(StatePoint) For recent graduates hunting for a job, daily headlines about unemployment rates can be disheartening. But many experts say that a down economy is not an insurmountable hurdle toward finding a great job.

“Even when the job market is discouraging, adopting the right attitude and strategies can help you break into any organization in any industry and start climbing the ladder to success,” says Pete Leibman, a career coach, and author of the new book, “I Got My Dream Job and So Can You.”

Leibman, who landed his dream job right out of college working for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, offers these tips for those starting out in the workforce:

• No excuses. Don’t let the media’s coverage of the economy scare away your job-searching motivation. You only need one job, and one break. Not 25 jobs, not 100. When you take that into consideration, the unemployment rate won’t seem so daunting.

• Don’t have a back-up plan. Commit to your goal with a resilient sprit, not a plan for failure. Of course, you’ll need to pay bills in the meantime, and perhaps answer to mom and dad, so accept other work — temporarily. It is not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when” you break into your ideal career.

• Be accountable. Landing a job is a job in and of itself. So set weekly and daily goals that include talking to the people in a position to hire you. Track your time to make sure you are managing your day effectively.

• Networking is important. Over 70 percent of all jobs are filled behind the scenes through personal contacts and networking, says Leibman. But it’s not about who you know, and who knows you. The truth is that networking is all about who likes and respects you. When it comes to your contacts, quality is the key.

• Be likable. To be likable, start by liking yourself. Doing so will come across in your body language and your communication skills, and this will help you both personally and professionally. The next step is to genuinely like others without kissing up or using flattery. People naturally like people who are similar to themselves, so draw on commonalities between you and potential employers to win them over.

• Stand out. Your resume is not as important as you think. Top employers may receive hundreds or thousands of unsolicited resumes every week.  While using keywords and high-tech software programs to beat a computer system’s screening process can help, the best way to stand out in a stack of resumes is to never end up in the stack in the first place! Through strategic networking, you can avoid this fate.

More career tips can be found at www.BestCareerBook.com.

The working world can be a competitive place for a new worker, but with the right strategies you can land a great job, even in a questionable economy.



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