This list will help anyone and everyone who is diligently searching for a job.
It’s all about who you know, and who knows you! Networking
The importance of networking in order to expand your work opportunities cannot be overstated. Much of the difficulty in this can be getting ideas out of your head that are related to what you are interested in. As a remedy, try and put yourself in a position where opportunity is always one conversation away. Prepare an elevator speech or better yet, a transitional conversation that seems impromptu. The next time you engage in small talk with a fellow colleague or college student, wait for that inevitable pause and then deliver. A good way to start may sound something like, “…Hey, so do you happen to know anything about xyz?” If the answer is no, then tell him/her about why you asked and why you are enthusiastic. If the answer is yes, follow up with why you asked and why you are enthusiastic. If all goes well, exchange information with him/her and continue growing your network of contacts.
Don’t be afraid to walk the walk…You have what it takes.
“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a popular saying and is very true in most respects. However, never forget that you should always strive to actually become knowledgeable in your field or career path of choice. Know what it takes to at least be a solid candidate when it comes time for the next career fair or hiring season. Be patient, as this will take time. Spending 30 minutes to 2 hours several times a week Googling the tools of your trade (instead of Facebook) will make all the difference over the next 12 -24 months of your life. This way, even if you aren’t a company’s first choice you certainly will not be left in the dust doubting yourself. Understand that you will be great at something one day, and understand that this will take years of dedication. Those years go by one day at a time.
Prepare for interviews!
Never ever just waltz into an interview if you really want the job. Respect yourself, and respect the individual’s perspective of you when in this situation. Research the company online and their purpose. Why are they trying to fill this position? If possible, know the faces and names of the interviewers ahead of time. Interviews are not random events, and you will be questioned the same way everyone else is. Have answers prepared for basic questions, such as “What is a strength/weakness of yours?” and “Can you tell me about a time you were challenged?” I always walk into my interviews with a notebook and will jot down things while the interviewer is speaking. I also come with 3 to 5 questions. I try to do just as much, if not more talking than the interviewer, so long as I sense they are capable of being wooed as such.
Last and absolutely not least…Follow up.
After the interview, either later that day or the next, send the representative of the company you spoke with a thank you email. This really is what professionalism is all about. It shows you are enthusiastic and that you really want the job. More importantly, it shows you are not afraid to engage someone in this manner. This is a regular part of the professional world and engaging in communication via email or otherwise will be a determinative part of the culture. Take charge and show that you are capable.