Job searching is one of the most dreaded but necessary practices in life. We’ve all got to eat, right? Throw kids and student loans into the equation and the struggle becomes even more real. As it goes with life’s other mundane tasks, many of us are doing it wrong. There is no secret code for tracking down an employer and making said employer fall in love with your experience and qualifications, but there is a way to cut through the fray. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you fire off another application.
Your mindset matters
Close your eyes and imagine being in a room with your favorite celebrity (I’ll choose Oprah). So Oprah walks into a bar and yeah, she’s Oprah, but she didn’t leave her personality at home. She’s shaking hands, giving out free hugs, but most importantly, she’s being friendly and approachable. Oprah is one of the world’s richest women and I’ve never seen her in a space where she wasn’t totally comfortable with portraying her true self. You’ve got to be yourself from the cover letter to the final interview. Employers want to hire someone who is easy-going and friendly, and I know those traits are embedded in your DNA. The next time you get invited out for coffee by a prospective employer, be like Oprah. Seriously.
Surf job boards like the FBI
If you don’t have a job, consider your job to be looking for a job. Thankfully, we live in an automated world where the bulk of the work is done for you.
I currently have 50,000+ emails sitting in my inbox and I can bet you at least half of them are from Indeed or Mediabistro. These emails will continue to stay put because they’re packed with a wealth of useful information. I can always refer back and find a contact, a job title, or see when a job became available. It should go without saying, but it’s prime time to dust off your LinkedIn account. Hungry recruiters abound seeking candidates who know the value of beefing up a profile. Turn your LinkedIn notifications on now.
Twitter can be your best friend
I know many of us have migrated from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat, but don’t give up on tweeting completely. Did you know there are people on there posting about jobs? I know … crazy, right? It depends on your industry, but if you work in a field that involves any form of communication, chances are jobs are being discussed on Twitter. I have keyword searches set up for any tweets using #JOBAlert, #JournalismJob, etc. I also follow pages that regularly tweet out jobs or retweet people who are tweeting about jobs. Thank God for push notifications.
That resume must be on point
I’m no statistician, but I’ll guess 50% of all job applicants disqualify themselves with terrible resumes. This is the one part of the job search process that we do have control over, so why not give it all you’ve got? Your resume should scream out your skills and achievements, be free of typos and grammar mistakes, and make you look like the rockstar you already are.
Pitch, pitch, pitch
You didn’t think this dream job was going to just fall into your lap, did you? No, this is the part where you get to be Oprah. You’ve got to slide in DMs, search for email addresses, and set up coffee dates. Check in with old colleagues and reach out for help landing a gig. The most important thing to bring to a meeting, aside from your resume, is confidence. Don’t let looking for a job make you feel less than or at the mercy of someone else. Bring your “A” game and sell it.