How to Get Your Dream Job From Applying to Accepting

How to Get Your Dream Job

The Dream

What defines your dream job? Maybe it’s working for yourself or maybe you’ve dreamed of working for a company like Google who has an amazing culture or a cutting edge company like Tesla. Whatever company you are looking to pursue, this article has the tools for you to succeed!

How to Get Your Dream Job

The Application Process

Applying to Company Website

Apply directly to your dream job’s company website instead of using third party sites. This allows you to be directly in their database and helps you skip a step since they will require that you enter in your information before offering you the position.

Internal Referrals

Internal Referrals are a great way to get your foot in the door! Search around your college friend’s linkedin profiles and see where they are working. Write them an email expressing how you would like to work at their company and ask if they could give you an internal referral.

Recruiting Companies

If you are not opposed to the idea of being a contractor, reach out to a recruiting company. They will have established contacts at big name companies that you can leverage to get an interview. It might just be a short six month contract but, by having the experience and a name brand company on your resume it will only get easier to get where you want to go.

LinkedIn

Create a LinkedIn account and completely fill out your profile. Of course, be sure to follow your dream company on all social medias as well as LinkedIn. Research employees that work at your dream job on LinkedIn and spark up a conversation with a few people about how they enjoy working for the company. You could also ask about their daily tasks and company events.  Eventually ask for any recruitment contacts they would be willing to share with you. After you receive contact information for the recruiter, send an email with your resume attached and explain why it’s your dream job.

Resume and Self Promotion

Traditional or Modern Resume

The first step of a resume is to chose if you are going to do a traditional resume or a modern resume. A modern resume cultivates creativity and outside the box thinking. This could include designing an info-graphic (I use canva.com) or printing your resume on a medium other than paper like a folder, pamphlet, or something the recruiter can use like a notebook.

Resume Page Length

 Some believe you should have multiple pages, but I personally think you should fit it on one page and discuss other information during the interview when appropriate or add it in the cover letter. Clearances only cover the last ten years so I feel it’s safe to include only the last 10 years or last three positions you have held on your resume so that it can all fit on the page and is recent and relevant.

Information to Include on Resume:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Computer Skills
  • Projects Experience
  • Last Three Jobs Experience
  • Community Service and Clubs
Text Based Resume

Download the template for a text based file resume here. (Coming soon)

Cover Letter

Download this easy to fill out Example Cover Letter here. (coming soon )

Email Address

You will need a professional email address that displays your name.  You should not continue to use your school email since it could possibly be closed or shut down after graduation. A school email also could make you appear as if you are entry level and is not as easy to remember as your name at gmail.  This step is important because it one of many ways will be communicating with the recruiter. An example of a good email would be as follows: FirstnameLastname@gmail.com.

Email Signature Example

 Email Signature

For my email signature, as shown above, I coded it in HTML myself. However, there are many websites and services out there that are free or paid that you can utilize. I charge $10 for signatures, email me at kitstanwood@gmail.com.

What to include in an email signature:
  • Name
  • Position Title
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Social Medias

Personal Business Card

Information to Include on Personal Business Card:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Social Medias (LinkedIn)
  • Website Link

I ordered my high quality business cards with a smooth finish, rounded corners, and glossy text from Moo.com . Use my referral link for a discount on your first order : Moo Business Cards


Paperclip

Having a paperclip that’s in the shape of the company your applying to shows your invested, in the shape of your hobbies shows your personality, or one in the shape of a pet sparks possible conversation. If you do not have a particular company you are trying to work for, you could  find a paperclip for the position genre your applying for or field of work your interested in. For example, a computer paper clip for a technology position would be easy to use across many interviews. I suggest paper clipping your personal business card to your resume and handing it to your recruiter when you first sit down for the interview. You can grab these super cute barkclips here.

Website or Blog

You should start a blog, especially if your in between jobs or unemployed. It’s a great at way to give yourself a topic of discussion around what you have been doing with your time off. Most noteworthy, you can monetize your website or blog!! Having something to do and show for your unemployment time is priceless and will boost your confidence. Another great reason to have a blog, even if your employed, is that you create an “About Me” page where your interviewer can read more information about you such as hobbies, writing samples, technical skills, and of course adorable pictures of your pet.

Steps to Get your blog started

1. Domain Name

I use to use google domains but  Bluehost offers a free main name.

2. Hosting

Hosting your own websites this allows you to own all your own content without worrying about sites such as blogger or WordPress shutting your site down or using your content since they own it. Since they host your website for free they own your content and have rules against what you can post. Use my referral link for a special price for hosting Bluehost.com/track/kit Stanwood/ .

3. Create wordPress Account and Download WordPress

Create your WordPress account here and download WordPress from the following link here.

4. Pick a Template

WordPress has many free or paid templates you can choose from! I currently use a free layout at the time of writing this post, but I have plans to code my own site. If you are adventurous and want to learn HTML, I recommend going through freecodecamp.com. They are a non-profit online community that teaches you how to code in exchange for you working on projects for those in need.

5. One year Blog Schedule

Check out my project management blog schedule with over 250 lines of tasks to get started in the first year of blogging for guaranteed success here! Only $45! Email me kitstanwoodgmail.com

 The Interview

Congratulations on getting an interview! If you haven’t made it that far yet go try the above tips again. You are halfway there as they say! So let’s dive in to the juicy details. Plain and simple, You HAVE to stand out. This advice will be tough but it works! You are unique and have your own strong skills to offer. I look at interviewing like dating, it’s a two way street and if you don’t like them, I would not recommend taking the job unless it’s a 10-20% increase in salary. At that point you might as well get the experience, money and make the best of it that you can.

Exercise

Exercise will help alleviate stress and anxiety before an interview. It is also shown to help you think better and leave you performing better at work in the long run

Appearance

Women

Tops and Blazer

Tops should cover you up and be accompanied by a matching blazer.

Bottoms

It is best to wear a knee length skirt or pleated pants with either black or nude color panty hose.

Dress

Dresses should be knee length and the straps should be at least four fingers wide.

Shoes

I always suggest wearing heels to an interview if you can walk in them well. They are dressier then flats, however if you are very tall or are afraid of tripping in your heels then a pair of nice flats are fine.

Jewelry

General rules for wearing jewelry to an interview is to wear no more than 5 pieces. I would suggest wearing a nice watch (Im sporting a wooden watch by JORD in the above picture), a pair of stud earrings, and a ring such as your class ring if you have recently graduated, wedding band, or a club ring.

Men

Suit

If you do not own a suit, a jacket and matching dress pants would also be acceptable. Lastly, to top the suit off wear a matching tie.

Dress Shoes

Dress shoes include loafers, derbie and brogues.

Extras

It’s great idea to dress up your suit with a Class Ring if you have recently graduated, Cufflinks, and a Watch.

Leather Binder

Having a Lather Binder helps you hold copies of your resume, personal business cards, company business cards you receive, and a place to keep notes. I would suggest getting one from the college from which you graduated.  As a side note, you should always have five up to date copies of your resume with you, a notepad, and a pen to be able to take notes.

Notes

Taking notes is just a part of being a professional. The rest of your life you should be taking notes no matter what you are doing if it includes talking about business. The first great reason to take notes at an interview is to document specifics about benefits. Then later when they offer you the job you can send them the notes and ask them to formally agree to what they said in the interview to include it in the offer letter.

Interview Questions to Ask

1. Don’t have Generalized Questions

Bad Example: What are the daily tasks of the Business Analyst job?

Good Example: After an employee has gathered requirements , logged requirements, and created mock-ups what other responsibilities does this position entail?

If you have scripted questions, I suggest tailoring them to be more specific. If you as a vague question you could get a vague answer in return. Every question should be related to the position you are interviewing for, be open ended and you should be able to give examples to explain your question further. In the above example, I have taken out some tasks that I already know the position gives from reading the job description. You can find the job description online on the company’s website or you can ask the recruiter to send one to you. One scripted question that I feel is the exception is: “What is your company culture?”. A company that plays together works well together and synergies together.

Coffee Lifecycle

2. Ask About the Work Environment

This is a topic to bring up non-nonchalantly after the interview if it has gone well. One way of bringing this up would be to ask to see their facility and hopefully the kitchen will be included in this tour or else you may want to ask.  If they don’t provide good coffee or a quality break rooms, one could imply the company is not concerned about their employee’s comfort. To throw in some humor: Good coffee includes having the sugar you like, a decent machine with at least three flavors to chose from, and most importantly having liquid half and half or some sort of creamer that is available. That powder creamer is wack!

3. Make a Connection

If you can make a cop laugh your chances of getting out of a ticket are probably twice as high compared to if you didnt make him laugh, right? So following my logic here, if you make an interviewer genuinely laugh your chances getting hired are astronomical.  Bottom line, people want to work with people who they can hang out with and converse with at work. They can always train you to do what they need you to do.

4. Do Your Research

  • Visit their website
  • Read their About them Page
  • Memorize what services they provide
  • Look up their mission statement
  • Reasearch what differentiates them

Thank you Letter

The last thing you should do and one of the most important is to write thank you letter or thank you email right after your interview. If you can leave a hand written letter with the secretary you will definitely stand out from those who have written an email and it will show that you have planned ahead. If you decide to go with an email, you should send it within 24 hours of being interviewed. I even like to send it an hour after the interview was held so that I do not forget about it and it also leaves a good feeling with the interviewer. The above graphic was created with canva.com.

Accepting the Offer

Give Your Two Week Notice

First things first, before you leave your current position it is common curtousy and professional to give your two week notice. This allows your current employee to find a replacement and for you to easily transfer duties smoothly. I suggest mentioning this in the interview as well and explain that you have to finish up any tasks that your in middle of before leaving. Most companies understand this and actually expect that you complete this professional process.

Topics to Consider Having in Writing in Your Offer:

  • Working Remote
  • Work Location
  • Work Schedule
  • Special Accommodations
  • Training

Negotiation Tips

Salary

Be prepared to negotiate salary. You can prepare by researching your position on the market through reliable websites such as glassdoor. This will help you set realistic expectations for yourself. Always ask for more salary than you actually want. It’s a professional strategy but more than likely you will meet in the middle.

Benefits

Extra benefits may include asking to be able to work from home one or two days a week. This is very reasonable if you have a long commute and you could not get the vacation time you desired.

Comment below with your most helpful career tips!

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5 Things You Should Do Saturday Instead of Sleeping In

 5 Things You Should Do Saturday Instead of Sleeping In

Chocolate Coffee Cup from Harris Teeter
Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cup from Harris Teeters

H•e•l•l•o S•a•t•u•r•d•a•y!!

One of the biggest benefits of not sleeping in on the weekend is that you don’t switch up your schedule and make it harder for yourself to function on Mondays! These are some ideas for what you should do instead!

1. Go to the Farmers Market!

Not only is it great to support your local businesses, it can save you money and you can make some new friends. What’s even better then going to the farmers market to buy healthy fresh food? Starting your own farmers market business! I have started a pet snack business recently and will be documenting my entire venture in a future post so you can start your own too!

2. Exercise

I bet you didn’t see that one coming haha. Don’t spend your time inside at the gym on the weekends! I love to get outdoors!!

3. Take a Class!

Currently I am taking an online class for web design at freecodecamp.com . They have set it up for free because in return you do a ton of nonprofit work! Which is a great feeling and you also get real world experience! There are also a ton of classes at local community colleges or hop on Groupon and find a deal for a local class as well!

4. Go to a Yardsale or Host Your Own

I love going to yardsales on the weekend! You can find some really great items and turn a lot of thing you find into DIY projects.

I have been trying to host my own yard sale for many two years now and something always comes up. This is a great way to make some extra cash and get rid of clutter in your house! If you don’t want to take the time to throw a yard sale you can always download the Craigslist App and easily list items for sale.

5. Volunteer!

Volunteering is a awesome way to give back to the community and its a great way to meet friends as well. If you have any skills that you would like to gain experience in, volunteering is an easy way to achieve that goal and add it to your resume. Volunteering is the perfect resume builder and networking activitiy. Find something you enjoy doing!

 Leave in the comments below what some of your favorite Saturday activities are!

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How to Make a Luxurious, Elegant, and Beautiful Bed

How to Make a Luxurious Elegant Bed

How to Make a Luxurious, Elegant, and Beautiful Bed

Today I would like to talk about making an elegant bed! I have never made my bed everyday until this bed set! I fall in love with it more and more everyday. Its so comfy, soft and gorgeous.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I don’t use myself or truly love!

Step One

Choose whether or not to have a valence, its just a added little style or an easy way to cover up your bottom bedframe.After you decide to add a valence or not the next step is to put the fitted sheet on the bed. To minimize wrinkles I threw all of my sheets in the dryer. I bought all of my furniture at Beltfort and have linked (affiliate links are in this post) it as well.

Donna Karan Home Reflection Ivory Queen Fitted Sheet

Shop here:
Cosmo Dresser Mirror (not pictured) On Sale!!
Donna Karan Collection Fitted Sheet (Champagne Ivory)

Step Two

Put the flat sheet on. With this bed set as you can see in the below image it has three design lines. I made sure to put that side facing down so when I folded it over you can see the detail.

Donna Karan Collection Flat Sheet (Champagne Ivory)

Donna Karan Collection Flat Sheet (Champagne Ivory)

Shop here:
Donna Karan Collection Flat Sheet (Champagne Ivory)

Step Three

Add a blanket to your bed. The one I bought feels like velvet.
Donna Karan Silk Quilt Collection

Step Four

I added two Euro Sham style pillows. One pillow case matches my blanket, and the other pillow case matches my comforter that you will see in the next steps.
Donna Karan Rtythm Ivory Euro Sham

Shop here:
Donna Karan Rtythm Ivory Euro Sham

Step Five

I added two standard pillows which is what I choose to sleep on at night if I decide to sleep with a pillow ( i’m weird and don’t use one sometimes 🙂 haha )


Shop here:

Donna Karan Collection Standard Pillowcases

Step Six

Next I added two standard shaped pillows in the fabric of my blanket and of my duvet cover.

Donna Karan Home Reflection Ivory Standard/Queen Sham
Shop here:
Donna Karan Rhythm Ivory Standard Sham

Step Seven

 I bought a comforter to go inside of my Duvet cover. It just slips in and then I buttoned the side up. I really love having the buttons on the side versus the sides folding in or zippering up because if a button falls off I can just sew it back on compared to a broken zipper or falling out comforter when it is being kept in by folded material

Donna Karan Duvet Cover
Shop here:

Donna Karan Duvet Cover

Step Eight

Lastly I added three decorative pillows that matched my set. I also plan on buying a wooden tray with 3 decorations to lay on top of my bed for added ambiance.

Flokati Fur Decorative Pillow
Sequin Printed Decorative Pillow
Shop here:
Sequin Printed Decorative Pillow
Flokati Fur Decorative Pillow
Abstract Beaded Decorative Pillow

Goodnight and sleep comfy in your Beautifully made Bed!

Donna Karan Bed Set

Leave in the comments below what color bed you have and what your favorite pillow looks like!

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How Sunday Prep for Monday is valuable to your Career

How Sunday Prep is valuable to your Career

How Sunday Prep for Monday is valuable to your Career

Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I don’t use myself or truly love!

There are a lot of small habits you can start doing on Sunday to prepare for work on Monday and make yourself look more professional and save you time during the week.

Pick out Your Work Outfit the Night Before

If your not a morning person like me, then it helps to plan out what your going to wear the next day. The saying “Dress for the job you want” and “Dress to impress” are note worthy advice to remember. It’s important to plan in order to succeed with anything that you do, but especially when it comes to dressing for your job. If you look professional at work not only will people notice you, but they will take you more seriously. You also never know who you are going to meet during your lunch break too whether it is the CEO, a potential new hiring company, or future husband.

Have a Binder Ready to Take Notes

I’m always impressed when people have a professional binder to take notes, keep business cards, or resumes. I bought my leather Resume/Note carrier at my college JMU’s bookstore. I highly recommend purchasing one and bringing it to interviews and to work for conference meetings, you will really impress your interviewer or boss.

Gathering your Work Equipment

Its a great idea also helps you get together important things such as where your keys are and a huge one for me, my badge to get into the office! Forgetting that causes a hassle for the whole day to get in and out of the building.

Meal Prep on Sunday

Meal Prepping on Sunday is a great way to save yourself time and energy throughout the week. Having a good diet allows you to concentrate on the things that matter instead of being hungry. Eating healthy can help you feel better and perform better at your job when your brain has the necessary nutrients. Meal Prepping will also save money and is kind to your waist line.

Business Notebook JMU

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