In my last blog I mentioned that I started a brand new job upon getting my first apartment and I think that it is important for me to share the story of how exactly that job came to be. I find in today's society that so many young people are not prepared to successfully obtain interviews and job offers; and let's face it, with the economy and unemployment still being at record lows a little bit of sage advice might do some good.The first step in getting a new job is to look at the job that you do have and discover what it is that you would like to be different (this can also be done with someone who is unemployed). For example, when I worked at the insurance office I was making significantly less money than the standard for receptionists/administrative assistants. I also did not qualify for a benefits package, over time, holiday pay, or vacation. Because of the lack of job parameters I found myself doing tasks that would otherwise have not been asked of someone working for another company (babysitting the boss' three year old, picking up her 16 year old daughter from a weekend college party, being a witness and participating in the depositions of her third divorce). I was being used and it had to end if I wanted to become independent and self-sufficient.
The second step in getting the new job that you want to is to figure out who is hiring. During my job hunt my mom suggested that I use the website indeed.com, and it turned out to be the best resource I have found when it comes to finding new jobs. With this site I was able to submit the kind of work I was looking for and the general location and it listed all the jobs that would potentially be good for me. There was even a feature that allowed you to sort the jobs by pay scale. This website was so simple, make a profile and start submitting applications and resumes online.
The third step is one of the most important when you are looking to get a job. Most of the companies that posted jobs on indeed.com were using their HR departments to weed out all the bad applicants. Not having a completed degree I knew that I needed to make sure that my resume was in top shape. I used some simple tricks to make my resume appear fuller and more pleasing to the eye without lying or wrongfully embellishing my work or education history. To make my resume stand out I switched out the typical line divider at the top that separates your personal information from your work history with a multi size polka dotted line. This one little change showed that I was creative and playful - two qualities that I find essential in working at a front desk and have a pleasant front office atmosphere. Being that I do not always want to work at a front desk, I wanted to show that I could grow with a company and did that by separating my time at the insurance office into two periods, one as a file clerk and then as an administrative assistant. I never stopped being a file clerk after I moved to the front desk, but the separation of the two jobs on paper allowed me to show I was capable of accepting more responsibility. And last but not least I made sure to put key phrases in my resume that would give an idea of my personality, such as "Keeping the coffee hot" in placement of "making the morning coffee". Resumes tend to be bland and boring, and I wanted to prove that I was anything but. And don't forget, once they call you for an interview do everything in your power to meet them as soon as possible.
The fourth step in landing your dream job once you get an interview is to know who you will be interviewing with. When I interviewed for my current job I went in knowing the first and last name of the Campus President, where he went to school, how long he had been working at the current company, and what he looked like. It took a little bit of research, but it paid off in the end. Being that I knew the school I would be interviewing at I also knew that they had another campus across town. I called that campus and asked for his full name and they gave it to me with no hassle (I would have had it when he called, but alas phones do not always have the most consistent reception). Once I had his full name I went on the website Linkedin.com and looked him up. Usually on the site you are able to see a basic profile with a name, picture, work experience, and education experience. Knowing these basic facts was crucial in my approach in the interview. I was able to be calm cool and collected and aced the interview.
The fifth step is looking the part you are applying for. I could have gone out and bought a business suite for my interview, but I knew that it would be highly inappropriate for the position and company that I would potentially be working for. Do your research, ask around to your friends and family, heck, parking in the parking lot and see what people wear a day or two before you go in for your interview. The last thing you want to do when you go in is look uncomfortable and out of place.
The sixth step is knowing how much you want to make going in and knowing how to haggle the best bargain. In my case, when faced with that awful question of, "how much were you looking to make?" I was able to play it off, I gave a sly smile and said, "Oh that's such a horrible question, I don't even know what to tell you." I thought for a moment and then gave them a price that was a dollar fifty an hour higher than what I really wanted to make knowing that they would offer me less. Turns out it worked in my favor and when I was hired I got exactly the amount that I wanted to make in the first place.
Ultimately if you are kind, nice, just keep smiling, and are being true to yourself, your character will show through and bless you with a gift you can only give yourself. Success! So, in recap:
1. Know what you want in your future job
2. Know where to find the jobs
3. Know how to present yourself best
4. Know who you are interviewing with
5. Know what you are worth and don't settle for anything less.