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Remember the job market is very competitive. For every opening an employer may receive anywhere from 100-500 applications. Of that group they may bring 10-20 candidates in for an interview. And then select one. This is why it's so critical that you continue to get your application out there in front of employers – soon YOU will be the one that is selected – BUT you have to persevere. Remember also that once you graduate, finding a job is YOUR full-time job. The more diligent and proactive you are, the quicker you will find something.

After meticulously preparing your application materials, you send them to carefully selected organizations that you are sure would like to hire you. If you're lucky you may even get a few job interviews. If you are not getting any interviews you may want to have a professional take a look at your resume. It may not be doing its job effectively and it's better to remedy that before you send out hundreds of resumes. Even with a stellar resume you may not hear from the organization at all or get frustrating return correspondence saying 'Thanks, but no thanks.'

Sometimes, we begin to dread the BIG NO so much that we stop pursuing additional interviews, thereby shutting off our pipeline to the future. We confirm that we can't get a job because we stop looking. Remember, fear of rejection doesn't have to paralyze your job search efforts. Let that fear fuel your determination; make it your ally and you'll learn a lot.

Depersonalize the interview — Employers may get as many as 500 resumes for one job opening. How can you and the other 498 applicants be no good? Sometimes there is just someone in the pool of candidates who may have just the right qualifications.

Don't make it all or nothing — Don't set yourself up for a letdown: 'If I don't get this job, I'm a failure.' Tell yourself, 'It could be mine. It's a good possibility.' Focusing on the positive aspects will help you convey a positive demeanor in the interview.

Don't blame the interviewer — If you blame your turndown on a cold interviewer who didn't flatter you with beautiful compliments, you will learn nothing. The interviewer's role is to see if you're a good fit not to find reasons not to hire you.

Take the spotlight off yourself — Sell your skills, not yourself. You're there to find out the interviewer's problems and to show how you can work together to solve them.

Keep your sense of humor — Nobody yet has contracted an incurable disease from a job interview. And everyone has been through it at one time or another.

After each interview, take some time to evaluate yourself and your performance. Were there questions you could have answered differently/better? Were you surprised at or unprepared for some of the questions asked? If you do a quick evaluation shortly after leaving the interview session you'll build upon the experience and improve each time.

How to find the jobs

Studies have shown that only 15 percent of available jobs are ever advertised. It takes much more than merely reading through the classifieds to find that first position after graduation. By using a number of methods, you increase your chances of landing a job:

Networking — The most effective way to meet potential employers and learn about possible jobs is to tap into your personal network of contacts. Don't be afraid to inform others of your career interests and let them know that you are looking for work.

Informational interviewing — The purpose of these interviews is to meet professionals, gather career information and investigate career options, get advice on job search techniques and get referrals to other professionals. When setting up these interviews, either by phone or letter, make it clear to the employer that you have no job expectations and are seeking information only. Interviewing also familiarizes you to employers, and you may be remembered when a company has a vacant position.

UTSA job listings and resume database — Be sure to check the UTSA online job listings and to set up a search agent which will notify you when new positions are posted that meet your criteria. Be sure that you have a resume on file with your current graduation date, email, address, and phone information. Search the Employer Database to see which employers have posted positions previously with Career Center. They may not have anything open currently but that doesn't mean they won't have and they are interested in hiring UTSA students and graduates.

Temporary work — Temporary workers can explore various jobs and get an inside look at different companies without the commitment of a permanent job. This can be particularly useful if you're not quite sure of the type of position that you will be most effective in. If an employer decides to make a position permanent, 'temps' that have made good impressions often are given first consideration.

Persistence — This is the key to cracking the hidden job market. Attend meetings of professional associations and become an active member. After you begin the above processes, and your network base expands, your search will be made easier. Employers will appreciate your resourcefulness and view you as a viable candidate.

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