How to get here.
I talk to people on how to live without a cell phone
and how to save a bunch of money
. I also try to give advice on how to be romantic, but there isn't much demand for such. But, despite my lack of an Ivy League college degree, a sometimes incoherent accent and applicants much taller, better looking and smarter than I, I have been able to land a couple of great jobs and am in the midst of a wonderful career. So while absolutely nobody has asked about this, I am going to give my readers some tips on how to get a job. I figure with the economy being what it is, this is more helpful than another entry on why I like to fly with Lufthansa. Here are eight tips that helped me find a job.
1. Make your resume stand out.
And by that I don't mean that you need a "career objective." Please don't use Microsoft Word. Do something different. Stand out. Have one of your nerdy computer buddies build it in Adobe Illustrator for you.
2. Go meet people.
This is the most important aspect of finding a job, and oftentimes the most neglected. When you're looking for a job, you just need to get out there, be seen and talk to people. Go to networking events, trade shows, happy hours, running groups and speed-dating events. You'll never know when you're going to meet someone who will help you make a connection.
3. Don't get business cards.
Don't think that if you hand out business cards at networking events, people will take the initiative to contact you. You need to get people's business cards, write down their contact info or remember their phone number. Then it's up to you, not them, to follow up and make something happen. It won't hurt if you get some personal business cards, but don't think that just handing out business cards will do you any good.
4. Write thank you cards.
I would guesstimate that half of all applicants follow up after an interview, and only about 10% do so with a hand-written thank you card. You could be in that 10%. It's an easy opportunity, so don't miss it. This also helps in building relationships with you girlfriend's parents.
5. Don't let spelling mistakes happen.
Whether it's your resume, your LinkedIn profile or your follow-up thank you card, don't let spelling mistakes happen. Never. It's the quickest way to stop being considered for a job.
6. Call Alumnis.
If you went to any sort of University (yes Jen, community college counts as well), you need to leverage that education and try to make connections with other alumni. I get a ton of phone calls from University of Montana students, and I help every single one of them. People are emotionally connected to their alma mater, and many paid a lot of money for such and their education. So you need to make use of it. Call your old professors and ask if they know anybody who's in your profession. Get their contact info and pick up the phone.
7. Pursue five dream jobs.
Let's face it. Not every job you pursue is in your dream company. Most of them will be random jobs you ran across on Monster.com or referrals from your mother's friends. But in addition to those random jobs, you need to pursue your dream job with your dream company. That's what I did, and it worked. How do you do it? Go straight for the top. Write a really smart letter to the Founder, CEO or President of the company and then start following up with weekly phone calls. Your goal is not to get a particular job, but rather to set-up an informational interview with the guy/woman running the company. You need to write a brilliant letter and then follow-up with weekly phone calls. Your letter needs to be extremely well-thought out and communicate your passion for the company and industry. And yes, you need to call the top dog. They're much more likely to care about your passion and ultimately can make whatever hiring decision they please, regardless of the state of economy and/or your lack of style.
8. Get online
This is actually the least important facet, as in order to find a job, it really comes down to the personal connection that you make with people. Regardless, it's important to make use of the many tools available to job seekers nowadays. Use sites such as monster.com and careerbuilder.com to apply for all sorts of random jobs. You never know who you might meet in a random interview, and it's always worth the practice. Create a LinkedIn page and clean up your Facebook account. Type in your name on Google and go through all of your social networking profiles and make sure there are no simple spelling/grammatical mistakes or social media comments about you doing kegstands at some nudist new year's eve party.
That's it for now. Good luck, and email me or comment here with any questions.