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Beat the Unemployment Blues

Unemployment rates are still at decade highs and if you count discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job the rates can be as high as 16%. This means as many as 1 in 6 people are looking for a job. With odd like that stacked against you, you need to find an edge. Take some advice from Stephanie on how to stack the job hunting odds in your favor.  ~Tim McMahon, editor



By Stephanie Staszko

With unemployment rates soaring, the local job center has become a cattle market and a survival of the fittest has come into play when it comes to applying for jobs. Humans, as a race, do not take well to rejection and can be left feeling worthlessness and undervalued. Job seekers are often heard saying “I’ll never get a job”. If this mind-set is allowed to embed itself into the brain, job seekers can find themselves sinking into the black hole of unemployment with no glint of light on the horizon. In order to remain a valuable candidate to employers, they must beat the unemployment blues.

Graduates have been hit extremely hard by the government’s cuts with an average record high of 70 applicants competing for one graduate job in 2010. Combined with the rise of tuition fees due to take place in 2012 it will deter potential university students which means more young people with minimal qualifications will be thrown into the unskilled job market, which is already overflowing.

 What makes a successful job seeker?

  • Variety – By conducting a job search within different industries you can open up more possibilities, this is particularly true for unskilled applicants or first time job seekers who may not think they have as many options.
  • Interest – Although variety is important, it is also critical that you have some level of interest in the area you are applying for. If there is no enthusiasm in the candidate’s demeanor, employers’ will recognize this and your application won’t be as strong as those with an interest in the area, even if your qualifications and skills are equal.
  • Experience – The more interviews and application forms you complete, the better quality their future ones will be. Even if your first applications don’t amount to anything, at least you will have experience of different types of application forms and interview scenarios and an opportunity to eliminate future mistakes.
  • Personality – No one wants to spend the majority of their week with a robot (that’s why computers exist!). Applicants should show some personality and interests that are work and non-work related particularly if applying for a job within a small firm, as there’s a chance new employees will work alongside senior staff or the interviewer. Plus, it demonstrates your ability to learn new skills.
  • Confidence – A major downfall in a lot of people is the lack of self-belief. You need to stay positive through rejection in order to succeed in the future as confidence is the initial impression an employer receives. Smart appearance, genuine enthusiasm for the position and a warm approachable personality all make for a more likeable candidate.


Every employer is different so it is hard to develop advice which is universal to each individual employer. Common sense, however, on meeting the employer tells the candidate what kind of applicant is being sought after. In conclusion, the key attributes for a successful job seeker are confidence, consistency and commitment.

Guest Post by Stephanie Staszko