I don’t care what anyone says, the process is time-consuming and stressful!
Trying to figure out how YOU are going to stand out in a crowd of thousands of applicants can be daunting. And I’ll be honest, I used to hate it.
But, after changing my career twice in the last 5 years, and just recently starting a new job in my current field (Interior Design), I’ve become pretty good at cracking the code and getting my foot in the door.
As cheesy as it feels, you have to sell yourself and all your great qualities to potential employers! And once you understand that the job hunt is actually a calculated game, you will get over all your insecurities and learn how to perfect your strategy.
Below, I will share with you 6 tips on how to survive the job hunt and get hired!
1. CHANGE THE WORDING ON YOUR RESUME FOR EACH JOB
I know, I know….. you’ve probably already spent countless hours on your resume. (I used to feel the exact same way) But nowadays, sadly, the first person who views your resume will probably be a computer.
That means that you need to make sure that your resume is filled with the exact keywords the employer is looking for. Even if you know you’re qualified for the job, and think you’ve proved it, you need to use as much of the exact verbiage from their job description on your resume as possible.
For example: If they are looking for a “team-player” who “communicates effectively”…. Don’t count on your resume that says you have “worked well in large groups” to do the trick. Consider changing it up to something like, “Has proven to be a team-player and communicated effectively by (fill in the blank).”
Yes, it’s basically saying the same exact thing, but you need to make sure the computer will be able to pick up on it. The computer is only able to look at your information analytically. If your resume doesn’t have enough “matches” to the words its looking for, then it won’t get passed through to the next step. That’s just the way it is.
2. DRAFT AN AWESOME COVER LETTER
Second, you need to write an awesome cover letter!
Try not to look at a cover letter as yet another task for you to complete, but more of an opportunity to show off your personality to the employer!
Resumes can sometimes be stale and redundant. Employers want to hire people they can relate to and get along with day in and day out. Draft a cover letter that lets them know a little more about you!
Your cover letter should be easy to read with about 3 paragraphs or less, short and sweet. Make your introduction catchy and fun.
And at the end of your letter, show some confidence!
Don’t end it with “I really hope to hear from you soon”. Instead, try “I’m looking forward to discussing this exciting opportunity with you further.”
This demonstrates that you know you’re a catch and you have no doubt this cover letter will not be the end of your correspondence.
3. GET ORGANIZED!
I’ve definitely been guilty of applying for dozens of jobs in one sitting and not remembering who or what I’ve actually just applied for. This becomes especially dicey once you start getting calls back for jobs you couldn’t even recall applying for, nor necessarily want anyways.
Try creating an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the jobs you’ve applied to, and to make sure you’re following up regularly.
Keeping track of this will help you IMMENSELY. (A copy of the one I created is pictured above).
Add columns for the following categories:
- Date Applied
- Job Title
- Applied On (example: Linked in/Zip recruiter or wherever you found the job)
- Cover Letter (yes or no)
- Person Of Contact
- Email Follow Up (yes or no)
- Phone Follow Up (yes or no)
4. PICK AN INTERVIEW OUTFIT YOU FEEL CONFIDENT IN!
Because truthfully, if you feel confident on the inside, it shows!
So, I decided it was OK to spend a little bit more money and get an outfit I loved and felt comfortable in. (You can also return it after the interview if you need to, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Beforehand, I tried to get by with those full-on awkward pant suits. I’m not talking about the cute, sassy, fitted pant suits like on the show Scandal. No….I’m talking about ugly shoulder pads and loose pant suits with ballerina flats which also happened to kill my feet.
It showed none of my personal style, and I felt awkward rolling into a business casual interview dressed like I was. Once I invested in a couple of nice blouses, trendy high-waisted work pants and a pair of comfortable heels that I could actually walk in, my interview confidence skyrocketed!
So find something that is true to your personal style, that’s within the boundaries of business casual, and walk in there like you own the place!
5. BE PREPARED FOR REJECTION
Listen, rejection sucks. There’s really no way of sugarcoating it. But it happens to everyone, and it’s important to not get discouraged by it! Because all it takes is one employer to see how amazing you really are to make all the difference.
Social media might have us believe that everything comes so easy for everyone else, but that’s not true! People usually only share the good things that happen to them. They’ll share the news that they got a new job, but what they won’t share is how many interviews they went through and rejections they received to finally get that new job.
I once received a rejection email minutes after I walked out of an interview.
I was confused and mortified.
Come to find out, they already had the position filled and I was merely being interviewed to follow some HR protocol.
The truth is, you might never know the reason behind it, but all that matters is you keep moving forward. There is an option to ask for feedback to help you for future interviews, but after that, turn the page and be done with it!
6. DON’T FORGET A THANK YOU NOTE
Your mother was right, manners do matter.
So be sure to draft a thank you letter to each employer after an interview! Handwritten letters are always a nice touch, but most employers say that an email is just as good. Plus, an email will reach your potential new employer faster than a letter in the mail.
Don’t forget to mention a couple of key points that were discussed during the interview. This shows that you were paying attention and actually (hopefully) care about their mission statement and business.
You have to make sure that your resume makes it through the first round. That your cover letter grabs their attention, and you don’t forget where you’ve just applied to. Also, you need to look and act the part, all while keeping your ego in check to handle any sort of rejection that may come your way!
When all is said and done, searching for jobs is hard work.
But look at it this way, the better you become at it, the sooner you’ll get hired- which means the less time you have to spend on the hunt!
Good luck out there guys, I’m rooting for you!