We all want to be fulfilled in our careers and enjoy the work that we do everyday. I know all too well the struggle of finding a job that meets all of your expectations but when you do, I believe you should go after it with everything you have. I have landed every job I have ever wanted. Seriously, every single one. So I thought I would share a few of the practical things I believe have helped me get into door after door and blow away the competition.
Do Your Research
“I mean full on stalk them.”
Once you find a job that you are REALLY interested in. You know, the one you pray for and cant stop thinking about…do some research, I mean full on stalk them on every outlet available. Find out the company’s mission statement, who the big wigs are etc. Proper research will give you a major advantage and allow you to speak intelligently about the company and more adequately answer questions in your interview.
Tweak Your Resume
“It is your unofficial first impression.”
It isn’t enough to have a great looking resume and in the correct format these days. Your resume must speak to the employer – as it is your unofficial first impression. Use key words that you find in the company’s qualifications of the position you are seeking. Speak directly to the type of employee they are looking for in the “greetings” section of your resume. If you possess a skill that the employer has listed, be sure to use their wording to describe the skill. Those key words and phrases will jump off of your resume and into the employer’s heart. Tweaking your resume to be more appealing to an employer will also make them feel as if they were not just another click in your online job search. (I do not advise lying on a resume, big difference.)
Prepare For Your Interview
“Think about what you would like to say.”
So you’ve gotten the call to come in for an interview. If you are like me and use terms like “yo”, “bruh” and “dang” on the regular, you may want to practice using and articulating more appropriate phrases for an interview. I suggest coming up with three commonly asked questions and practice answering them. most employers ask questions such as “ What are your strengths” “How do you manage in a team oriented environment” “ what do you think you can add to our company” . Think about what you would like to say and practice it a couple (or a few) times to kill any pre-interview jitters and get the “oops” answers out of your system. (I Recommend doing this in front of a mirror or with a partner, so that your answers don’t sound rehearsed and robotic.)
“You can bust out the Nikes once you’ve been assigned an office space.”
I have been VERY fortunate to work within companies that prefer a casual environment where jeans and sneakers are welcomed. Many companies are moving to a more relaxed image. However I am a big believer in first impressions and that it is imperative to put on your best professional attire. Ladies, neatly pulled back hair, stud earrings and a pants suit are always great choices for an interview. Gents, a clean shave, fresh haircut and tie will usually do the trick. You can bust out the Nikes once you’re assigned an office space.
“The extra effort made a huge difference”
Never walk into an interview empty handed. A copy of your resume is a must as many employers are not going to take the time to print the one they received via your application. Handing them your resume also gives them a quick refresher of what they liked about you as an applicant in the first place. For all of my design, creative and art driven job seekers, if you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring them. I remember being in design school and interviewing for an internship (prior to creating my portfolio). I went to kinkos the day before my interview and printed examples of my work on hard card stock. That extra effort to present my future employer with a visual of what I can bring to the table made a huge difference.
Leave Them With Something
“I got further by leaving my interviewer with a thank you.”
A thank you note, a smaller version of your portfolio; any memento to remember you by and to express your gratitude is always noticed and appreciated by employers. My first “big girl” job was not easy to land, quite frankly I was under qualified . However, with the tips I just shared with you and lots of enthusiasm, I got further. By leaving my employer with a thank you for the opportunity , I sealed the deal and landed my dream job. Matter of fact, when I walked into his office to accept the job, he had my thank you note on display. How special!
The Real MVP
“A firm handshake immediately creates a sense of respect.”
Oh, one last thing and what just might be the most important. ALWAYS give a firm handshake and eye contact when greeting your future employer (or anyone)! My dad would practice this with me when I was young and it has been a staple in my life (thanks dad!). A firm handshake immediately creates a sense of respect, trust and a connection between you and your employer. Personally If I had to choose between two candidates that presented all of the things I mentioned above, I would choose the candidate that had the best handshake. So go grab someones hand and start practicing lol.
I hope you have found my guide to landing your dream job, useful. Let me know what you do to prepare for a new gig below!