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What are some important things to remember when searching for a job?

I just took a business communication class, and the teacher promoted some anxiety for me. I had no idea how many aspects are considered during an interview and even beforehand. For example, she said that when someone's reading your resume they will decide withing 10 seconds if they're going to trash it or not. She also said that first impressions are powerful, and the first 60 seconds you meet someone are the most important, and the view they have of you after that time will be hard to change. #resume #job-search #career #career-development #first-impressions #interviewing-skills #technology

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Subject: Career question for you
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Victoria’s Answer

This is such an important question. Your teacher made some really good points, but please don't feel anxious. Looking for a job and a career is a new adventure and we are lucky to have you entering the job market.

Job hunting is an opportunity to be prepared and show prospective employers that you have some great skills. First, keep your resume simple, google some examples of student resumes. Have a teacher or friend look over your resume and SPELL CHECK YOUR RESUME!!! (reread this last sentence like five times, it is super important. ) Spelling is your superpower and employers are evaluating your resume's presentation and spelling. As a student, you can show school, volunteer, and tech skills that you think fit the job or internship to prove you are responsible and add value to the organization. Always be truthful on a resume. If you see there is a skill you are missing, think about steps you can take to gain that skill. Volunteering is a great way to get new skills, meet prospective employers, and to give back to your community.

Then remember the most successful job hunters use multiple methods to find jobs. (reread this sentence too - it is super important) This is really, really critical. Brainstorm yourself and with friends and teachers all the methods you have to find a job: see if your school or community has a job board, talk to teachers, talk to your friends, volunteer at events where people in your industry are meeting, join a club or student chapter of the field you are interested in, meet new people, network, do temp work - this sometime turns into a job, and remember there are many more ways to job hunt. There are also many student organizations that have a cheap or free membership.

Then in the interview, be prepared. You should use the Internet to research the company and some of the key projects or the mission of this organization. Make some flashcards and know your facts. This will show the potential employer that you took the time to learn about them (hint a lot of people don't do this and you will stand out). Know why you want to work for the company and be able to explain this clearly. Practice answering questions before hand and have a friend or a teacher pretend to be the interviewer.

Dress for success. Give the interviewer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Turn off your phone. Be confident that you have some great skills. Realize that you are interviewing the organization too. If you don't think the job you are interviewing for is a good fit or you don't have a good feeling about a job, don't take the job.

After the interview send the interviewer a thank you note (reread this again). If you are interested in the job and don't hear back in a week. Give the interviewer a call and tell them politely that you are still interested in the job and you are very interested in their organization.

Hunting for a job is a job. Create a calendar for yourself so that you can see how much time you are spending making calls, filling out applications, and networking. If you will do these things every day (but be sure to balance with you school work and other commitments) you will be successful. Be persistent and don't be afraid to take little steps to get to a bigger goal. You will meet mentors and supporters along the way. Be yourself because you have talent to share and ask really great questions! :) Be confident and work hard.

Thanks so much, I feel a lot better now. Finding out about the company before the interview was a great tip as well. Jackson M.

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Jonathan’s Answer

Hi Jackson-
Know that the job search process can cause a bit of anxiety but it's ok, it shouldn't overwhelm you. Let the energy motivate you instead. A job search is a job in itself so take pride in it. When you land the job, it will be worth it.
Your RESUME/CV is an evolving document that you will be updating throughout your career. It tells your story. Sometimes you will tweak it per job application to highlight a specific aspect of your knowledge and/or experience. But always look for ways to improve and add to it. Make it clean, easy to read and spellcheck constantly. Don't rely on a computer program to do that for you. It's usually one of the first items a recruiter sees so you want it to be a positive impression.
A TELEPHONE CALL/INTERVIEW. Be calm. Breathe. Take your time answering questions about your resume that tells who you are and your story. Take it seriously. Practice this conversation with a few people and get yourself prepared.
An IN-PERSON INTERVIEW. Be early. Have some printed copies of your resume with you. Have a pad, a pen. Turn off your phone. Practice this conversation. There are some basic questions about your strengths and weaknesses that they may ask you. There might be a curveball in there. Prepare as best you can. Practice. Do research on the company. Check out their website or news about them in trades, Linkedin, Facebook. See who works there. And have questions ready for the recruiter. Remember that while they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Ask what impact you could make on your first day. Be positive. Be polite. Follow up with a thank you email. Even if you don't get the job or don't want it, you never know where it may lead so appreciate the person and their time.
Each time you do each of these things, you learn more, you get better but still keep looking for ways to improve. Your anxiety will diminish and your confidence will grow.
Hoping this helps. All the best.

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Tiffany’s Answer

Hi Jackson,

Searching for jobs can be difficult and tiring! My first piece of advice is to remember that your value and worth are not defined by your job. You definitely have talents and skills to contribute to your field of interest, and you WILL land a job!

My second piece of advice is to be open-minded. My first job out of college was only part time, but it gave me invaluable experience. And, it was with a company I had volunteered for in high school (yes, high school!). I reached out to the mentor I'd had back then, and when a position became available, he offered me an interview. Don't underestimate the power of who you know! And don't be ashamed to ask friends, family members, former mentors, professors and anyone else for insight or recommendations during your search.

Third, be as prepared as you can be. As Victoria mentioned, it's important to research any company you're applying to. Learn some basic facts about who works there, what their mission and vision are, and spend some time reflecting on how your interests, experiences, and skills align with the company's. Rehearse before your interview. I drafted answers to common interview questions (I found a list on Pinterest) and practiced answering them in front of a mirror. Tailor your cover letters to each individual company as opposed to using a generic letter for all applications. And, to second Victoria, keep track of what you're doing. I recommend keeping a notebook or spreadsheet listing the company, job title, and date you applied for each application you submit. Then, when you hear back, you can update each entry with information about phone interviews, face-to-face interviews, or dates you anticipate hearing back. This will be helpful in knowing when to follow up with an employer.

Finally, be yourself! Be authentically YOU. Personality is something employers consider when searching for a new member for the team. Don't ever feel like you have to "fake it" to make it. In my opinion, you'll end up feeling unfulfilled and, quite frankly, exhausted if you're constantly trying to maintain a facade after being hired.

I recommend using LinkedIn as a search tool. I upgraded to a premium account for a free 30-day trial during my job search, and it was really helpful for me. Also, I created my resume using a free tool called enhancv.com. This tool allows you to format your resume using pre-loaded templates (and see examples of successful resumes). It's one way to help your resume stand out from the crowd!

Best of luck to you in your job search!

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jenny’s Answer

Searching for your first professional job/internship can be nerve-wrecking, but don't let that overwhelm you! Search and apply for jobs through Linkedin, company career sites, university career site, and even in person at job fairs. Practice your 30-60 second elevator pitch that is concise and highlights you and your experience and interest at a high level. Do your research about the company and come up with questions you are genuinely curious about. Sometimes your school may offer mock-interviews or resume review sessions. I highly recommend those and would reach out to your school's career center to find out if they have any scheduled! Good luck!