Let me just start this off by saying two things:
A.) I never in my wildest dreams could’ve imagined that life would deal me the cards of landing a job that I would be SO obsessed with. Especially during the biggest economic and public health crisis we’ll likely see in our lifetime.
B.) I am in no way, shape or form a career coach or expert in any capacity when it comes to securing a new job. This post is my way of sharing what worked for me in my time of need, and I’m hoping these tips will help someone get that much closer to landing their next big gig.
A little bit of context before we jump into the tips – I work in digital marketing, specializing in social media and branding, and I have a two-year degree from a fashion school. Yup, you read that right. I do not have any “fancy” credentials to my name. It’s kind of a long story that I could do an entire separate post about but, to keep it short, I LOVED college – just didn’t have enough money to finish a Bachelors degree.
Now, is this going to be everyone’s secret to success? NO. And that’s ok! My only objective here is to hopefully help another struggling millennial with some insight on how I got to where I am today. With all disclaimers aside . . . let’s get into my top three tips for landing your dream job.
#1. Fix your resume.
I cannot stress this enough. Please, for the love of god, get your resume in shape to make the BEST possible first impression to land an interview. There are a few ways to do so – I recommend asking your trusted colleagues, especially those in management and leadership positions, to read through it and offer any feedback or areas of improvement. You would be shook at how many resumes I’ve seen in my day where people fail to check their spelling or forget to include vital contact info – like an email or phone number. Can’t get an interview if they can’t reach you, right?
While we’re on the subject, tailor your resume to fit the industry you’re in. Being in digital marketing gives me A LOT of flexibility to be creative and graphic design-friendly with my resume. I won’t be including my personal resume in this post for security reasons (cause people can be fucking weird) but this is a great resource for inspiration. Likewise, if you’re looking to go into something like law or social work, then make sure you look to examples and formats that better fit those sectors.
#2. Follow up after an interview.
Ok, so I know that I just went from 0 to 100 by jumping straight into post-interview etiquette – but this is important. If I’m being drop dead real right now, I wish someone would’ve encouraged me to do this back in the day. So here I am, being the future job fairy godmother I always wanted and letting you know what’s good.
When it comes to following up with the HR manager or recruiter post-interview, I find that I got the best reception when I followed up that same day by 5:00 p.m. Now, here’s the kicker. Recruiters and HR are busy af, especially if they are trying to fill multiple roles, so don’t be afraid to send another follow-up email one week after your interview.
I know you may feel like a huge pest doing so, but it helps demonstrate your interest in the job and company. Trust me, I even fact-checked this tip with my own current boss IRL. Of course, if you’re not really that interested – don’t even apply. It would just be a waste of time for you and the people reviewing your application.
I know that probably looked odd to read on this list – but hear me out. Prior to getting hired, I cannot tell you how many days I spent trying to figure out why I wasn’t hearing back from an employer or what it meant when they used certain language in emails. So what’s a young job seeker to do?
If you take nothing else from this blog post, please absorb this: There are HR influencers, professional mentors and career field experts putting amazing content out there to help us make sure we don’t die of anxiety wondering whether or not we totally ruined our chances for a job.
Here are some of my faves – and I HIGHLY encourage you to check them out.
All that said, I know the feeling of being stuck in a really shitty place in your career and like nothing is happening for you. If i had the magical power to give every overworked and underpaid millennial a job, I absolutely would. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out and ask me for ANYTHING – whether that entails something as small as connecting on LinkedIn or offering some detailed advice on how to get started in social media marketing, I’m always happy to pay it forward by helping someone who is currently in the same place that I was not too long ago.
Thank you so much for reading! And for those who are actively on the job hunt, please know I’m rooting for you. In a good way. Not in the Tyra Banks ANTM “we were all rooting for you” way. I’m praying someone understands that reference.