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!
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 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.
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.
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:
- 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)
Download this easy to fill out Example Cover Letter here. (coming soon )
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to include in an email signature:
- Position Title
- Phone Number
- Social Medias
Personal Business Card
Information to Include on Personal Business Card:
- 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
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.
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
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
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 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
Tops and Blazer
Tops should cover you up and be accompanied by a matching blazer.
It is best to wear a knee length skirt or pleated pants with either black or nude color panty hose.
Dresses should be knee length and the straps should be at least four fingers wide.
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.
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.
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 include loafers, derbie and brogues.
It’s great idea to dress up your suit with a Class Ring if you have recently graduated, Cufflinks, and a Watch.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!