Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If you're looking for a job these days...

here are a few things you should check out before you send your cover letter, resume/CV, or anything else...that is, if you actually WANT the job you'd like to apply for...

1)  USE A LEGIT EMAIL SERVER.  I know what is "legit" is really up to opinion, but execs and headhunters are picky, and you're just trying to get the job.   Set up a gmail account, because it's easy and free and the reviewers are often turned off by the "wayside" servers like "yahoo" "aol" and "hotmail."  Not saying it's right, just that it's true.

2)  If the job you are seeking is somehow related to media, make sure you can be found in a google search.  ***I don't think being "searchable" is good for all professions, as seems to be suggested in the original article, but if your job relates to being sociable...and reachable.

3)  Again, if you're interested in anything related to media or marketing...make sure you are currently active on any of those searchable sites where your name will be found.  Saying you're awesome with social media but not actively engaging is going to be futile when seeking a position which requires it.

4)  Just make your Facebook pics private, already, PERIOD.  There is no reason for people looking for you that don't know you to see ANY of your pictures, except for a decent profile picture and possibly a banner-thing.  Other than those images, privatize yourself, they can see you in person at your interview if they want to know more about you.  And while we're at it, if your Instagram is anything other than landscapes and puppies, you should probably make that private, too.

5)  No selfies on LinkedIn.  I know, pro headshots aren't for everyone, but have a friend or coworker take a pic of you in front of an appropriate background when you're having a good hair day and be done with it.

6)  Your phone number should be on your resume, if you're missing that we need a separate "resumes for beginner's article" (let me know I am happy to help, we all start somewhere).  A lot of industries are also interested in you enumerating your accomplishments...literally, though, with facts and figures.  So do yourself a favor and make your accomplishments count (pun intended) on paper.

7)  Be succinct.  You don't need to prove you graduated...they can see that from your list of degrees.  They want to know if you can communicate and interact with people and how you do don't be a talking dictionary.

8)  If you're in any sort of media, marketing, publishing (please tell me this doesn't apply to you) or other non-design-specific field...write something:  a review, a blog, an article, a post...something.  ANYTHING.  In my field, I wish writing and communication were taken more seriously, but it's design-related so people care much more about pretty pictures but MOST positions require you to be able to (repeat of #7) communicate effectively and efficiently (and sometimes to be entertaining, too)!  So write something and then you'll have something to talk about that you do if you have nothing else to bring up at your interview.

9)  Narrow down what you want to do.  If you want to work for a specific company but you don't know in what capacity...get on LinkedIn and look up managers and contact them and tell them about you and what you're talents and skills and interests are and see if there is a specific job that is best for you to apply to.  Don't apply to all of them.  It'll make you look desperate and/or confuse the hiring manager and/or make them think you're flaky because if you don't know which job you want, how do they know you'll stay in it if they hire you?

10)  Spellcheck.  It's 2015.  You're submitted your docs on a computer.  If you haven't figured out that you can spellcheck your document on whatever device you are using then we need to rewind and go back to the start.  SPELL CHECK.

and because I like uneven numbers...

11)  Be yourself.  I know that seems hard when everything else seems like a rule, but sometimes changing up the way your letter looks makes you stand out because it shows your personality or your creativity.  Be sure that it's still legible and appropriate, but don't be afraid to show your own style.  Being memorable can get you a long way when it's done right!

The inspiration from this list can be found here but obviously the original was altered to reflect my own experiences and advice for you.  Hope this helps!  NOW GO GET THAT DREAM JOB!

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