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How you present yourself for that first professional opportunity can be crucial. Alexa Shoen offers some tips in this interview running about five minutes. We give excerpts below.

“Companies don’t really want to pay you to learn, and in tougher times that sounds really expensive.”

“There are only two reasons you are going to get hired: you either know how to help somebody save time, or you know how to help somebody make some money.”

“Get off the job-search junk food diet when you sit and stare at your computer for four hours every night when you apply to every single job posting that you see. Studies have shown that up to 80% of jobs get filled through personal connections.”

“If you are really intimidated, reach out to a dream mentor and say, ‘Hey, can you give me just 10 minutes of feedback over email, or you could reach out to somebody who has the job you want at a company you want to work for and maybe needs an assistant.”

Ask, she says, if you have the skills yet for that role and what you need to focus on to build toward that.

She suggests simultaneously focusing on two lists, the companies that are doing especially well because of recession choices consumers must make, and companies satisfying such basic needs that their business doesn’t change much during difficult times.

Career Services is available to help. Reach out to eshlemanb@piedmontu.edu.

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