Question:  I just graduated from college and am having difficulty securing meaningful employment in my chosen field. What do you suggest?

 Answer: It’s no secret the current pandemic has caused many employers to stop hiring and lay off staff. However, depending on your particular area of expertise, there may be opportunities. Conversely, if yours is not in high demand, you may need to broaden your horizons.

To begin, you need to research the companies that are hiring and determine if what you have to offer can answer their particular needs. A good place to start is to develop your LinkedIn profile.

A professionally written LinkedIn profile can help open doors. It affords you the ability to showcase your profile, interests and expertise. A majority of recruiters use LinkedIn to research and recruit candidates.

Having a LinkedIn account also allows you to research companies, recruiters, and hiring managers. This is something you should do before submitting applications.

You can also reach out to classmates, alumni and like-minded people. The idea is to network, establish a rapport, and then to ask for help. A good recommendation from the right person can be a big help getting your foot in the door.

Effective networking requires that you spend time researching those companies you are interested in. Then determine the decision makers and begin to network with them. This investment of your time can pay big   dividends in the final analysis.

LinkedIn has many members. You can find out about job openings and corporate culture. They also have a useful job search tool. Just blindly sending your resume will not yield the desired results. If you want to stand out among the applicants, you need to make sure your profile and resume speaks to the employer’s specific needs.

Online job search websites allow you to research hiring opportunities from the comfort of our home. Many offer insights on how to conduct yourself during interviews. Your local SCORE counselor can also assist you in this endeavor. 

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Gray Poehler is a volunteer with SCORE Naples. Business counseling on this and other business matters is available, without charge, from the Naples Chapter of SCORE. Call (239) 430-0081 or visit https://naples.score.org/mentors .The SCORE business office is located at 900 Goodlette Road North, in the Fifth Third branch bank building. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.