Did you know that on average it takes people approximately 4 months to land a new job? So how does one land their dream job quickly and efficiently? While my first job wasn’t at all glamorous it quickly led me to an exciting career that gave me remarkable exposure and job experience. I landed this job less than a month after graduating. With a killer resume getting a new job would be easy right? Well, this past year my husband and I moved to be closer to family and enjoy a slower pace of life. This meant that I had to leave my dream job in pursuit of another opportunity. Expecting a situation like my first wasn’t going to happen by just depending on my strong credentials (which I quickly learned after a couple months of searching and applying). I FINALLY started to make headway when I applied the key principles I used when applying to my first job, and less than 2 months later …TADAAA…I landed my second job.
The job market is fierce, and competition is strong. Solely depending on your resume just doesn’t cut it anymore, you need to make yourself stand out. Here are the 4 principles that I follow that have landed me not 1 but 2 jobs (in a very competitive market) in under 4 months.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is not easy. It’s demanding work and takes serious dedication but it pays off. When companies are hiring the first place they look to is their existing network, their last resort is a job board. The more people you know on a professional level, the larger your job pool is. If there is a field you are interested in, identify who in your network works in that industry and ask to meet them for coffee to talk about their job. When I was in University, I started networking from day 1 and met my network for coffee religiously. Very quickly my network doubled, even tripled in size. I was even asked to spend a day with a sales rep to get a feel for the job which led me to being interviewed for the company upon graduation. When I was looking for my second job I met with my husband’s new boss to introduce myself. She was kind enough to send my resume to her entire network which ultimately led me to my new employer. So, don’t be afraid to meet people and connect!
Let them hear your voice
Companies looking to hire have piles of resumes to sift through. At some point they all start to look the same. Once you apply to a position look up the contact number for the HR department or person interviewing and proceed to call and leave a message. This allows your voice to be heard making your resume more recognizable. It puts a person behind the resume allowing you to stand out in the crowd.
Put a face to the name
Whether your anticipating applying to a new job, or have already applied it’s essential to show face. The easiest way to do this is to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume and PLEASE make sure you have a professional picture. I advise against grad photos as they say, “fresh out of school and lack of experience”. Also avoid pictures of you that obviously look cropped out of a group photo, and please don’t be one of those people who have a party pic as their display picture. You can even take it a step further and request a meeting with the organization to learn more about the company and the position. Offer to take them out to coffee. In my experience, people are open to talking about themselves if you let them. This allows you to get a better idea of any available opportunities and it gives the organization to get a better idea of who you are. That way when they see your resume or application slide across their desk they can already picture you in the role.
This by far is the most powerful thing you can do when applying for a new job. When I’ve talked to people who’ve just applied to a new position, most people never follow up out of fear that they are being annoying. When you follow up you are making yourself more noticeable in a pile of applicants. It gives the employer the impression that you are serious about the job and excel at following through. If applying through a job board, find the contact information for the person doing the hiring. Send them a personal email (or better yet a phone call) and let them know that you’ve just applied. But don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything back. Most people won’t respond, but what matters is that you made a good first impression and made yourself identifiable. When they come across your resume they will think “this name seems familiar”. One to two weeks later if you haven’t heard anything about the position, follow up again. If you get an interview, follow up again after the interview. Follow up until you’ve received a response as to whether you’ve received the position or not. Even if you didn’t get the job, follow up by thanking them for their time and ask for feedback on your application process. This shows them that you are willing to learn and grow. When the company has another opening, chances are your name will make the top of their list.
Dress to Impress
The best way to bomb an interview is to show up looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed. Regardless of the industry, take the time to put yourself together to show your future employer that you care about the interview. Never, ever wear yoga pants, jeans, or running shoes to an interview. I once interviewed someone who wore ripped jeans and pink running shoes to the interview. I was more focused on what she was wearing than her skill set. As you can guess, she didn’t get the job. Instead, invest in a good suit jacket and pair of slacks or knee length skirt. Avoid low cut tops and short hem lines. Guys, freshly shaven and groomed always makes a best first impression. Ladies, avoid bold makeup (save that magenta lipstick for girls night out). And, if you’re like me I play with my hair when I get nervous. Avoid these habits by pulling your hair back for your interview. Here are my go-to interview looks. I’ve linked these outfits below.
Links: Black belted blazer click HERE, Blue lace blazer click HERE, Grey Polka-dot Suit click HERE, Black slit sleeve dress click HERE, Black classic pencil skirt click HERE, Straight leg black trousers click HERE, Black wool trouser click HERE, Navy double button pencil skirt click HERE.