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?
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.
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.