5 Tips For Rocking the Job Hunt

5 Tips for Rocking the Job Hunt | Pretty Little Pastimes

Whether you are looking to take the next step in your career, or are ready to jump ship from your current company altogether, searching for new opportunities can be tough and sometimes down right scary. It wasn’t too long ago that I was right there with you, portfolio and resume in hand. Reflecting on that time inspired me to put together a list of little tips that just may get you to that offer letter a little quicker. Here are my 5 tips for rocking the job hunt. #knockemdead

Make the Time

When you are job searching it is very easy to get overwhelmed. You sometimes feel like your full time job is writing and re-writing cover letters. It is a lot of work, but keep at it. Check job posting boards often and act fast when you see something you are interested in. Some positions will get dozens of applications in just a few minutes, so being 200 on the list might mean that your resume is never even opened. Be prepared by having your resume and cover letter templates ready to go. That way you can open one up, personalize it for the specific job (don’t forget this step, personalize, personalize, personalize), and send it off for consideration in no time.

Take the Interview

So you got a call back (yay!), but it’s not for your dream job (boo). You immediately start making excuses for why you shouldn’t go: It’s a waste of time. You wouldn’t take the offer anyway. You never find parking on that side of town. Whatever the excuse is, fight the urge to turn it down. You never know what you might find when you sit down. Perhaps the reservations you had about the position will be resolved, or at the very least you will have one more practice interview under your belt. Going into an interview for your dream job rusty can mean missing the opportunity to really shine. Get some of the jitters out and take notes on what you can improve on. That way when the call comes for a really amazing opportunity you will be prepared and ready to ace it!

Dress for Success (but not in the way you might think)

I’ve been told over and over again in business classes that when stepping into an interview you need to wear “the interview uniform”. Consisting of pulled back hair, a blazer, and sensible shoes, I cringed at the thought. I have a different suggestion. Wear something that makes you feel confident. Of course that doesn’t mean your wedding dress or the skimpy skirt you wore for drinks last weekend. It means pull out that amazing blouse or dress that when you put it on you feel like you’re ready to conquer the office world. For me it is an orange (yes, orange) belted dress from Banana Republic. When you feel great, you carry yourself differently. Your posture improves, your smile is genuine, and who wouldn’t want to leave that impression?

Follow Up

Employers hand out their business cards at the end of an interview for a reason. They want you to use them! Fight the urge to use the generic thank you email and grab your trusty pen and notecards. I know, I know, the thought of handwriting seems foreign in this age of email and text messages, but there is something to be said about a handwritten note received in the mail. In the card thank the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest in the position, and I also like to add something specific that came up during the interview. Keep it short, energetic, and professional. Drop it in the mailbox within 24 of your interview so it arrives promptly.

Stay Motivated

I’ve been there. You think you have just interviewed for your dream job, nothing else could possibly compare. It’s just perfect. Then you get the dreaded email or phone call … They. Hired. Someone. Else. WHAT? It’s okay to grab that spoonful, or ten, of ice cream and shed some tears. I mean you really wanted it. In fact you already had the paint color picked out for your new office. It’s normal to feel upset and maybe even a little angry, but don’t let yourself wallow too long. Understand that there are a lot of circumstances that could have played into the final decision. One piece of advice, stay respectful and gracious. Thank the company for taking the time to meet with you and let their last impression be a courteous one. And as cliché as it sounds, sometimes things happen for a reason. You might get passed on for one position, only to have another even more perfect position open up for you. You got this.

And the day the job offer does come (and it will come) CELEBRATE and celebrate big! Pop the bubbly; you just started the next step in your career.

Advertisements

2015 in Review

2015 in Review I Pretty Little Pastimes

2015 was without a doubt one for the record books. It was full of moments that created memories to last a lifetime. I thought I would take a moment to share some of the highlights and look ahead to 2016. Before I do, I want to thank all of the readers who spend time visiting Pretty Little Pastimes and sending me your wonderful messages and comments. Cheers!

In 2015, I had the opportunity to explore new cities and also revisit some old favorites. From Hawaii to Maine and some amazing spots in-between, I took my domestic travel to new places and spaces. I also drove north and spent a lovely weekend with my sorority alumnae chapter in Montreal. Passport + pals + poutine = perfection!

2015 was also a year of challenge. After a long break, I made the leap and started a graduate school program. The thought of trading my guilty pleasure television binges for case studies and group projects was enough to make me ill, but I put my head down and completed the first two semesters of a challenging MBA program. Eye. on. the. prize.

And the most exciting thing to happen in my life during 2015 was … drumroll please … I got MARRIED! After six years of dating, moving across the country twice, and expanding our little family to four with the addition of our two pups, Alex and I exchanged vows in a lovely and intimate ceremony in Santa Barbara, California. It was the most perfect day of celebration and I was so honored to leave my days as a Miss behind for our new chapter as Mr. & Mrs.

Looking ahead to 2016, I have been reluctant to make any formal resolutions. But I have taken the time to think about where I hope this year takes me and the things I hope to accomplish. Here are a couple of those intentions:

Travel: Over the least two years I have made a true effort to spend more time traveling. Life gets busy and distractions come easy, so I have learned to plan ahead. I now start making plans for my next vacation right after I come back from a trip. Not only does this allow for more time to research and save, but it also helps fight the inevitable post-vacation blues. In 2016 we plan to explore Spain and Portugal and I can not wait!

Aside from international travel, I also want to travel to new areas of New England. If my spontaneous cross country moves have taught me anything, it is that you should explore the states and spaces around you, because you never know when an opportunity might come that will having you packing your boxes and relocating somewhere brand spankin’ new and many miles away.

Connect: Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, planning a wedding is stressful. And planning a wedding from 3,000 miles away is that much more challenging. However, I adored spending so much time with my friends this year while planning for our nuptials. From multiple trips back to California to my bachelorette party in New Orleans, I have seen many of my closest friends more in the last year that I have in the last six. After the wedding, I really got thinking that I need to make more of an effort to stay tightly connected with my friends and not let distance get in the way. Whether it is a quick trip or an actual phone call (do you even remember life before texting?), this year I want to remind my friends how much they mean to me.

Reflect: I don’t plan on starting a journal this year, but I do plan to hit the pause button more often. I am a victim of my own insistence on spreading myself too thin. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I always keep a lot on my plate. I am stubborn and even a weeee bit competitive, so I don’t like saying I can’t do something. But this can get me in trouble. I take on a heavy workload, school load, and even hold leadership positions in multiple volunteer capacities. On top of that I try to live an active lifestyle, travel, and spend time with my little family. Oh yea, and I like to blog.

One thing that 2015 taught me is that I need to slow down. I also need to be able to let the stress come and then let it go! … I’ll give you a minute to finishing singing the Frozen soundtrack … It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but it’s also okay to accept that you are human. I need to stop, take a deep breath, reevaluate the magnitude of the situation (where does it really measure up in the bigger picture?), and constantly remember that I have one hell of a great life and need to keep smiling.

Push: My plan isn’t to lose weight, or to fit into my high school jeans. Instead I plan to continue to strive for a more healthy lifestyle. The wedding was really a wonderful motivation to fit in my workouts and resist too many sweet treats. Now that the wedding is over, I don’t want to slow down my progress. I won’t say that I was the thinnest I have ever been in my life standing at the alter, but I was certainly the strongest. To say, three decades into my life, that I am the strongest I have ever been is a great accomplishment and one that makes me feel very proud. This year I will work towards bringing down my average mile time, bringing up my weight resistance, and spending more time in the kitchen experimenting with healthy dishes. Recipes to come.

I am truly looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings and I am thrilled you are along for the ride!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year I Pretty Little Pastimes

Every January 1st I rack my brain to try and put together the perfect New Year’s Resolution. I hear people talk about all of the things they are going to give up … over spending, eating out, chocolate (say what?!) and then I think maybe this resolution thing isn’t for me. But this year I have decided I will be making a resolution and it won’t be to give anything up, in fact it will be just the opposite. This year I resolve to spend the money to travel overseas, to explore new and exotic cuisines, and as for the chocolate, well, I also vow to bake my cake and eat it too. 2014 is going to be all about building new memories doing the things I love, with the people I love, and I promise to take pictures along the way.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

From Boston

Image

Thank you for all of the support and love coming from all over the world to the city of Boston. Yesterday was a tragic day in our history, and being so close to the bombings has certainly left a pit in my stomach. I took this photo the day before the race and planned on taking an action shot during the marathon, but (thankfully) forgot my camera and decided not to walk down to the finish line … many others were not so fortunate. The non stop sounds of sirens screaming past my office was a constant reminder that what I was seeing on the news was right outside my door. The city is very still today and the continuous presence of National Guard, SWAT, and Police units is just as unsettling as it is comforting.

Boston is a city of great history, a city which has remained steadfast at the face of turmoil; today is no different. I am so genuinely impressed by the strength and compassion of the individuals who have rallied to give aid and support. From families offering their home to displaced strangers, to the touching stories of fatigued marathon participants who continued running until they reached the hospital to donate blood, I am humbled and inspired. Perhaps my childhood friend Fred Rogers said it best, “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

My thoughts are with all of those near and far who were directly and indirectly affected by the bombings.

With love from Boston.

Adding Inspirational Quotes to your Photos

Add quotes to your favorite photos.

The Grand Canyon … words, photos, even film, in no way capture the magnitude and beauty of this natural wonder. I visited the Canyon for the first time last summer. Walking up to it, I was at a complete loss for words. I just stopped, stared, and for that moment it was the only thing that existed. It is hard to explain the feeling you get when a vision of nature’s beauty suddenly makes you feel so tiny. It’s the feeling you get when you stare into a calm ocean from an empty beach or hike a winding path in a quiet forest. Truly remarkable.  Continue reading