6 Tips About Finding Your First Job

518408718I recently wrote about life advice to college graduates. In the recent Struming, Advice for College Grads, one important piece of advice related to finding a job but given its importance, I thought that was worthy of a longer piece. Not every grad wants or needs to immediately find a job. Some are going to grad school. That’s fine. But as I said, don’t wait too long in starting your career, because months drag on and you lose momentum in finding a position without “explaining” why you hadn’t hooked up with a good job as yet.

So if you are going to serious look for a job to start your business career, here are 6 things to keep in mind:

1. Be specific about the job you seek. Your job objective should match the position. In my former life I never hired anyone who “wanted to work at an ad agency”. They needed to be passionate about account management, PR, media etc. It’s OK not to be sure, so have a separate resume for each job you are applying for.

2. Do not spend all your effort applying to positions online only to hear nothing. When you apply online 99% of the time you fall into a black cyber hole. People hire people. Don’t depend on your ability to magically rise from the massive pile of electronic resumes unless you are truly a rock star. And even then….

3. Find a person to contact. It needn’t be HR. Reach out to a senior executive and write a powerful letter that gives them the “x reasons they should hire you” And pay attention to this the reasons should link your skills with the company’s needs. Talk about them more than you. Ask the senior exec to merely provide a roadmap and to forward your cover letter and resume to the appropriate person. If you write well there’s at least a fair chance that it will be forwarded with a note something like, “Maybe we should interview this person”

4. If/when you have an interview be super prepared. Do tons of homework on the company and to the degree you can on the people you will be meeting. Engage them in conversation. Demonstrate your knowledge of them and the industry. Ask them questions about the company and themselves as professions.

5. Go for the close/Ask for the job.
If you are talking to the hiring manager, it’s OK to say something like, “From everything I’ve read and heard, I am very interested in working at x. If I was fortunate enough to be hired, I would do a great job”

6. Cast a wide net. Be thorough and increase your odds by having more at bats. Yes it’ll increase the number of rejections, but so what. Be thorough with your reach ot. It’ll take time, discipline and organization.

Finding a job is a job. Take it seriously. Good luck.

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