In 2013, 1.7 million students will graduate from college and enter the workforce. Roughly 340 thousand students (20%), will become underemployed. This means a life of retail with college loans to pay off, in addition to living expenses. If these students knew they’d wind up in retail, I’m sure they wouldn’t have added a $300 loan payoff on top of minimum wage! Related: Why It’s Absolutely Necessary To Discover Your Passion This isn’t the first time students have received the brunt of an economic downturn. When I graduated in 2000, my friends moved to California with dreams of overnight success at super sexy startups. Six months later, they were unemployed and all their stock options were worthless. I looked overseas to get employment, as did many others. The difference today is that we can begin to curate our own body of work more easily, less expensively, and more visibly than ever before. After I gave a talk I at Belmont University this year, Griffin Mckenzie came up to me to tell me about her blog: griffinmckenzie.com. There, not only does she display her resume, but she collects her thoughts, shares insights, and builds a professional reputation not attached to any job. In 1998, Tom Peters said in his famous “The Brand Called You” article, “You don't belong to any company for life, and your chief affiliation isn't to any particular function. You're not defined by your job title, and you're not confined by your job description.” What was true for executives reading Fortune magazine in 1998 is finally true for everyone else today.

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Someone once told me a corporation was a nasty thing to fall in love with - because it will NEVER love you back. This is something every job seeker should realize. The rules of loyalty in the work force are changing. No one can deny that. However, knowing this doesn’t change the pain of getting laid off or let go. It hurts. It can wound. Related: There Are 5 Stages Of Job Loss Depression Each of us reacts in one of two ways, either by getting mad and hating the company we used to love, or by blaming ourselves in what can be called a state of numbness. These wounds deserve every bit of healing we have. However, because our financial situation may depend on sweeping the pain aside and getting another job as quickly as possible, we might need a strategy of getting past this stage.

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When I train career advisors and job seekers on the strategic approach to the job search, I make sure to mention a resume is an obituary. Resumes do a great job telling people what you did. Where you worked. What things you’ve done in your past that made a difference. Related: Job Search: How To Write Accomplishment Stories Resumes have a place in the job search as well. They are requirements in many HR departments’ intake process. They help hiring managers to remember you after an interview and pass you along the chain. But to really stand out from the rest requires you demonstrate the value you can bring in the future, not the past. Remember, you are being hired to solve someone’s problems.

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A question I frequently get when training job seekers on using social media is “Won’t my boss think I’m looking for another job if I’m using LinkedIn?”

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