April 17, 2014

The Job Hunt: Stay Organized and Get Moving

I've been putting off writing this blog post for months because I'm still in deep denial that I'm searching for a real person job. I've heard it for over a year, that looking for a full time job is a full time job. I'm no where near ready to be catapulted into the real world. I'm not that qualified, I don't really know what I want to do, and I'm terrified.

The fear that is in me is unreal and I feel as if I'm sabotaging my own job search because part of me never wants to grow up and get a job.

The other part of me is terribly excited. I see all these Instagram photos and articles and blog posts about fabulous 20 somethings and their cool full time jobs. They have all this cool stuff, travel around the world, and are just so effortlessly cool. I want to be them.

I've been applying to jobs left and right since January. I've probably applied to over 50 jobs and do you think I've heard back from anyone? Nope. I haven't.

It's incredibly frustrating but very expected. I'm expecting to not have a job when I graduate, which is scary enough in itself. I also do not want to hear my mother along with everyone else I meet asking me "Did you find a job yet?" "Where are you applying?" "What do you want to do with your life?" EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP.

There is a skill to applying for jobs and things you should know before you get started. Tips and tricks will go a long way in this job search. There are also ways to stay organized which I think is the most important aspect of accomplishing anything in life.

Where to Look:

-Indeed.com: I love using Indeed, better than any other job website such as Monster.com or Craigslist. I think it's easier to use and visually more appealing. I also think there are a wider variety of jobs and better jobs posted on Indeed. One of my friends interned for them over the summer and he raved about them as a company. He was definitely right. 

-Linkedin: I'm almost positive every career counselor, speaker, professor I've ever had or met has told me to polish up my Linkedin skills. I've had a Linkedin for the past few years but thought of it only as a visual, online profile. I didn't realize all the benefits that came along with it, like the job search. Like I said before, I applied to almost 50 jobs and I think I found 40 of them on Linkedin. There are all these job postings from all these different companies; some of them you can apply right on Linkedin using your profile(which is my favorite because it's so easy) and others direct you to the company website. They even give you the contact information of the person posting the job. It's so easy it should be illegal. 

-Company Websites: I think this is the easiest of them all but I feel like a lot of people are clueless about this feature. If there is a company, brand or website you want to work for, most likely they have a careers section. If you go to your favorite website and scroll to the bottom where the social media buttons, the Contact Us, and About Us tab are, there is most likely a Careers Section. There you will find job openings, a description of the company and maybe even the services and benefits they offer employees. I've been having a field day with this feature on my favorite websites like Birchbox and Refinery29.

Staying Organized:



Notebooks: I use my adorable May Designs mint polka dot notebook to list the places I want to work, the people I know there, and all the jobs I've applied for. I usually just jot down the company, job title, and date I applied. It's not the best organization tactic but I just came up with a new system that might work better.

Excel Spreadsheets: I always forget about the lovely Excel. It's so easy to use and really simple to organize. I think I might start using this in relation with my notebook. I'm thinking to organize it by industry, company, and type of job. This would be helpful in knowing if you already applied to a job or if you have applied to different jobs at the same company. 

When it comes to job hunting, I am no pro but there are things that I've learned along the way:

-Have a killer cover-letter: This is something I have yet to perfect. Don't be generic, don't say the same thing over and over again. Get deep into a cover letter and explain why you think you'd be a good fit for the job and why you want to work at the company. Make it special, don't recycle cover letters; if it's a company you really want to work for, pour all your passion into the cover-letter. It'll benefit you more in the end. 

-Cold emails: There are so many mixed feelings about cold emails but I think if they are done correctly, they can work out. Emailing a contact person about a company, even if there are no jobs available at said company, can show your passion and ability to take initiative. This article from Levo League can be a huge help in deciding how to write the perfect cold email. 

-Social Media/Linkedin: Using social media to land you a job or even launch your job search into the spotlight. Make sure your accounts are cleaned up, tweet and share things that are related to your industry. It'll keep you relevant and show employers that you are knowledgable about things going on in your industry. 

Linkedin is perfect for this because anyone can view your profile and there are so many influencers on Linkedin; it's probably the first account that employers will look at so if it's cleaned up and presented nicely, it'll reflect nicely. Also, your Linkedin profile is your time to shine; put everything on there. It's allowed to be longer than your resume so use that to your advantage. (Sidenote: Resumes should be no longer than a page)

-Google Yourself: The best thing I ever learned was to Google yourself. A google search of your name every now and then will give you an inside look to what employers will see when they search your name. I've done so much stuff online that my name takes up the entire first page of a Google search. It's pretty awesome. Also, make sure it's all good stuff like your Linkedin, links to blogs and articles you've written, and your personal online portfolio.

-Don't be discouraged: Applying to jobs is tiring and annoying and can be frustrating if you aren't hearing anything back. Be proactive, follow up, and never stop trying. There's a job out there for you, you'll find it.

Take a look at my Pinterest board "For the Real World" with links to dozens of articles that are super useful and helpful during the job search!

Do you have any tips or tricks to the job search? Share them in the comments!


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