you talked about with the prospective employer in the job interview, or follow up on a question they asked you.

The key, Blair said, is letting potential employers know you want the job before, during and after the interview is over.

Also, it's probably best not to call, unless the employer says otherwise. In fact, at the end of the job interview, ask them the best way to follow up.

And, if you don't get hired, don't burn any bridges. Be polite and keep in contact – there may be a job in the future.

Local students, including those at UC San Diego, say they're feeling the excitement and pressure of today's job market.

"I feel like there are a ton of opportunities and there are a ton of people going after those opportunities," said David Tolton, a college senior. "It looks like it's very competitive."

College junior Evan Dowden said it's all about "confidence" and showing an employer how much you want the job. Experts agree and say one-on-one skills and showing true interest and desire stand out when looking for work.

"You really have to be able to connect with the person who's trying to hire you because, ultimately, it's a subjective decision that they're making," said UCSD senior Shannon Colin.

Manpower's Phil Blair said the biggest growth areas are in high tech and skilled health care, while many lower paying jobs are springing up in tourism and the service industry. Blair says that the key is getting into the job market, "You are more employable when you have a job."


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