He’s Smarter Than Average But Lacks a Network


Devin writes:
Hey I was just wondering what I can do to get a job. My problem is that I’m flat-out
not getting accepted anywhere and by now it’s taxing my patience. Part of the
problem is that although I’m smarter than pretty much every single one of my
friends who has a job (which by now is all of them) I don’t have some sort of “in” –
no friend of a friend or anything like that to help me out. On top of that I’m very
personable usually at the center of any conversation I take part in; however I don’t
look very good on paper since none of my accomplishments are things they give
awards for.
I realize my questions are a little muddled and disorderly but any help you can
provide after you piece together everything I’ve said would be great.


The Career Doctor responds:
It’s important to have confidence when job-hunting but being over-confident
is a killer.
The first thing you need is a reality check. You would think that seeing all
your friends get jobs would be a humbling experience for you but instead
you blame circumstances beyond your control a common complaint made
of twenty-somethings — where you blame others rather than face the fact
that you might be to blame — or at least share in it.
The next thing is to take stock of your current network of contacts. Everyone
has a network. Your network consists of your family friends neighbors professors and anyone else you know. So sit down and make a list. I am
confident it will be much bigger than you imagined. And guess what? You
can add to it everyday by simply meeting new people.
As for not looking good on paper… that’s also a copout. Anyone can maximize
their education experience and accomplishments and develop a resume that is
attractive to prospective employers. Ask for help from your college’s career services office.
Finally if you say you are as personable as you say you are the keys for you
will be networking — where you can use your charm to obtain job leads — and then
interviewing where you can sell your skills and potential to prospective employers.
Just remember… tone it down.