Wednesday, February 22, 2012

how to: get a job

That's the question: how to get a job. With the national unemployment reading 32%, or something, more and more people are looking for work. And with the average friend of mine just graduating from college more and more of those people are looking for work as well. I hope this will be not only an informative, but a helpful post as well.

First off: my credentials. I've held down five jobs in the last year and been offered four more on top of those. Now a couple of those jobs have been seasonal, but I received w-2's for them so I believe they count. I have also filled out applications and polished my resume more times than I care to count for positions I didn't get or get offered. So know that when I write this it is out of the vast experience I have had over the past couple of years.

Things you will need:

1. Thick skin. You're probably going to get rejected. This won't look like someone saying "no" to you. It'll probably look more like someone ignoring that you even turned your resume in. It's alright, rejection is the spice of life. Or the crappy side that comes with the meal. One of those.

2. A computer. It's 2012, probably shouldn't even mention this since this is on a blog on the internet, but I want to be thorough.

3. An extra resume or completed application.

4. A moleskine journal and uniball vision elite ultra fine line pen. Or your version of these things, but these are the best.

5. Some kind of experience. Life will usually do.

So what do you do with these things?

Well, you need to find a job that you are somewhat qualified for. And by this I mean that you have enough "give" in your experience to make it sound like you should be hired. "I started a coffee roasting company" sounds a lot better than "I bunged around a new business for a year with my psychology degree and eventually figured it out." You are qualified for any job, just be creative with your experience. Don't lie...color.

Once you've found that job, apply to it. This is where the extra application comes in handy. If you have to fill it out from scratch every time it'll take forever. But if you have the extra it's a simple copy/paste job. Easy and not nearly as frustrating as it could have been, right?

After you have turned the application or your resume in wait a day. Then pull out the big guns. Common wisdom would say that you need to call them. But, again, this is 2012. If you're dealing with someone who is anywhere close to your age shoot them an e-mail with an abbreviated version of your cover letter. Flatter them, just a little. "Your coffee-shop is my favorite place to go," "you research piqued my interest," "I don't often eat sandwiches, but when I do I eat subway." You get the picture. I say e-mail them because it's less threatening, but also because I get super nervous when I call people on the phone. One day I'll grow out of it, promise.

After this you're sure to get an interview. I only have one tip for interviewing, besides "being yourself" and all that. The killer app for interviewing is to, at some point, say:

"I really think that the important thing to focus on is the details. If you make sure that you get those done with excellence, than the big stuff will follow."

You should also probably believe this, because that will go a long way, but I don't know if that's totally necessary. This is probably a line that works best with your standard entry-level position. If you're applying for a CEO position I don't know if that'd help. But do send me an e-mail, I know a guy who's detail oriented.

After following these tips you are going to be inundated with offers and you'll have your pick of the litter.

One word of encouragement: keep at it. Looking for jobs sucks, is "the worst." I've been there. You aren't alone. Life does go on, and eventually we'll all find something. That's the hope I have, and the faith I have about it as well.

Thanks for reading.


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