How to Compete in Today’s Job Market

In all job markets, it is important to be prepared to present yourself in a positive fashion. Self-branding, or self-marketing, plays the most important role in determining whether or not you get the job that you want. After all, perception is reality until proven otherwise.

However, this principal becomes ever more apparent during recessions. Currently, America has close to 93 million people who are looking for work and are unable to find it. And that is during a decent economy cycle!

During 2008-09 when the stock market exploded, a number of older individuals who were set to retire in five to ten years had to return to the jobs market to obtain the income they needed for sustenance. This meant that young entrepreneurs who had no hard skills or experience were suddenly competing for the same entry level jobs with veterans of the workplace.

What was the one advantage that young folks had during that era, and that they still possess today? They can market themselves extremely well because they have been raised by social media to do so. Therefore, if you are a young person looking for work, these are the ways that you can be competitive with anyone, whether the economy is rip-roaring high or upside down:

Keep a Tight Resume at all Times

The first step to making sure that you are prepared to be competitive is to get a resume that is in tip-top shape. Work to put together a one-page document that highlights your:

  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Honors
  • Volunteer Work

To find good examples of what a resume should look like, go to for examples on how to build a proper resume.

Since you probably won’t have much, if any, work experience, make sure to highlight your “soft skills”. These are things that you do naturally that others commended you on. For example, are you a great speaker, leader, writer, team-builder, designer, technician? Any of these things, and many more, can be used to make your resume look more official.

You will also want to create a page that holds at least two individuals who are willing to speak well on your behalf. This reference page will give a potential employer an outlet by which he or she can discover more about your character, integrity, work experience, or personality.

Begin to Build a LinkedIn Network

While true that it is highly unlikely that you will get hired through LinkedIn, this doesn’t mean that potential employers won’t look at you via this method. LinkedIn is, undoubtedly, the single most important social media avenue when it comes to searching for a job or looking to be found for that killer profession.

LinkedIn touts itself as the “professional network”, where individuals who know each other through business, or who are looking to acquire a profession, connect with each other for the purpose of networking. In many cases, it is frowned upon if you attempt to connect with someone on LinkedIn who you do not know in real life. If you are denied a connection five times, then you will need to have a person’s email address before asking to connect with them in the future.

In many ways, LinkedIn is sort of like a website resume. You can put up all kinds of different portfolios, videos, and other examples of your work, whether that is from true business experience or from classroom experience. Then, you can ask individuals that are in your network to introduce you to people who are in theirs.

Fix Your Other Social Media

When we are young, many of us do dumb things. There’s no question about it—this is part of growing up. However, many people who are thirty or younger, as well as some who are older, have begun the bad habit of posting these things on their social media pages to make their friends laugh, particularly in the realms of Youtube and Facebook.

Do whatever you can to amend these errors by deleting them as quickly as you can. It doesn’t matter how far back on your profiles these things are, employers will find them. Every employer I have ever worked for has told me—after they hired me—that they checked my Facebook account thoroughly to see if I acted like an idiot in real life.

When seeking employment, you want your perceived image to look great. So, get to work on fixing up your social media image!

By following these instructions, you will make yourself highly marketable, even in a competitive jobs market (i.e. think recession). But don’t forget…the most important part to trying to get a job is this: take a risk and ask people you know to help you!

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