Awhile ago, I started a segment called The Beginnings: Job Hunt where I explored some of my experiences in job hunting. Finding a job wasn’t an overnight deal and throughout the process, there were so many lessons learned that I wish I had known about prior. Today I explore Part II, follow up suggestions for finding a job and retaining your sanity.
1. Back to basics. I can’t speak for all college grads, but I left college a little less sure of the path I wanted to take in life. And frankly, that’s a great thing. College opened a lot of doors to prospects I’d never considered and gave me the confidence to feel proficient in many more fields that I had before. Think back to a long time ago, when college counselors didn’t dictate what classes you would take and what internship you needed to have. Think all the way back to the sandbox of elementary school and the toys you played with. What genuinely interests you? What do you enjoy doing? Are you a people person or do you prefer to work alone? Do you want to sit at a desk or be constantly on the road? Finding yourself and assessing the things that you enjoy is essential to a successful job search. Even if it isn’t useful for life directly following college, your future permanent position should definitely involve something you enjoy. Once you start finding essential parts of who you are, you can better search for a job that will be a good fit.
2. Join the .coms. One of the first things I did when I was searching for a job was create profiles on monster.com and careerbuilder.com. They’re websites that give you the capability to type in your interests and produce local job listings. They also give places that are hiring, a place to view your resume. But I have to be honest and say I wasn’t entirely fond of .com job listings. Often times the jobs weren’t 100% relevant or they required skills outside of my skill set. But I did use it to find the terminology of jobs I was searching for. There’s at least 15 different ways to say “office receptionist” and knowing all those different ways makes your search more versatile. There were plenty of jobs in Psychology that I didn’t even know existed until I searched them on monster. It’s free and completely worth your time to at least browse these websites for positions you didn’t know were available.
3. RESUME. I would definitely recommend asking a friend or family member to review your resume. A relevant, concise resume is essential to any job hunt. Without a good resume, you won’t get the chance to interview and truly show employers what you have to offer. So ask anyone and everyone, particularly people you know working in the field to take a look. In my experience, I had several different resumes, specific to whether I was looking for a research position, counselor position or administrative assistant position. They listed the specific traits or experience I had that would be most relevant to the position. Also be aware of the layout of your resume, the easier your contact info is to find, the easier employers will be able to contact you. Do away with the bells and whistles, just make a clean record of what you’ve done thus far. Also don’t fear if you don’t have work experience, list any internships, volunteer or charity work you’ve been a part of. If you held any positions of leadership, definitely make a point to emphasize that. Lastly, SPELLCHECK.
4. Adapt. If you find that you’re not getting calls back and you’ve submitted an endless amount of resumes and applications, take the time to reevaluate your approach. Re-look at your resume, spell check the information you submit into an application or re-think the positions you’re applying to. Try not to be too discouraged and stay open to change. There’s a possibility your experience isn’t competitive enough for the field you’re looking into, try a different variation of your field. If you’re trying to be a teacher and you’re not getting hired, look into other programs working with kids or tutoring programs. If you’re a English major looking to work in publishing, try your hand at local newspapers. Target one skill that will be beneficial to There’s enough variation in so many jobs that you can find experience that will benefit a future job hunt once the job market has recovered a bit.
5. Take care of yourself. The job hunt can be stressful and discouraging. But don’t feel embarrassed if it’s hard for you to find a job. Reach out to your friends and make sure to keep your spirits up. I remember the months when I was job hunting, I found myself ditching phone calls from friends because I didn’t feel like I had much to talk about. I mean all I did back then was search for jobs, watch endless amounts of TV and pick up my sister from school. Answering the “what’s new” question with “absolutely nothing” wasn’t enjoyable and I felt boring and uninteresting even though my friends never made me feel that way. If I could go back to that time, I would answer a few more of those phone calls to lift my spirits and keep myself from feeling so low. You’ll find something, just have faith.
Until next time, Good luck job hunting friends!
Happy Tuesday readers! 🙂