150 online job applications, 45 cover letters, 23 phone interviews, 5 in-person interviews, and 1 resume change later, I got a job!
In my previous articles, “Leap And The Net Will Appear” and “5 Things Wrong With Large Corporate Culture”, I explained why I quit my previous company. I felt like my compensation was not reflective of my productivity, output, and additional responsibilities. I even knew that my market value was slightly higher than what I was making. My raise at my old job was a measly 3%, which plenty of people would be happy with… I wasn’t.
It took a bit of time to get a job offer, but not only did I get one job offer that pays more than my previous company, I got TWO offers that were 10-15% more than my previous salary. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to find a new job, but I was positive that I would be able to find someone willing to pay me my market rate eventually.
Unhappy with your current job or career? Let me share my personal tips to find that next job!
Full Time, Not Part-Time – 40 Hours A Week
Finding a job, especially a better job than your current one, requires a tremendous amount of effort. The effort required in a successful job hunt should not be underestimated. The perfect employer/job is not going to magically filter your resume to be the ‘best suited’ for the position. More realistically, your resume or job application will end up lost in a huge stack of other job applications only to be forgotten once the role is filled.
Like many things in life, finding a job is a number’s game. Job postings, especially the prestigious ones, get enormous amounts of applicants within the first day of the posting. For example, there is a Data Analyst Role I saw this past weekend that has already received over 4,000 views in just 3 days! This high level of online competition is exactly why it is imperative that you remain persistent and constantly apply to jobs.
There is absolutely no way that you can be “done” applying for jobs in a given week or even a given day. With the endless amounts of online resources available today, you can be applying for jobs until your fingers turn blue. Matter of fact, I suggest that if you are looking for a job, then you should be applying for jobs until your fingers turn blue. The excuse, “but I applied for everything already”, does not fly in today’s modern age.
The market is fast paced and will leave you in the dust if you aren’t taking your job hunt seriously. Whether it is a limited time offer sale on Black Friday, the latest 2 bedroom apartment on Zillow, or your high school crush who can’t seem to remain single for more than a few months at a time, everything that is limited and has high value in life gets taken off the market rapidly.
So, don’t be kicking yourself in the butt for missing out on a great opportunity! Be alert and pay attention to job postings daily… heck, stay up to date hourly! Whatever the case may be, make sure you are the 1st applicant to apply to that online job posting, and I am sure you will be getting a phone call back.
As they say, “early bird gets the worm”.
Be the early bird!
Get the worm!
Peer Review – Ask For Help
Too many times I have seen people struggling to find a job in their specific field, but these same people never ask for help to review their resume/portfolio, online profile/website, and/or job hunting strategy. Not only is it incredibly silly to not ask for help if you need it, but it is just downright ignorant and arrogant to assume that your job hunting strategy, resume, and online presence has no room for improvement.
It is difficult to present all your unique values and contributions in an online job application, which is why it is imperative that you ask some of your close friends (hopefully, a friend you trust) to take a look at all the components used during a job-hunt.
Have a friend review your:
- Is there excessive blank space?
- Do the descriptions paint an accurate and effective picture of you?
- What additions can you add if you do not have many related experiences?
- Is the format consistent?
- Is the format attractive?
- Are you lying? Lying is not okay!
- Is your contact info on your resume?
- CHECK FOR TYPOS!
- Cover Letters
- Read and review for overall feel
- Is your contact info in your cover letter?
- CHECK FOR TYPOS!
- Linkedin/Indeed/Monster/Angellist Profile
- Is your profile picture a good photo?
- Is your profile showing the best parts of your experiences?
- Is your profile too unprofessional?
- Do you have your contact information on the profile?
- CHECK FOR TYPOS!
- Interviewing Skills
- Practice some basic interview questions and ask for critique
- Strengths? Weaknesses? Goals? Why you want to change jobs? Why you want this job? etc…
- Body Language and Appearance
- Practice shaking hands – I am not joking, there is nothing worse than a dead fish handshake
These are just some of the basic things that I can think of when it comes to applying for jobs. More artistic jobs may require a personal website or portfolio to be reviewed as a part of the hiring process. If you are an art professional, make sure your portfolio is up to date and showing off your latest and greatest pieces of work!
The worst thing you can do in job hunting is to simply apply to jobs blindly without any sort of confirmation that your current strategy is a good one. It is a waste of time to send out a resume with a typo on it (as most employers will immediately ignore that resume), and even more of a waste to keep repeating a strategy that has proven unsuccessful. If you have not received any calls or emails from potential employers after a week or two, there must be something wrong with your strategy.
Ask a friend you trust for their help and you will be surprised by the results.
My girlfriend recently took a look at my resume and noticed that I had my education before my experience. She mentioned that employers could potentially consider me more ‘junior’ if I put my schooling first. She suggested that I put my experience first, which would create a more seasoned looking resume as opposed to a fresh graduate’s resume. Using her suggestion, I rearranged my resume format and literally received a job offer a week later.
Patience Is Key – Rejection Is A Part Of Life
You are in a rush to get a job or to find a better job, but guess what? Employers are not in a rush to hire you, rather, employers are interested in taking their time to find the perfect fit for the role.
Like many good things in life, you must be patient if you are going to find a job that is the best match for you. Realize that the job-hunt may take a week or it may take up to several months. More often than not, finding the right job takes closer to several months than it is to a single week.
So, if you are a student that needs summer work, you need to have started late last fall or early in the winter. Similarly, if you are interested in working during the Fall semester, you need to be looking for a job right now.
No matter what stage of life any of us are in, it is critical that we do not let failure or rejection define us. Failing to get a job or getting rejected from a potential opportunity hurts emotionally and can scar many of us from continuing our job-hunt. But don’t let it!
Don’t let a couple of crappy interviews or rejection emails deter you from finding the job you deserve! You will hear many “no’s” while applying for your dream job, but remember, all it takes is one “yes” to be considered successful.
Don’t quit now, you are just getting started!
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