We’ve heard the same refrain in regards to job hunting for a long time now: You need experience to get a job but you can’t get experience unless you have a job. Without downplaying the struggle of today’s recently graduated unemployed, there are some strategies to up your chances of getting the job that launches your career.

Putting yourself out there, along with your resume, dramatically increases your chances. People in the industry need to get to know you and learn more about you that what it says on a piece of paper. To gain some insight into the need for setting yourself apart, put yourself in the person’s shoes who is hiring. They are inundated with resumes and while there is much that can be gleaned from this document, it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Are you a team player? How do you deal with stressful situations? Are you a good problem solver? How about time management? Leadership qualities? Communications skills? Most would agree these qualities are tough to assess from merely reading.

There are a number of ways to set yourself apart from the pack: joining industry associations, finding a mentor, setting up informational interviews and volunteering, to name a few. Remember, the more people that get to know you, the greater your chances of hearing about and being considered for a position. For more detail about how to set yourself apart in the job search, please read: Separate Yourself From the Pack: How to Set Yourself Apart in a Competitive Work Environment