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Job Seekers: May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

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  • You’ve probably already heard that The Hunger Games grossed $152.5 million during its opening weekend – making it Hollywood's biggest non-sequel opening, and its third-biggest overall opener of all time. And if you saw the movie, you probably cheered for 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen as she fought her way to victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games. 

    (We sure did!)

    Like Katniss, unemployed job seekers are widely regarded by hiring managers as underdogs in today’s job search. With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the lucky few who are called to participate in a job interview find that they have a lot to prove in the fight for one coveted position. Unfortunately for them, some employers do not root for the underdog. 

    That’s why job seekers need to take it upon themselves to ensure that the odds are “ever in your favor” by using all of the tools at your disposal to stand out to potential employers. Here’s some advice on how job seekers can keep your job search alive:

    Volunteer. Katniss volunteers to participate in the Hunger Games in place of her sister, Prim. She is the first-ever volunteer from District 12, and her selflessness endears her to the Capitol. There is some debate among employers regarding whether or not it pays to work for free, but many experts believe (http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/25/unpaid-jobs-the-new-normal/) that volunteering at a company provides important connections, experience and encouragement to discouraged job seekers. 

    Shoot a squirrel in the eye. Peeta can throw a heavy bag of flour over his head as a result of working at a bakery for his whole life. Katniss is an expert with a bow and arrow – shooting rodents in the eye every time. As you are assessing your unique capabilities and experiences, make sure that you consider – and emphasize – how these skills will impact a potential employer. Like Peeta and Katniss, once you harness these skills you can create a purposeful plan of action to win over any company.

    Become the “Girl on Fire.” An interview is an opportunity for you to present yourself to a hiring company in a professional, confident way. This includes what you wear and how you wear it (http://workbloom.com/interview/preparing-interview-why-looks-matter.aspx). Katniss becomes “The Girl on Fire” after making a powerful first impression with potential sponsors at the opening ceremony of the Hunger Games. This inspires confidence and empowers her to show off her other skills as the movie progresses.

    Kiss like you mean it. “You call that a kiss?” Because her sponsors at the Hunger Games are rooting for young love, Katniss’ mentor hints that she should be more solicitous to Peeta so that they may win additional support. Similarly, a pro-active job search requires that job seekers appeal to who you know (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20101206/SMALLBIZ/101209912) to help you to get in front of who you need to know at the HR Department of a potential employer. Don’t network for the sake of networking. Mean it, and show potential employers that you mean it.

    Do you have what it takes to be a victor in your job search? Share your story here, and Happy Hunger Games.

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