Job searching, in my grandmother’s words, can be “ For the birds.” Hah!
It can be time consuming, frustrating and so not how you would like to spend your time on a daily basis. The approach to searching on the internet for what you want and what will fit your personality can be perceived as great, but at the same time, annoying. As a person that has been given the role of hiring in much of my career, there are some tactics I learned as the candidate and the Hiring Manager; I thought it would be nice to share.
My hope? The tedious task to find the next best thing in your life can be a fun experience, and maybe, you will learn something about yourself during the journey.
1. Be selective
It may seem like it should be a rush to be hired. There is an idea, there shouldn't be any dilly dallying allowed in the job search world - we gotta make the dollar bills that keep us surviving and enjoying life, right?
My recommendation, ease your mind a bit first before you make a decision on what position you would like to be in. It is an obvious question, but ask yourself, what are you passionate about? Once decided, do the research, read the requirements and really consider if you are prepared to take on every responsibility or even exceed the expectations in the field. Only select those that make sense for you. Rather than applying to a million positions and companies, be selective in your choice. Remember, once you get it, sure it may not be the end of the world, but really who wants to be back on the job market months later.
2. Ask yourself if you are qualified for the position
Ok, so as a kid, I wanted to be an artist, doctor, and a writer. I dreamed, I could be whatever I wanted to be, no matter what everyone else said. So I grew up with the same thought process. Sure, I am capable of doing whatever it is I want to do, we all are with the right dedication and instrumental tools to make it so, but be honest with yourself. Experience is EVERYTHING! Nowadays, you can attend an Ivy League school with the best degree valid to your chosen career path, but with zero experience? Forget about it! You just may find your application not even making it to the Hiring Manager's eyes.
You must have some kind of relevant experience related to what you are applying for. We can dream, but unless you know someone and can network your butt off, in applying online, you are amongst many. I would say apply to positions that you can do and your resume and track record agrees and you can stand out! Try not to waste your time, or anyone else's -time is valuable.
3. Provide a cover letter & a unique one PLEASE!
So, by far this is probably the most essential point to follow and the most progressive one to say the least. This is your time to shine! Your cover letter is your 2-5 minute opportunity to be famous! Try not to make it any longer. People have so many other things to read, to look at and to do, so captivate your audience immediately. Kind of like a thesis statement. Tell the Hiring Manager who you are, why you are great and what you have done that proves that to be so - all relative to the position. No need to detail all the amazing traits you have. It is not necessary to mention all of your education. Just say exactly what you have done, where you are going and how you will continue to get there. Oh, and what exactly will you bring to the company?
Every cover letter should be unique to the position you are applying for. Sure, it is waaaaay more time consuming, but after reading hundreds of resumes and cover letters, managers know if you took the time to provide a signature cover letter just for them. Take the strides and time. Proofread the document, showcase your writing abilities and make it fun (this all depends on the field), don't make it too fun if it is a super serious position, but use that common sense and discretion of a great future employee.
4. Follow Up
Your application may have gotten lost in the droves of applicants or the Hiring Manager may not have been super excited about the initial impression, or maybe another candidate was interviewed, and they were lackluster. Either way, remind them you are interested. Take that brief moment to follow up. You may be surprised, you could get a response and an interview - then an offer!
Sometimes, most times, you have to work for what you really want!
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