Overcoming the Odds: How College Grad Underdogs Can Beat the Economy

Posted June 10, 2014 by

Some graduating classes luck out by entering a healthy job market, while others graduate as underdogs, having to come up with some big plays on their own to score a good position. This year’s class is entering a still-struggling economy, one in which employers are hesitant to start taking on new hires, or at least they are much more selective about who they ask to join their teams.

So what’s an job seeking underdog to do, especially when they are graduating with an average of $29,400 in student loan debt? It’s all about marketing yourself, and heading into the game with a highly sought after skill set for your industry of choice.  For instance, some of the hottest skills of 2013 included social media marketing, mobile development, and cloud and distributed computing. On the other hand, 56 percent of surveyed executives identified the most striking skills gap to be leadership skills.

No matter which type of career you wish to pursue, as an underdog, it’s important to network your way into your industry of choice, brand and establish yourself as a subject matter authority, and carefully choose careers that have staying power.

Take a look at this infographic from MidAmerica Nazarene University, which provides stats and standings for today’s job seeking players, as well as expert coaching tips on how they can overcome the odds and make it to the job seeker major leagues.

About the author: Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based writer specializing in education, careers, parenting, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications including Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, CreditCards.com, and more. She has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from New York University. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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