This article by Trey George from A Beautiful Mess has some wonderful advice for new grads and seasoned professionals considering new career moves. We’ve included highlights below, please click here to read the full article on their blog »
1. Identify your strengths, not just interests
First, you need a clear definition of yourself as a worker. Your interests are simply what you like to do, whereas your strengths are what you can offer an employer. A company only cares about your interests insomuch as it improves what you can offer them. Plus, if you start with your strengths, you open yourself up to positions you might’ve otherwise overlooked. Read More »
2. Keep the resume prioritized and concise
There could easily be a whole post about resumes. But above all else, lead with the most important information, and only make the resume as long as it needs to be.
3. Network, network, network
Where do your friends and family work? Find companies where you might fit and excel. Then, find a connection to someone with hiring power/influence. You have to find a way to get your resume to rise above those online forms they make you fill out, and nothing does that better than word of mouth within the company. Read More »
4. Informational interviews
Here’s a networking tool. Don’t overlook a company just because they’re not hiring. If 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.
Believe it or not, when it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn is far and away the most useful social network. It prioritizes sorting people by the company they work for. You can find a company you love and then find a person that could connect you to it. I’ve had several job recruiters find me because of it. Read More »
6. Never overlook internships or any chance at experience
The more experience you have, the easier you make the job hunt. In general business, experience wins over education every single time. I’ve seen college dropouts with ample freelancing/contract experience get the job over people with their masters. So if you’re looking to break into a field, consider an internship. Or start freelancing for some of your friends’ small ventures or needs. Offer up free services. Employers aren’t going to ask how much you got paid to do it. They just want to see what you’ve done in a real-world situation.
7. 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 (or cover letter) for each company. We can always tell when it’s copied and pasted generically. Dress up for an interview or meeting. Do your homework on the company. Learn about their values, culture, news, or just anything you can find online about them. Make it really clear you want the job. Read More »
8. Think of an interview like a conversation more than an audition
Yes, they need someone with the right skills, and the interview will mostly center on that. But more than hiring a functional set of skills, they’re hiring a friend—someone they’re going to have to be around for 40 hours a week. 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. Follow the rabbit trail down any tangents they want to go on. Make them laugh. I promise if they enjoy the conversation, they’ll remember you. Above all, be comfortable.
9. Follow up
This is an easy one. Again, you’re dealing with busy people. It’s very possible they didn’t get your email with your resume. 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. Anything you can do to elevate your name a little helps. Read More »
10. Be patient and try not to get your heart set on one job
You will find several jobs that you think are the one, the kind that get you daydreaming. Most of them won’t be. You will not get the vast majority of the jobs you apply for. And don’t be discouraged by that. It’s just a game of numbers. Keep applying. Keep trying. I’ve applied for hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in my life. It can take months, a year, or in some cases, years. You might have to take a lesser job while you continue to hunt. The only way you can guarantee you won’t get a job you love is to stop trying.