The Job Hunt
In my last post I indicated that life has been super hectic recently. Well, I am happy to announce that one of the reasons for the busy-ness is that I GOT A NEW JOB!
I have read statistics about how Millennials are changing jobs every 4-5 years – feel free to fact check me. I fell very close to becoming part of this statistic leaving my first job out of college a week after celebrating my 5-year anniversary. I figure that some of my readers may be in my same predicament and looking for a job so I wanted to provide some job-hunting tips!
Now before I start dishing out tips, I want to quickly share my experience. I started actively “Job-Hunting” a couple months before receiving an offer, and consider myself extremely lucky to have received such an AWESOME offer in that short of a time period. My story has a happy ending, but trust me I went through my fair share of frustrations.
I landed my new, AMAZING job in a traditional fashion. I applied on the career page, got chosen for interview opportunity, went through the vetting process and then received a job offer. I did not attend an event hosted by my employer prior to applying. I did not have any connections to help me out. In a world where networking seems to be necessity to gain experience and obtain your dream job, I feel like I really did luck out with receiving this opportunity.
I wanted to share this with you all to let you know that getting a job in a traditional manner is VERY possible. I did not want this post to seem like you have to do all of these extra things to get an offer. Each employer is different, and I do not believe that there is a template or process that will get you a job. Nor do I think that following my advice is a sure way to get a job offer. My hope with this post is to share some of my trials and experiences to help you out!
Any job-hunt should start with you updating your resume. I fiddled with my resume for an entire weekend before it was in a state that I felt was presentable. The best resume tip I can give you is to TAKE YOUR TIME. This is not something that you should just slap together in 10 minutes and be done with. Go through your experiences to ensure you market yourself properly and edit your entries. Remember, most of the time your resume is the first impression you make on recruiters before they decide to invite you in for an interview.
I am very detail orientated. Although my resume contained every experience I wanted to spotlight, I did tweak it every time I submitted to a different employer. I took keywords from the posted REQ and made sure that my resume had every single one of those keywords in it. Yes, this was very time consuming. If you think this is a complete waste of time, you may be right. I submitted to MANY employers that I did not hear back from, BUT I always felt confident that I did everything possible to attract that particular employer’s interest.
Actively applying for jobs is time consuming. My suggestion is to make a list of job MUST HAVES before applying. This will help you narrow your search and keep your focus on jobs that fulfill your MUST HAVE list. Know what is important to you and do not settle for anything less.
Also know that your MUST HAVE list may change. The only reason that I suggest creating a MUST HAVE list at the beginning of your search is so that you do not waste your time applying for jobs that you may not really want. As you apply for jobs you may find that you are actually flexible on some of those MUST HAVES. In that case just update your list accordingly.
Another reason to keep a MUST HAVE list is for when you actually receive an offer. This list could help you decide if the offer is something you really want to take. I received an offer for a great job. The salary was very lucrative. It was so lucrative that I forgot my MUST HAVES for a bit. The location was nowhere close to where I wanted to be, and the actual job did not provide new experiences that I knew I would need for my dream job. Had I not had my MUST HAVE list I could have possibly accepted this position, and then unfortunately have been back on the job-hunt a few months later because it was not exactly what I wanted.
I know that the job-hunt is not fun, but if you are investing a lot of time on The Hunt wouldn’t you hate to be back in the market within the year because you accepted a position that you did not quite want?
CAREER BUILDER and MONSTER Type Sites
These two sites are EXTREMELY EASY to use. Creating a profile and posting your resume could not be simpler. After updating my resume, I was able to create accounts and post my resume to both sites all in one night.
Now here is my warning – you will get tons of unwanted requests on this site if you do not put filters on who can contact you. I wanted to see any and every possible opportunity, so I chose not set any filters and just deleted all of the emails with unappealing opportunities. What made me nervous was the fact that I was being contacted about fast food positions after I first applied. No joke, I panicked thinking that I had clicked on the incorrect career on my profile. If this happens to you, DO NOT WORRY. This is normal.
Other than the fact that recruiters can FIND YOU through these sites, Career Builder and Monster also email you opportunities that seem to match with your profile. When I saw an opportunity that I liked, I would go to that particular company’s website to apply to that position. I learned about many opportunities from this website, which saved me time on scouring the web for open REQs.
I did create a LinkedIn profile, but did not have the time to fill in my experience details. I definitely recommend making sure you do that, but I had not gotten that far yet in my job-hunt process. Be a better candidate than I and update your profile. I have heard of many Passive Candidates receiving great job offers just from their LinkedIn profiles.
Immediately after creating my LinkedIn account I went through and made some LinkedIn connections. This comes in super handy. After applying to jobs on company websites, I sought out connections that I may have with that company on LinkedIn. As mush as I hate to say it, it always helps to have someone from the company you are applying to recommend you. An old friend from high school may be your “in” to an interview! I would also recommend looking up company recruiters on LinkedIn. After applying on a company website you can find a recruiter for that company, and try to connect with them on LinkedIn. These tactics can help you attack your job-hunt from all sides.
This goes along with part of what I mentioned above in the LinkedIn portion of this post – friends can be a huge help! Whether they are passing your resume on to Human Resources OR checking out open positions at their company OR putting in a good word with the hiring manager – every little bit helps!
One of my friends was able to reach out to the hiring managers at his company after I applied for their positions online. I would like to think that my credentials got me to the interview stages with this company, but I appreciated that each person interviewed me about mentioned the great things they had heard from my friend about my job experience and work ethic. Being that I was applying to such a large corporation, I believe that my friend reaching out to the hiring managers helped me stand out in the sea of applicants. It is always great to have the support of a well-respected friend when applying for a job at their company.
DISCLAIMER – Make sure that your friend has a good reputation at their company. If your friend is a slacker, you may not want them to pass your resume up!
This tip is for those of you applying to multiple jobs across different professions at one company. I know it can be frustrating trying to find a job, and you could be focused at getting a job at a certain company. With this being said, try to resist the urge to apply for every job under the sun at that company. Meaning – only apply for jobs that you are truly qualified for.
Most hiring managers are able to see all positions a candidate applies to at their company. For example – if you apply for a Finance, HR, Business Analyst, and Data Analyst position at a certain company, each hiring manager can probably see the other jobs that you applied to. This could cause that hiring manager to think that you aren’t truly qualified for a their open position because you are applying for everything under the sun. This does not mean that you aren’t qualified, but in the job market first impressions go pretty far. This tip is extremely true if you are looking for a higher level position at a new company. With only a handful of years of experience under our belts are you really qualified for a Senior level position for a job you haven’t had any or much experience in?
When I was applying for jobs I first thought that I could obtain any Business-type job. Heck… I have my MBA! I really had to be realistic with myself. Did I want to try to make more money and seek a promotion in the field that I am in now OR did I want to possibly make a lateral move and learn something new. This is something that you will have to decide for yourself, but during your job-hunt make sure that if you are trying to be promoted stick to applying to jobs within your expertise.
Believe me, I know how that looking for a job can be frustrating. You may want to give up because it is so time consuming and tough. For me job-hunting was like having another job. During the peak of my job-hunt I forced myself to apply to 3 jobs a week and 5 jobs each weekend. There would be weeks that I did not hear back from ANY company regarding the resumes that I slaved over submitting during the previous weekend. Talk about being beaten down and frustrated.
This part of this post is not supposed to scare you, it is supposed to let those of you currently in The Hunt know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I am a true believer that things work out for the best. There may be frustrations out there, but stick to it and you will find something great! The job that I accepted is the PERFECT job for me.
Best of luck to you all in the job search!