December 11, 2012 1 Comment
How stressful is looking for a new job?
Whoever says it’s as hard as having a real job is wrong. It’s worse. You search and search and spend all this energy every day to apply to your goal of however many jobs you want to apply to that day, and in turn, maybe one automated email responds and says they will get back to you if your resume meets their requirements.
And your resume, for whatever reason, rarely meets any of the requirements.
Oh, and all this is for free. You aren’t getting paid– even if you are on unemployment, it’s not enough to make up for the rejection and loneliness of sitting at panera or your apartment waiting for the call to bring you back to life.
So what do you do?
Don’t give up is the most important.
And trust me, this is also one of the hardest. No matter how much effort you put in one day, make sure you wake up the next and put in just as much the next. Think about your last job, right? Remember all those idiots you had to work with? Remind yourself: those idiots have jobs, so you will too. It just takes time, and a whole lot of energy. You have the time, just force through that energy.
Make human connections, not robotic.
You can apply to 101 jobs on company websites, but unless you know someone there, your resume is most likely going to be sent to Mars. Linked-in is a wonderful tool because it takes the middle man out and I really should have started relying on it more heavily way back in September, but at least the last couple weeks have been fruitful.
If you see a job on a company site, apply for it there, then look up on linked in who the recruiters are who work for that company. Connect with them and ask if you could send them your resume directly, most often they will be extremely helpful, and even if they don’t work in your exact department, they have meetings with or have met the person you need to be put in contact with and they can send your resume to that person directly.
Be enthusiastic on the phone, people can hear you smile and respond to it. Have an excellent attitude at all times and listen, listen LISTEN to the person you are talking to, whether it be a recruiter or a potential employer.
Early Bird Gets the Worm.
I invented this tactic myself, but it truly works with emailing. The first and last thing you do as an employee of a company is check your email, right? So if you really, really want to get in contact with someone or have them read your email or resume, don’t send any emails from 4 PM until later that night, they will just get lost in the shuffle– wait and set your alarm to email them either after 10 PM at night, or wake up and email them from 5-7:30 AM because you will be the first email at the top of their inbox that day, guaranteed. People start checking their blackberries and work emails right after they get up or out of the shower or when they first get to work, so if you email first thing, you will be top in the mailbox and if they get it before any major issues come up when their co-workers get to work, they will think of you as top priority.
If you email someone after 4 PM, he is usually not in the mood to respond right then because they need to finish everything else by the end of the day, so he will put it off and get back to it tomorrow, or otherwise forget they even ever read it at all.
So try to get that bait before they have other things to do.
When you interview, people, look your best. You don’t want to look like you are going out, but put on makeup, do your hair and wear earrings and or, if you are a guy, a watch.
Wear something that fits, if you have to get the size 12 pants, freaking do it, no one knows the number on your pants, but muffin top is a sin.
Don’t mention things that make you sound stupid
I left New York and now live with my boyfriend, but I would never say he is one of the reasons for me moving to Doylestown in an interview (sorry!) even though he is. As soon as you say boyfriend, you sound 16 so don’t mention that word at all. Also, maybe the guy interviewing you thinks you are hot and if you mention boyfriend, all the sudden he has a sour taste in his mouth. Never let them onto anything person, it’s too early in the game! Same goes with mentioning you love going out or “had a lot of fun studying abroad” (duh) or any other obvious no-no’s. Also, make sure you have something up your sleeve that is a hobby. Cooking, art– and if you mention either of these, be prepared to back it up!
“I love cooking stuff,” is not really a thoughtful response, but something like “I’ve recently gotten into making my own homemade pizzas, and it’s really fun to come up with different recipes using interesting ingredients!” works a lot better. They want to know you are a human being, not a robot, so if they ask you the spare time question be honest, but conservative. One time a friend of my interviewed a guy and he said he really enjoyed craft beers, since he had a lot of knowledge about them, and seemed genuine, it didn’t hurt his interview at all and he ended up getting the job! Had he said he loved drinking, things would have been a little different.
Also, try not to use any negative words, even if you are using them in a positive context.
“I don’t have any experience in that type of situation” sounds better as “I never came across that in my past experience.” Try to avoid words like don’t, can’t, won’t..and so forth.
These are just a few tips I have from the past couple of weeks when I have really seen a lot more strides in my interviewing process and hope they help you out as well.
Ok, I’m back to the grind.