JESSICA ESPOSITO — Staff Writer
In order to get a job in today’s society, it does not depend on how qualified you are, but rather who you know. Several companies hire from “within,” which means that they only hire people who they are familiar with. I understand completely why people hire from “within.” I get it, I would probably do the same thing if I was looking to hire someone. It is so easy to call up your friends and say, “I have this job opening, do you know anyone good?” instead of sifting through a ton of resumes from people who you do not know. Take a look around; I know that you can think of several people who have jobs that they do not deserve, that they are not even trained to do because they knew someone, or because their relative, friend or boyfriend got them the job.
People would rather hire people they know because they trust them. It’s like the “in crowd” back in high school; these people have all of the power and they are not kind to newcomers. You must earn your place within this crowd. So my advice is to try to get in with the “in crowd,” show them you are deserving of the job by taking the initiative to do things. Even if a particular job you are interested in is not hiring, ask if they need any help, set up an internship or volunteer; I don’t think anyone would turn down free help, especially in this economy. You might have to do a job that you are over-qualified for, but it’s a start. Once you’re in you have the opportunity to work your way up in the company because now they know you.
I think that it is important to get to know people in the career field that you want to end up in. So make contacts early and make them see that you would be a great asset to them. I know a lot of people in college say that they do not have time to meet and mingle with these people in the “in crowd,” those people who might hire them in the future after they get their college degrees, but you need to make time. A professor once told me that 70 percent of jobs that people get today were because they knew someone.
Take advantage of internships because those may turn into possible jobs. If you have to be the first one there and the last one to leave, do it, because if you don’t have an “in” you have to work twice as hard to keep that job so they don’t end up letting you go and hiring someone they know. Even if your internship does not turn into a full-time job, don’t be bitter about it. Make sure that you write a thank-you note, and explain that you were grateful for the opportunity, and if a job opening happens to come up in the future to keep you in mind. Thank you notes go a long way with people because they will remember you. You never know, even if that particular person doesn’t have a job for you, they may know someone who does.
So if you happen to go up for a job in the near future, and you have a really good interview, they say that they like you, but you don’t end up getting the job, try not to get too upset. You just need to go in next time with a different strategy. You need to play the game, and play it well. You must adapt to this new environment where you need to know people to get in. Just remember networking is the key, and seemingly more and more like the only way to get a job.