Though many economists and politicians claim the recession ended a while ago, with the economy “rebounding”, for many graduates the jobs are still nowhere to be found. Gone are the days where a degree lands you a bonafide sweet spot in the career of your dreams. It is simply not adequate enough to have a pedigree, and for many people young and older the rising cost of going to school less alone back to school, make that option obsolete.

According to Forbes.com youth (those ages 25 & under) make up an estimated 17% of the world’s population, yet 40% of the world’s unemployed. What can a graduate, less alone any worker possibly do to set themselves apart, and land a job?

Having some work experience is important but here are some additional tips, which can help you stand out before you walk into an interview:

  1. Cross-Cultural Communication- It is simply not enough to know how to speak, but how to speak to different cultures of people, which is paramount today. The world is diverse and getting smaller by the moment. Being prepared to listen, understand and speak to someone outside of your culture, understanding their customs and manners in which they tend to do business is an asset.
  2. Digital Dynamics- Youth today are more digitally savvy than ever, and dealing with the many platforms of social media, how they are used, cross-referenced, monitored and exchanged will be a positive hiring trait for years to come. Keep abreast of the trends, and it will show an employer you have value.
  3. Working Together Virtually- Working from home is one thing, but being able to manage projects, manage others if needed, handle distractions, prioritize tasks and be productive is completely different. These aspects of virtual collaboration need to work almost seamlessly, and if you are currently working with that mindset, you are farther ahead of those who simply just “telecommute.”
  4. Understanding the People with the Problem- Understanding how to problem solve is a great tool, but knowing the background, culture, lifestyle, and reasons of the people your problem solving will benefit, is a skill set to master. Digging a well for an indigenous people, in a remote location makes sense, but knowing how the well may positively affect the lives of the people, potentially bringing new commerce into the picture…priceless.

Within the ever-changing landscape of how companies hire through local and global outsourcing and online channels and contract workers one must make themselves an indispensable candidate. You may not be using all of these in your present school or work life, but showing you use these tools in your daily life, as a part of who you are, can potentially get you an offer before you even meet the hiring manager.

L.M. Florenzen is a freelance-writer out of Idaho, with over 15 years’ experience in Recruiting and HR matters. She has written for clients in a variety of industries. Reach Lisa at kabombcreative@yahoo.com.

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