by William Anderson
With a very large sigh of relief, I am happy to report that I am done job hunting. It has been a long 8 months. I recently have relocated to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and I am excited to be starting a new career in Marketing Strategy. It was a long, frustrating road to get to this point, and I have learned quite a few tips and tricks about landing your next job. Whether you are currently looking, or know that you will soon be in market for a job switch, I have some tips that may come in handy.
Six tips for landing your next job
Start looking as soon as possible:
As soon as I knew I was two semesters away from graduation, I began the job hunt. I knew where I wanted to end up, and I had a general idea of what I wanted to be doing. Unless you have been recruited, or you have some golden contact, it is going to take a while to land the job you want. Start looking as soon as you can. Maybe your finishing school. Or maybe you’re starting to feel the inklings of fatigue at your current job. Trust me. You’re going to want to start job hunting now.
Network with EVERYONE:
There are lots of resources for job seekers. Linked In, company job boards, Monster, etc. …they all stink. I filled out countless on-line resumes, and created accounts on tons of company application websites. I got exactly 0 leads. On occasion, I would get an automatically generated email thanking me for my interest in (insert any lame company name here) and that my resume would be filed away until a job opening which matched my profile was available. *cue crickets. The best way to do it is to network. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for a job. Remember how they say to never burn bridges? Well, this is why. Send your resume to everyone you can think of. Let them know what you’re looking for and to feel free to send you anyone’s contact information they deem appropriate.
Know what you’re looking for:
Networking is much more effectively done if you can let people know exactly what you want. When I first started out job hunting I felt as if I was doing people a favor by saying that I would do “whatever.” That way it would be easy for them to just go out and find me anything. I didn’t want to limit any of the hundreds of job opportunities that would assuredly be coming my way. *cue crickets. Needless to say, it didn’t go so well. However, once I was able to zero in on specific job descriptions, I found that networking really began to pay off. The positions you’re wanting become buzz words. Your friends/contacts will be able to react when they hear those buzz words in conversations. It will make it easier for them to respond and react to opportunities.
Expect disappointment and setbacks:
There were a couple different opportunities that I felt, without a doubt in my mind, were going to work out. I even started working out details to move in with my parents while I was in training. It was putting the cart before the horse in the worst way. When I got rejected I felt so stupid. I felt so disappointed that I didn’t get the job and silly that I had been acting like landing the job was a foregone conclusion. Don’t make my same mistake. Approach each opportunity as if nothing is for certain. Understand that disappointment is part of the game. Regrettably, you aren’t going to land every opportunity you’re interviewing for. It stinks. It feels awful to get rejected. Just assume that it was their loss and move on to the next. The right fit is out there. Keep your chin up and get after it.
Interview prep: Two words – Due. Diligence:
If you aren’t familiar about what that is, understand this. Before the interview you should do tons of research. Research about the industry as a whole, research about the company, key individuals, key policies and competition. Understand industry dynamics, mistakes made and company success stories. This is due diligence; extensive research into the company and issues it faces. Take notes and refer to issues you discovered as you interview. Have questions ready and rehearse the answers to the generic questions you know you’re going to get. ie “Why such-and-such industry?” “Why so-and-so company?” “What challenges have you overcome?” etc. If you do these things, you’ll be very prepared. If you’re prepared for the interview, you will naturally be calm, collected and confident.
Go the extra mile:
The next day, after the interview, make sure to send a follow-up email to all parties involved in the interview process. Remember, this may include travel secretaries or other support staff- not just management. Thank them for being so accommodating. Remind them why you would be a great fit at their company and invite them to contact you with any additional questions or requests. If you’re able to, send them a sample of you work on a relevant, company related issue. For example; for the company I work for now, when I got done with the interview, I knew they were having issues with SEO for their website. They were not ranking well on Google. I took a look at their website, and their competitor’s websites and search engine results. I drew up some diagrams, made some notes and sent them an email with examples of why they were having troubles and suggestions on how to fix it. They requested a second interview the next day. You may not always be able to find ways to demonstrate your skills and value to a company. But be thinking about ways you may be able to do some free, extra-curricular showing off. If you can give them something tangible, it will go a very long way.
So there you go. These are six things I found that helped me. It was a long process, but it paid off. Be persistent and stand up for yourself. If you’re able to use these tips, let me know how it went in the comment section below. Good luck and happy job hunting.