How to Navigate a Tough Job Market

Written by Yoo Hyeon Park

A marketing student at the University of Florida, Yoo Hyeon interns at The Selling Factory, enjoys interacting with consumers and finding solutions for potential needs of the consumers.


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

As businesses start to resume, the job market deems to be more hopeful than in April, when the pandemic surged and 18.1M were temporarily laid off. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. Although the current unemployment rate has been lower than in the past 5 months of the pandemic, it is still higher than in February, the pre-COVID era. The job outlook remains to be tough. 

How Should College Graduates Approach the Job Market?

As a graduating senior in college, this news is very devastating. The hopes of working a full-time job post-graduation became questionable. As some may have experienced already, internships and full-time opportunities have been canceled due to the pandemic. As businesses resume, more job opportunities are being offered now; however, the chance of securing a job seems to be slimmer than ever because both the graduating students and those who have already graduated are competing for the same, entry-level jobs for new college grads.  

If so, how should graduating students, like myself, should approach the current job market? Can graduating students and college grads even dare to dream of having a job anytime soon? 

How Can College Students Get Through this Tough Job Market? 

Despite the current job market, graduating students and college grads mustn’t give up so easily. Even though the job outlook seems unfavorable, there are 3 things to remember to get through this time and be prepared for future job opportunities

How to Network to Connect with Real People

As a graduating student myself, I have googled “jobs for graduating students” or “jobs for new college grads” many times. I found, however, it was more effective to find job opportunities through recruiting and networking events held at my university. In addition to learning about job opportunities, the students can express their interest in the company and will grow familiar with the recruiters’ minds through these events. As a result, the students will have a higher chance to land interviews with the companies of their interest. 

As a student myself, I firsthand benefitted from attending networking events. After a recruiting event, I was immediately scheduled for a phone interview with a recruiter. At other events, I emailed managers to discuss more the opportunity, leading to an invitation to a more exclusive networking event. Even when the host of these events weren’t recruiters nor hiring managers directly related to the job position, they connected me to recruiters who are looking for candidates for the position to which I applied for. Face-to-face interaction has become more crucial during this time of a virtual work environment.  Browsing and attending networking events will increase the chance of landing interviews, a place to showcase one’s abilities and skillsets. 

What is the Value of Resiliency

As Nemo and Dory swam across the ocean, students should keep looking for opportunities and networking events. This is not easy, however. Even after attending networking events, students may discover that companies may not offer job positions of my interest or they may not merely be hiring during that time. Nevertheless, graduating students should stay resilient and maintain their professional network. At a recruiting event, a hiring manager shared a story about a student whom he met since her freshman year. As this company was looking to hire seniors, the student didn’t qualify for the career opportunity at this company.

Despite the unavailable opportunity, the student remained in touch with the recruiter for 4 years in college and gained skills and experience from elsewhere in the meantime. Since the hiring manager had a good relationship with the student, he said that he will hire the student whom he connected with over the 4 years. At another networking event, a young professional shared about how she came to work at her company. Upon graduation, she did not have a job and felt unsure about which career she wanted to pursue. Thus, she reached out to a recruiter whom she met in college and began the recruitment process. Even if there aren’t opportunities available currently, continue building and expanding the network, through which job opportunities may become available in the future. 

How to Keep Positive in Job Seeking Process

Due to the pandemic, the job market for college graduates does not seem very promising.  Speaking from a personal experience, I found it helpful to acknowledge the current circumstances and accept that I may be unemployed after graduation. When graduating students receive the rejection letter, especially during this time, the reason may be largely due to the high volume of job applicants in comparison to the limited number of spots rather than their qualifications. Many graduating students are well-qualified as they have gained skills from prior work experience. The way in which they present themselves and pitch their experience will be a determining factor in successfully completing the recruiting process. As a graduating student who also attended many interviews, I practiced 100 times prior to the interview to ensure that I take advantage of the opportunity. This way, I felt no regrets from having a lack of preparation later on even if I was rejected. Furthermore, giving one’s best will propel students like myself to keep looking and perform better for the next recruitment process. 

The job market is tougher than ever. Although there are limited job opportunities, the graduating students and recent graduates shouldn’t just give up the hopes of securing a job. Rather, they should prepare and make themselves stand out to companies by branching out to network, keeping up with their network, and having a positive mindset.


Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.