I wanted to walk through the process of getting a job. Whether you are a college senior or an experienced professional looking for a career change, the job hunt is a relevant topic.
There are multiple steps to landing your dream job. The preparation it takes to even get the interview is overlooked. In the first part of this series, I wanted to walk through the preparation it takes to get face to face with your future employer! This preparation and searching is likely going to be the bulk of your job hunt process. Finding a job is a full time job. If you’re serious about making a move, you need to put the time in to make the next move your best move.
Resume: Your Resume has to be up to date. Up to date with not only job experience, but skills and activities outside of work. Volunteer programs, hobbies, other areas of expertise are all ways to make your resume stand out from the next guy’s. Having a resume spotted with interesting facts about you will give you and the interviewee great talking points once you do get the interview. A good gut check is to get your resume reviewed by other people in your desired field. When I was a senior in college, I had multiple people review my resume. Everyone from fraternity brothers to HR professionals reviewed my resume when I updated it. Here’s my logic: someone who has the job you want will know what you need to get to their level.
Linkedin: Linkedin is one of, if not the most important applications/websites for professional promotion. Any person over the age of 18 should have one. It takes at most an hour to set one up. Get a nice head shot picture. [Please don’t rip a selfie from Instagram and put it on Linkedin]. Get a friend to take a picture of you in a nice shirt and blazer in front of a background from the shoulders up. Update all of your employment and extracurricular activities. This will be easy because if you’re following these steps, you already have this information on your resume. I have leveraged Linkedin every time I have looked for a job and honestly is the tool I spend the most time on. Not only for the network of job postings but the network of other professionals and documentation of 2nd and 3rd degree connections. If you’re looking for a job and don’t have a Linkedin... you’re not really looking for a job.
Get Referred: Getting referred for a job is the best way to get an interview. Most companies give employees bonuses for job candidates that are hired on. So if you know a person at a company you want to work for, reach out and maybe ask who the right person you should reach out to in regards to the job you’re looking at. I will bet money, if you have a respectable reputation they will be happy to intro you to the hiring manager. Who doesn’t like money AND working with friends? Companies that are in growth mode actually rely on these referrals to scale, so people are more than happy to introduce AND put money in their pocket. It’s a win win.
Leverage recruiters: A recruiter’s job is to find people like you! Smart and looking for new opportunities. While all recruiters aren’t created equal, they are another great contact to leverage in the job hunt process. There are some recruiters who work for the actual companies with openings for permanent positions. They recruit for specific jobs or organizations within the company. On the other hand there are recruiters for third party organizations. They recruit for contracted positions. They are filling positions typically for a specific guaranteed amount of time, e.g. 8-10 months. The pay is typically going to be lower and hourly, but this is not a bad opportunity at all. The professional recruiter route can be a good way to get into a company and get industry experience.
Know hiring seasons: A lot of companies hire in seasons. Many entry level positions are available starting the summer and winter. Both of these times of the year coordinate with summer and winter graduation. So if you’re looking for a job starting the summer, companies are hiring months in advance to onboard you in time for the start date. Depending on the company, initial interviews can easily start 6 months prior to the anticipated start date. So waiting til a couple months before you want to walk in the door for your first day is a bit late [But there are always exceptions]. To be safe, give yourself at least 6 months before your ideal start date to start engaging with companies. Know companies’ fiscal years as well as newly funded companies. Newly funded companies looking for hyper growth for scaling are going to be easier to get a foot in the door with. The Tech Industry is full of companies going through these transitions.
Half the battle is getting an interview to a quality company. Make sure you read about the company and what their service is. There are plenty of companies that have ambiguous duties. I would stay away from companies that don’t provide a clear idea of what they offer on their website, but are eager to bring you in on a interview. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Websites like Glassdoor can help you learn about company culture from anonymous reviews by employees past and present. You can also see interview reviews on Glassdoor to help gauge how long the process will be if everything goes well during the interview.
Those are my few tips for getting the interview. Good companies get hundreds of applicants who look just like you on paper. Your preparation is what will get you the most shots on goal. We will explore interviewing tips, negotiations, and more around How To: Get a Job Part 2.