One of the most painful facts about the present downturn is that more than a quarter of our young people are out of work.

What young adults need to worry about is not how to shine on their first day on the job. It’s about learning to excel your first day in the job market!

If you’re a young person entering today’s job jungle, it’s a little like suiting up for an episode of Survivor in the outer reaches of Borneo.

Here are some tips that can help drain the pain from your job market debut:

  • Don’t bulk e-mail your credentials or resume to everyone and their cousin. In the e-mail age, a resume is just another bunch of digital clutter. Every day, companies are using more and more sophisticated tools to block the inflow of unwanted applications
  • Intelligently use snail mail to differentiate yourself. I’m not just saying that because I’m in the envelope business. Make the letter you send as distinctive as you can. Address it to a particular person. Link your cover letter into the recipient’s school affiliation, hobbies, or-best of all- an acquaintance you have in common.
  • This is all about making the A Team. Maybe you had the valuable experience of playing a varsity sport in school. If you wanted to excel in athletics and make the academic grade, you learned pretty soon that the first skill to master is time management.
  • Plan out every precious day. When you climb out of the sack, commit yourself to making a specific number of calls and blocking out time to study business news on the Internet. When your head hits the pillow at night, don’t count sheep. Run through that checklist of follow-ups that will mark the breakthrough from couch potato to breadwinner.
  • Don’t waste time on the Internet, and don’t upload self-damaging information on social sites like Facebook. Stay away from game sites. They can addictively suck away valuable hours day after fay. Will your instant recall of the latest dish about Hollywood get you a job? The party animal photo you’re keen to upload to Facebook may be fun for your pals, but it may eliminate you from consideration in a firm that is about to extend you an offer.

For more tips on how to find a job and how to get a job, check out my book “Use Your Head To get Your Foot In The Door“.  It is loaded with job hunting tips that I guarantee will help you land your next job.

About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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