The process of finding a new job can be fun and full of excitement, as each job you apply for could be the next step in your career. If I’m honest – finding a job is also challenging, and the process becomes a part-time job.
After completing my job hunt, I’m starting a new career on Monday! It’s a dream job and company. My job search lasted for many months, and I had multiple interviews. In this post, I’ll share some insights you can apply to your job search.
Before You Begin
Know what you want. You’ll need to decide your parameters for the search. Do you have non-negotiables? Have you decided what industry or industries you’d like to work in? Is there anything you’ll want to negotiate? Do you want to be part of a corporate, private, or startup company?
Tip: Ask someone who recently completed the job search to review your resume and cover letter. There is no better person to review than someone who got a job.
Once you’re solid in what you want; it’s time to polish your resume and cover letter. I hadn’t applied for a job in over five years, and I found out quickly that resumes significantly changed in that time. I pretty much had to overhaul mine. My resume has a career statement, skills, accomplishments, about eight years of work experience, and my education. It’s 99% bullets and stats and 1% sentences. Long gone are the paragraph job descriptions. And (gasp) it’s longer than a page – which is totally okay. Just because your resume can be longer than a page does not mean you should include everything. Remember someone will read it and a human’s attention span is about eight seconds, which is less than a goldfish attention span!* Keep your cover letter on a single page, customize it to the company and position, be genuine, stay professional, state who you are and what your career goal is and share why you’re looking for your next career move.
Once your resume and cover letter are complete, start applying. LinkedIn and Indeed were my two favorite search engines. I found that they encompassed most of the jobs. I used Glassdoor for research if I was interested in a company. Since I didn’t want my company to find out that I was looking, I didn’t upload my resume to either platform or let recruiters know I was looking. However, if I had been in a different situation; I would have used both of those options as they’d be beneficial to any job search. Almost nightly, I’d review search results, and I’d apply only if a job matched my criteria. It is super important to keep your criteria in mind when applying as there are going to be days that you will think I’ll take whatever because I’m so over it. Don’t settle! You are worth a lot more than settling, and this is your career you’re figuring out.
There was a day where I got five rejections at once – while that bruised the ego a bit, I took a deep breath and knew the jobs weren’t meant to be.
Whether it’s a phone interview or in-person, treat them the same. Do your homework and know as much as you can about the company and the position. Make a list of every single notable project that you’ve led or worked on whether it’s on your resume or not. Practice saying statements about what you’ve done so that you can communicate them concisely. Have a list of questions you want to ask as well. You are interviewing the company at the same time they are interviewing you. Dress to impress but look like you. I wore outfits that were black and white and fit my personality. One of my outfits was a black dress with white stripes. Another one was a black top with small white polka dots. Both the dress and top were paired with a suit jacket. And because I can never get my hair as straight as a stylist, I booked myself blowouts before the interviews. Remember it’s all the small things like comfort, style and being prepared that will help you feel confident and ace your interviews.
After the interview, you should send a thank you email the same day as the interview. If you weren’t given the contact information for the person who interviewed you, then email the HR contact and ask them if they’d pass on the thank you note for you. While you might be able to figure out the email address for the person who interviewed you, it might come across as invasive if you try to email them directly since they didn’t willingly share their information with you.
The Waiting Period
The waiting game is hard. Keep positive thoughts and rely on your gut. Out of all the jobs that I interviewed for, only one felt right to me, and that’s the job I’m starting on Monday. I had to be patient and continue to apply for other jobs while waiting, but in the end, the waiting is worth it. Stay positive, and focused and you’ll get a perfect outcome for you.