Hey guys! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! I’m excited to be back on the blog today talking about a topic that’s been a huge part of my life the last few months: job hunting. This has weighed heavily on me the last few months, so I want to share some tips, encouragement and motivation I was in need of that benefited me during this time. Keep reading for tips that helped me nail a job + everything I wish I’d known about job hunting (or put more focus on) from the start.
Before we jump into this, I want to reiterate I’m not a professional at this. Just like all of you, I’ve gotten turned down for positions I really wanted, I’ve shown up for interviews to find out the job wasn’t even close to what I thought it was, I’ve faced my own period of unemployment… you name it, I’ve been there. I’m using this “Let’s Talk” post as an opportunity to share what I’ve learned about job hunting to relate to you or help you in any way that I can. This is the type of blog post I had been in need of, so I felt compelled to share this with you and start a conversation about it.
Don’t underestimate LinkedIn.
I always heard people say “who actually gets a job from LinkedIn?!?!” while rolling their eyes, but you know what? I did! That’s how I got my current job. With that being said, take your LinkedIn seriously — keep your profile updated, make sure it accurately communicates your skills and what you’re looking for, and check back frequently for messages. I’m so thankful I did this!
Don’t limit yourself — consider alternative routes.
In the beginning of my job search, I could have benefited from considering all of my possible job routes, not just full-time employment onsite. When searching for your next career step, take a moment to research all of your possible options — if you’re in the creative industry like me, some of your options include:
- Contract work
- Remote jobs
- Start your own shop/business
I didn’t even consider freelance as a real option because I assumed I couldn’t make a full-time income doing it, and I thought finding a remote job would be a lofty goal. Even if that may be true, picking up some freelance work allows you to make money while you’re looking for your next job, or helps you make some extra income on the side when you do nail your next position. Don’t limit yourself and don’t be afraid to try a new path that may seem scary!
Use your resources.
Personally, I think referrals are the number one way to land your next job, but that’s not always an option. Here are some places to look for open opportunities:
If you’re in the same industry as me (I have a bachelor’s degree in PR with blogging + design experience), here are some keywords I used to search for jobs:
- Public relations
- Social media
- Design, designer
- Blog, blogger, blogging
Come to your interview with three questions prepared that are directly related to the position or company. This helps to express your interest, as well as remain engaged within the conversation. Asking intelligent, well thought out questions shows the interviewer that you are intrigued and eager to learn. I always knew this was a necessity, but it’s proven to be even more important in my experience!
Don’t say too much.
This is vague, isn’t it? From my experience (though I must say I disagree a bit), don’t talk too much about what you’re not looking for. I would leave logistics topics (parking, work location, office environment, etc.) off the table unless the interviewer brings it up. Though I find these topics to be valuable when finding a position that will make you the happiest, the interviewer may not see it that way — better safe than sorry.
Be gracious and follow up.
Though this may be a no-brainer, don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Shake their hand before you leave and let them know that you’re interested (this is key — don’t leave them guessing. Just because you think it’s obvious you’re want the job, that doesn’t mean they think it is) and you look forward to hearing back from them. 24 hours later, send a follow up email thanking them again for their time and open a line of conversation if they wish to reach out to you. Sending a hand written thank you letter makes a good impression as well! Here’s a follow-up example:
Thank you so much for meeting with me yesterday. I really enjoyed visiting the office and speaking with you about the position. If there’s anything additional you need from me during your decision-making process, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again for your time and consideration — I look forward to hearing back from you!
Keep your head up.
If you get rejected or don’t hear back from someone for a while, don’t get down about it. Easier said than done, right? The worst thing you can do to yourself is overthink it afterward, and I made the mistake of doing this time and time again. What’s done is done, and you have no control over what they’re looking for, so simply hope for the best and keep it off your mind.
If you’re in need of more guidance, have additional questions, or simply want to talk about careers and job searching, please don’t hesitate to reach out! This has been a huge part of my life the past couple months and something I struggled with, so I’d love to extend my hand to help in any way that I can. If you enjoyed this post, join the conversation in the comments below and read my previous “Let’s Talk” posts.
Have a great week, friends! If you haven’t heard, I announced an event I’m co-hosting in Lafayette tomorrow on social media — check it out here + look for a new blog post on Wednesday!