Looking to get a job? Not sure of the right steps to take to get there? You want to feel totally prepared, whether you’re applying for summer internships or jobs for life after graduation. This process can seem intimidating, but don’t let it scare you off. Confidence is key when preparing for jobs, but make sure you don’t come off too eager to prospective job opportunities. You could do a variety of things to prepare for getting a job, such as waking up earlier or getting good grades, but there are a few things employers look a bit closer at. Check these out.
Interviewing can be a very nerve-wracking situation. You’re not going to be aware of the questions beforehand, so you need to be quick on your feet. You’ll need to practice interviews so you are comfortable with answering questions, whether you try over-the-phone interviews or face-to-face. Lookup a list of common questions recruiters ask during an interview and write your answers down so you can read over them and know the answers to the basic questions in-and-out. Even practice interviews with companies that you aren’t very interested in. If they offer you an interview, take it. The more experience the better.
When speaking to the job recruiter, try to avoid using the word “um.” If you need to, take a moment or two to think about your answer, which is more professional than constantly using “um” to fill in these pauses. Remember to stay as confident as you can. When you speak confidently, even on a topic you’re unsure of, you are much more convincing even if you’re making a situation up. Sounding nervous gives off the impression that you are unprepared and not ready for the position they are hiring for. The more you practice, the easier each interview will become. Good luck!
Build A Resume
When applying to a company online, you almost always need to hand in a cover letter and a resume. Resumes are the first way that an employer gets to learn about you, so you want to make a good impression. A bad resume will not help you stick out and you are likely to be automatically put in the “no” pile, without a chance to prove yourself. You need your resume to speak for you when you can not. First off, make sure you use proper resume formatting. This includes using consistent font styles and sizes, a formal and correct layout, and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For more on how to layout your resume, click here.
You’ll want to include an education section, a related experience section, and an additional experience section. Resumes should not be longer than one page. Try to keep everything on your resume related to the field you are planning to work in. For example, if you are a journalism major, your resume should be filled with writing and reporting experience. Each bullet point explaining the details of each section should be in proper grammar. An example of this is if you currently work a job, the bullets should all be in the present tense for that position. If you no longer work there, they should be in the past tense. It’s pretty self explainable, but many people forget to make this switch while writing.
Stay Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an absolute lifesaver when applying for jobs and internships. This social media allows you to easily get noticed by employers that would probably never see your experience without your LinkedIn page. Include a photo, as it’s more personal when an employer can see who the person they’re interested in is. Not to say that looks matter when getting hired, but a professional photo is much more appropriate than a selfie of you at a party. Fill your LinkedIn page with information from your resume. Past and current experience, your related work skills and even what type of jobs you are looking for.
The best part about LinkedIn is networking. Find one person in your job field to connect with, and then go ahead and see who you want to connect with from their connections. The more people that get to see and know your name, the better. You can even find out who views your profile. Including your LinkedIn URL on your resume is important because you can see when that person is or has reviewed your resume. LinkedIn pages open up a whole new way to apply in the professional world.
Before getting hired, you’re going to want as much experience as possible. You’re going to have to start at the bottom of the Totem pole before working your way up, so accept the smaller job offers as they come to you. It’s also a good idea to get experience within all different topics of your job field. For example, if you’re a journalism major, consider getting certified in graphic design, or taking classes on running social media. Besides just the basics of good writing and reporting skills, employers want to see every angle of what you can do, and the more you know, the more likely you are to get hired.
A resume full of experience related to your field is way more likely to get noticed upon people with no extracurricular activities or beginner level jobs. Another great idea is to study up on the company you are interviewing with. You want to sound as experienced as possible with what they do, so read about their history, their company newsletter, and especially their mission statement. A company’s mission statement defines overall goals in the company, as while as what they expect from employees. So, if your goal is to aim high, know that you are going to have to start low and work your way up! Let that encourage you to gain as much experience as possible and keep on doing your very best.
One thing people don’t do very often is sending handwritten letters. Let me tell you one thing, handwritten letters are hugely respected by future employers. They’re way more meaningful than a quick e-mail or phone call and will help you stick out of the applicants. Did you recently have an interview with a company? Write them a thank you letter. Did you have a meaningful conversation with a future employer at a career fair? Write him a thank you letter. Taking the time to sit down and write and send out a letter shows how dedicated you are to the position or company and you are much more likely to get a callback.
Think you’re ready to start your application process? Pull up your LinkedIn and get job hunting! Let us know what best prepares you when applying to jobs.
Kenley Stevenson grew up on Long Island, New York. Being a short train ride from New York City, opportunities for her to create and grow were endless. Now, she is currently a junior English/Journalism major at the University of New Hampshire. On top of Society19, she also write articles for Trill! Magazine. She has a huge passion for food, fashion, and anything related to today’s pop culture, and hopes to spend her future writing about it.