How to Begin Your First Big Job Search
By: Chase Dodge
Look at yourself.
I mean really, just look at you. You’re awesome and it’s time to get out there and share your wonderful self with a group somewhere committed to a service or product that will make the world better in some way, while also gettin’ that money.
Before you get to the resume and applications, it’s important to really take a step back and listen to what your heart wants. A career is about the mark you will leave on the world. It will fuel your physical ability to survive, but it should also help you develop into a better person mentally, socially and professionally.
Start by really reflecting on how you want to spend your days for the next few years, answering questions like where you want to live, what kind of people you want to be around and how much money you’d like to make. Once you know these things about yourself you will be able to spin your resume and search to get you the opportunities that are best for you.
Polish that resume.
It maybe shouldn’t have emojis on it, but times are changing and a visually pleasing layout with color accents and an icon here or there won’t hurt if you’re going into a creative field. If it reads like a newspaper, black-white and straight to the money, sometimes that’s better if you’re going into a traditional business. Either way, you should have the core skills and education clear and visible. But let’s focus on your experience. For me, I use 3-5 bullet points per internship or program to concisely explain my achievements and responsibilities. If you can find a way to quantify these statements with statistics or numbers they will have more of an impact on your potential employer. Save the finer details for the phone interview, but having an easy read for a resume will save everyone time and show them you like to cut to the chase.
Create a standard cover letter.
Personally, I hate cover letters. I always want to get every sentence perfect, but don’t overthink it. Write a couple paragraphs about who you are, what you’ve done, what you want to do and how that company fits in perfectly with your plan. Design it in a way that allows you to insert the company and position you’re looking for, this will save you hours of retyping the same letter.
After you have a one-size-fits-all resume and cover letter, it’s time to make sure your LinkedIn account is up-to-date. Then, if you haven’t already, create accounts on Indeed, Glassdoor, Handshake and any other job site you’ve heard of. All the ones I’ve named have the option to upload your resume for one-click applications.
Now that you have your polished resume and cover letter, your job is to scroll and sort. Set your search for all the cities and positions you’re looking for. Go through and quick apply to every title that sounds interesting; don’t worry if the salary seems too high or low or if it doesn’t look like you have the needed experience, leave that up to the employer. Like I said, if it looks like you can finish an application in under two minutes, do it right on the spot. If you think it will take longer than five minutes to complete an application, save it for later. If the title sounds good then read into the description and apply, but wait until you hear back from them before you dive into researching the company. This will make the difference between 50 applications and five done in a day. Chances are some jobs out there have already been filled so no need to waste time. While you’re quick applying to everything, you can save the complex application gems for later.
Chances are that if you’re still reading this blog you have enough drive to get the job you deserve. Follow these steps, reach out, make connections and stay on track by setting a goal for 10 quick, four medium or one heavy application a day. You will find a start to your career worth taking.