In this bad economy, there are more and more people competing for the same jobs. So how can you make sure you're the one that gets hired? By setting yourself apart from the competition.
1. Experience with Microsoft Excel This is useful for a lot of lower-level business sort of jobs, like becoming a secretary. You can learn how to use Excel here: http://spreadsheets.about.com/od/excel101/a/Excel_beg_guide.htm. After you learn Excel, make sure to put it (and knowledge of Word and Powerpoint, which hopefully you already know) on your resume when you apply to jobs.
2. Volunteering Background Even if this is your first job in the field, you can still come in with experience from volunteering. You might think of volunteering as just the hours you had to get done to graduate, but in reality it's a great way to learn a skill - for free! Employers don't like to hire people without job experience in the field, so volunteer doing something related to the job you want. For example, if you want to be a food service worker, help out cooking in a soup kitchen. If you want to become a nanny, volunteer at a child care service. You can even go straight to the company/group that you want to get a job with and, even if they're not hiring at that time, ask if they're looking for volunteers. Getting experience with them means they'll be more likely to hire you when a job does come up. You'll also be able to add the experience to your resume, so other employers will know that you have a background in the field. Read more at Get Job Experience.
3. Leadership Skills A lot of jobs look for leadership in their staff, and use that to determine whether you get higher level jobs or get a promotion. Leadership isn't something you have to take a class in to learn - you learn it best hands-on. You can learn leadership in your church, if you belong to one, playing sports, or volunteering. For example, if you lead a Bible study group or are the captain of your soccer team, those are great ways to learn leadership. Of course, an even better way is to show leadership applicable to your job by volunteering, which you can learn about in Get Job Experience. Then, of course, make sure you show your leadership skills to your boss or future employer!
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