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7-20-consumer-lead-job-interviewRISMEDIA, July 20, 2009-Students looking for a job in this market need more than a career coach, they need connections! It seems everyone believes you need connections to people, but very few job hunters understand you have a real edge when you are connected to current information, skills, and trends. What’s questions should students should ask themselves before looking for a career?

1. What are your HARD skills? What do you know how to do that companies need now?
2. What are your SOFT skills? How do you communicate what you do?

For example, the hot job that nearly all companies have open is coordinating social media and marketing for their products, services and brands. That makes most Gen Y career seekers a perfect match. They are fantastic with “prosumer” tools like YouTube videos, mobile platforms and short-form communication. Many are evangelizing for brands they love – because they love “being in the know.”

So where is the disconnect between jobs and students? Career coach Nance Rosen reports, “Candidates don’t know how to communicate their skill set. And, they don’t always have work samples that are ideal for presenting in an interview. Your Facebook page with photos from Spring break won’t get you an interview, unless you’re aiming to work at Club Med.”

Here’s one job-hunting tactic that Rosen recommends, to capitalize on your social networking skills. Create a fan page for a brand you love. Organize your tweets so it’s clear you can broadcast messages about it in 140 characters. Sign up to follow executives from your target employers. Video your favorite product in a memorable way (have you seen Will it Blend?) and post it.

Then, reach out to HR, Marketing, and the CEO of the companies you like and let them know: you’re not just a job hunter; you’re that company’s biggest fan. Who doesn’t love fans? And, remember you can always shop your homegrown work to the competition. What company doesn’t want to hire someone who totally knows its competition – and has ideas about how to beat that brand?

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