Get a head start on your job search with these helpful tips!
1. Make Yourself an Obvious Fit
Study the job description and any available info you might have on the position. Mirror the words and phrases you find and showcase your strengths that seem to be of paramount importance to the position.
2. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications
By lining up with people on the inside of the companies at which you want to work, you will instantly set yourself apart. Decision-makers interview people who come recommended or by the way of a personal referral before they start sorting through the blobs of résumés.
3. Remember, Your Résumé is Not a Tattoo
Don’t be afraid to modify wording, switch around key terms, and swap bullet points in and out. Your résumé is not a tattoo, nor is your LinkedIn profile. Treat them as living, breathing documents throughout your job search (and career).
4. Stand Out
Give yourself permission to be both polished and endearing. Memorable, likable candidates are almost always the ones who go the distance.
5. If You’re Not On LinkedIn, You Basically Don’t Exist
More than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool. This is not an understatement. If you’re a professional you need to not only be on LinkedIn, you need to use it to your full advantage.
6. Identify Your Strengths, Not Just Your Interests
You need a clear definition of yourself as a worker. Your interests are simply what you like to do, whereas your strength are what you can offer to an employer. A company only cares about your interests if it improves what you can offer them.
7. Keep a Positive Mindset. You Can Do It!
Your first job doesn’t make or break the path you want to take; it takes time, and with a positive mindset you can get there. There is no time for negative thoughts during the job hunt.
8. Keep Your Résumé Prioritized & Concise
Lead with the most important information and only make your résumé as long as it needs to be. A lot of employers skim-read, and chances are, if they’re hiring, they’re probably busier than usual. Don’t bury your experience and strengths because they’ll likely get overlooked.
9. Network, Network, Network
It’s true that the most talented person does not always get the job—the person with the right friends does. You can choose to write yourself off as an unlucky introvert and curse the unfairness of life, or you can decidedly get your name out.
10. Make a List & Apply to Places You Like
Making a list will always help: crawl before you walk. Also, don’t overlook a company just because they’re not hiring. If it’s a company you like and you’re able to track down a valuable contact there, see if they’ll set up an informational interview to talk about their company and the kind of employee they’re looking for.
11. Never Overlook Any Chance at Experience
The more experience you have, the easier you make the job hunt. The best way to show you know how to do something is to do it. If you’re looking to break into a field, consider an internship. Or start freelancing for some of your friends’ small ventures or needs.
12. Take Any Opportunity to Show You Care
Every piece of extra effort is noticed and appreciated. If you’re applying, definitely write a custom email/cover letter for each company. Do your homework. Learn about their values, culture, news, or just anything you can find online about them. Make it really clear you want the job.
13. Think of an Interview as a Conversation
If they like you as a person, that immediately pushes you to the top of the list. Ask a lot of questions about the job. As far as you’re concerned, they’re experts about the company. Make them feel like that, and be sure to show your interest in what they’re saying. If they enjoy the conversation, they’ll remember you.
14. Follow Up & Be Patient
You’re dealing with busy people. It’s very possible they didn’t get your email. Or if you’ve already interviewed, and it’s been a couple weeks, check in and see where they are in the decision-making process.
15. Thank You Matters
Consider crafting original, genuine thank you notes (one for each interviewer) the moment you get back to the computer, following the interview. The speed which you send the notes, and the quality, will make an impact.
Need help polishing your résumé or practicing your interview skills? Stop by the Career Collaborative and meet with a Peer Coach today!