Introduction or What is Wrong With Me?
Isn’t it already the time when you finished that resume and applied for a job of your dreams? I know how hard it can be to actually motivate yourself and put maximal efforts into job-seeking when the summer is hot and calling for adventures. Especially, when most of your friends have highly paid occupations and you don’t want to be left behind, and be stuck in a 9-to-5 office with an inexhaustible pile of paperwork. I’ve been there and feel the pain.
Maybe, it’s not the motivation to apply for a job that you’re seeking for but a good guide on how to write a brilliant resume, where to search for a fancy position and what to do when it comes to an interview. Yeah, the process can be nasty and irritating but, hey, it’s the perks of finding your dreamy paradise.
In fact, what I’ve learnt from my own experiences of being badly employed or unemployed at all is, if you actually pull yourself together and give it a try you can end up with a job you couldn’t even imagine.
Here are some guidelines, deduced by years of personal tries and failures, that have been a loyal friend for some time and, eventually, got me what I really wanted – a perfect job.
Chapter 1 Finding the Right One
If I say this you won’t probably believe me, but finding a position that actually satisfies you and gives you enough motivation to fight for it is the most difficult obstacle to overcome on your way to decent employment. I clearly remember when years ago searching for a job, I just couldn’t get along with offers that seemed ideal at first; the salary would be more than satisfying and the work environment would be really friendly but I still wouldn’t fall for it. The reason was that I was simply looking for a wrong kind of tomatoes.
The majority of seekers try to identify a job position by its title and salary and, eventually, get themselves stuck in a dead end. Therefore, before starting a research, it’s necessary to do some self-evaluation and determine what your strong and weak sides are. You can write a list of pros and cons, draw a diagram or, even, meditate. It’s up to you but do it and it will all get easier than it seemed in the first place.
When you have shrunk your head a bit over this matter, it’s time to deploy real weapons. It includes finding good Internet resources where you can monitor positions and new job offers. Searching tools have gone beyond any expectations and, instead of checking CraigsList every now and then, you should go full power and starting contacting employers directly via their websites, social media networks pages and e-mails. Don’t despair if such individuals don’t bother replying to you or they simply send you a template-a-like message saying ‘We will consider your application and reply to you shortly’. Fate favors the bold!
Another approach that many people avoid because they find it insufficient is full-blown mass job application. As a way to widen the range of opportunities, it’s a good option to send documentation to different employers who offer similar positions. Of course, you’ve been grinding that college syllabus for 4 or even 6 years, and you want to be appropriately employed in the end and do exactly what you’ve been studying for, but sometimes using the obtained skills for doing something a bit off a degree can be really beneficial. Moreover, I’ve noticed that people who have a set of well-developed soft skills are highly appreciated at places, which seem to be completely unrelated to their major.
While you are storming potential employers with your CVs and cover letters, don’t hesitate to adapt the resume to each and every one of them. Read my perspective to the end to find out about resume-writing mistakes that have kept me unemployed for quite some time.
From my own experience, a software developer’s HR department doesn’t really care about your college experience as a bartender or your high school summer holidays lawn-mowing of a neighbor’s front yard. When you apply for a job you enter a competition of people who, mostly, are as ‘special’ as you. And if your resume doesn’t correspond with an employer’s requirements, your case is most likely to be put in the back drawer.
In order to determine what a certain position demands, it’s essential to do a research. For this, find any possible information online (God bless Wikipedia), scavenge the company’s website, ask people who have had experience working there and just create. If a resume comprises facts and values that are ‘worshiped’ by a company then HR is more likely to put your CV on the top of the pile.
Sure, a resume is a really important document but it’s normally regarded as a to-do list on the fridge by an employer. What really matters is a cover letter. It’s an ace up in your sleeve. The most common mistake of mine is that I used to simply write a cover letter as an addition to my CV. Oh hell no. Don’t you dare. A CL has to be a detailed description of your way throughout the college years (if applicable) to the very day of its writing, where your main task is to convince HR that you’re worthy to be considered an equal. Apart from telling them a fable about your life struggles, a CL should have a motivation abstract where you praise the honor and miracle to be seen as a candidate. For instance, ‘I anticipate hearing from you in order to discuss the opportunity of working for your company’ etc.
Chapter 2 Brushing Up the Dowry
Okay, since we have dealt with scheming and planning of the general process of finding a good job offer, it’s time to get into details and see what should be done, if you want to have an impressive paper to present. The first thing to remember is no matter how good and informative your resume is, you don’t always receive a response right away and, if you do, it’s not always positive. The reasons may be varied from an unsuitable qualification of an applying person to the lack of experience or, even, a bad profile picture.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can let your paper be loose and be like a penny waiting for change. I guarantee you, if you work hard on the resume and approach it with creativity and persistence, your chances of employment will increase immensely.
When you start writing a resume or you want to use an old one, remember to keep it up to date. Employers have to read stacks of such papers daily and they are used to seeing the same kind of template till their eyes start dropping tears of boredom. If you want your resume to be noticeable, then it’s important to modernize it and make it vivid. For this, add some colors, not too many though, you don’t want it to look like an advertisement of an old minivan. Frame it with neat borders, and then include graphical pictograms and sections to separate your biography from work experience. A resume is the first impression about a candidate, if this round is not passed successfully then there might be no second one.
Every CV should be a well-structured promotion of you and tell about you more as a person than a professional. Hence, it’s preferred to include your own values and ambitions, e.g. ‘strongly reliable; experienced at interpersonal communication; appreciate honest and persistence; etc’. Companies are looking for assets to their team, not a computerized machine that performs certain functions and provides a monthly report.
Apart from being suitably qualified and culturally fitting, a good resume is expected to comprise also links to social media networks. Of course, no one asks of you to be a blogger or an Instagram celebrity but sharing your social life with a future employer demonstrates trust and reliability since you’re ready to devote even your personal life to the cause. On the other hand, when a company sees that a person is an active member of an Internet community, it testifies that such a candidate is an open and communicative individual who always follows the mutable flow of the society; therefore, they can be a valuable asset to their team.
Moreover, I’ve had the bad luck of being rejected by employers who’d state that I was ‘…lacking expertise and decision-making skills’. Yes, it’s a traumatic experience but it has shed some light on what I was doing wrong. Usually, companies prioritize not the education or qualification gained at school but the expertise following the study. Therefore, it’s crucial to present every kind of skill you’ve obtained including your degree, certificates, awards, letters of recommendation, work experiences that are related to the position you’re applying, etc, etc. Your skills as a bartender may not be appreciated at a logistics company but if you’ve worked as an accountant of a warehouse or a store manager then you will probably be seen capable of decision-making and solution-finding, and that will do.
Chapter 3 It’s Time to Meet the Parents
While you’ve been crying over the empty mailbox and thinking of becoming a truck driver in Canada, you receive a response from an employer inviting you for an interview. Now, when the thorny path has been overcome, it’s time to keep in mind a few things.
First of all, an interview is your final exam. If you manage to pass it then the rest is a piece of pie, apart from working day-to-day itself. Hence, do a research. Most probably, you don’t know a thing about the company and you’re just happy to have been relied to. However, without knowing what the business is about and what are their main values, history points, achievements, goals of the company and etc. it will be a downfall. Visit its website, go to Yahoo to read a review or anything else that will enable you to know about a firm as much as the firm knows about you.
Second of all, you need to pretend to be a fit for them. So, dress properly, it’s better to look too official than not official enough; don’t put on jewelry and your favorite grandma’s pendant because it ‘brings me luck’. The goal is to be the best version of yourself and details tell about more than you can tell about yourself. Also, regarding personal experience, make sure that you take care of your teeth and the breath since, well, you know I mean.
Third of all, maybe your outfit can tell a lot about you but you will have to take part in the interview as well. For this, use only Standard English and don’t try to ‘level’ with an interviewer even if they seem to be extra friendly. Usually, those poor people meet dozens of YOUs every day and don’t want to waste their precious time on being extra formal with anyone. In addition, it’s important to be polite all the through the process, starting with a receptionist and finishing with a janitor as employers may take into consideration their opinion as well. Most importantly, don’t worry. Trust me, if you are honest about what you can and cannot do if you manage to show yourself from the best perspective possible, and if you’re enthusiastic then a good employer will appreciate you disregarding little flaws or inexperience.
Fourth of all, be curious but considerate when you ask questions. Both a candidate and the employer are interested in having the free position filled as soon as possible. And the candidate’s job is to show the interviewer that he or she is here because they actually want to work in the company and not only because of a good salary and a two-time-a-year paid vacation. Therefore, it’s necessary to give a feedback by asking meaningful questions and carry out a dialogue, not a one-sided intervention.
All in all, this is my personal experience proven by years of tries. I hope that you’ve found it applicable to your job-seeking scavenging and you will use of the tips next time when you decide to take that covered in dust resume from a shelf and turn a page in your life. Yeah, it is difficult to start everything from scratch again and again, but, hey, you’re about find a job of your dream. So buckle up, take a deep breath and start making your way out. Best of luck!
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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