Dear Readers,

One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept in life is that I won’t have everything figured out after graduating college. From a young age, we are told that if you get a degree, you are destined to get a great job. I hardly believe that anymore.

While I can’t speak for every degree, it seems more now than ever that a college degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma. Don’t get me wrong, this is great, and I am so happy that more people are getting higher education. Yet, I can’t tell you the amount of times I have applied to jobs only to get no response – or get a response months later saying that they found somebody else. 

Every time this happens it halts my motivation to keep applying to jobs. But there are ways to  navigate the current job market more effectively. Here are my tips for anyone trying to navigate the job market that I have learned from professionals in the journalism field.

If you stumble across an application that requires you to come up with a unique piece specific to that company, don’t apply. Often, they can take your ideas and implement them into their own work. Those companies aren’t usually looking for an employee but for free work. I can’t tell you the amount of industry professionals who have told me, “your work should speak for itself.” Don’t be fooled by people trying to get free work out of you. Know your worth. 

Yes, LinkedIn is the hellhole of the workforce that forces us to have a social media site around jobs, but it’s good for one thing: making connections. Messaging people that have the job you want or are working at a company that you have an interest in will help boost your chances of getting recognized more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, more often than not they always respond and are happy to answer your questions. 

Keep an Excel or Google Sheets document with all of your contact information. Doing this has helped me keep track of all the connections I have made over the years. Not only that, but it will help you remind yourself when you should follow up with somebody. Keeping in constant contact with people will help them remember who you are, which can lead them to recommending jobs to you. 

Make yourself more marketable by knowing how to do multiple things in your field. Knowing how to do many different tasks for the job you want will help you market yourself better. Many of my connections have told me that the more you can market yourself to a company, the more valuable you are to them as an asset, and the more likely they are to keep you on. 

Apply to jobs you might not be qualified for. This might seem like a waste of time, but applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for will still put your name in their hands. Showing you have an interest in the company can help recruiters reach out to you in the future when a job opens up.

Lastly, remember that you don’t have to have your whole life set up after completing your degree. Take some time off, and find the job you want. Don’t force yourself to get a job you hate. You only have one life, so do what makes you happy.

I don’t have my whole life figured out yet, and I’ve accepted that it’s okay. Don’t let the current job market scare you from applying for jobs. Keep pushing yourself, and you will get the job you want.



Alexandra Carollo is a senior. Reach her at lexiecarollo@dailynebraskan.com.