“8-month-old Micah laughs hysterically while daddy rips up a job rejection letter.”
“What,” you may ask, “is so complicated about Applying for Jobs?” Well, applying for jobs and internships is more than seeing a job posted on Indeed.com, sending off a resume & cover letter and then waiting for a response. If that’s all you’re doing, you could be in for a long wait.
The primary problem is that that method, by itself, doesn’t often yield the results you are looking for. According to many sources, at least 75% of jobs aren’t even advertised. How do you find these hidden jobs? Check out Techniques for Tapping Into the Hidden Job Market on JobHuntersBible, a great resource for your job search. This process is mostly about building relationships with people in your field of interest. Think: volunteering, networking, informational interviewing, and more! (Please see earlier Savvy Senior posts for tips on networking and informational interviewing.)
Another challenging issue, is that when you apply for jobs, you open yourself up to rejection. It’s not unusual to get discouraged when those first few resumes you send out don’t yield any phone calls asking you to come in for an interview. Once you get discouraged, it can be hard to keep putting yourself out there, to keep networking and applying for jobs with enthusiasm.
When disappointment strikes, it’s important to figure out how to maintain your positive energy and continue with your search. Check out this article for some ideas: Top 10 Ways to Deal with Job Rejection. Then, examine how you are going about the job search. Get a fresh perspective, reenergize, and try something new. Also, make sure you aren’t making these 20 Avoidable Job Search Mistakes.
Remember, when you are looking for that first job out of college, it just takes one “Yes.”
In a world where time is of the essence, many students ask whether or not they should use a cover letter for an internship application. Over the last few years this question has also been a discussion with Human Resource professionals and Career Counselors alike. At the end of the day, the answer is still up for debate. Below are 5 reasons why you should use a cover letter for your applications:
Writing a cover letter gives you the opportunity to reflect on the many reasons why you are a qualified candidate before you go into an interview.
It’s a marketing tool to help you explain why you are a good fit for the position and how your experiences qualify you.
The interview is usually the final hurdle to the job. When you get asked in for the interview, take the extra time to shine. This is your moment!
If you are in the beginning phases of the job search, the interview may seem a long way away. However, take a little time right now to learn about interviewing, you never know when that opportunity will come.
Interview Do’s and Don’ts
Each phase of the job search should help prepare you for the next. A good resume and cover letter will have you thinking about your strengths and experiences and how they are a good fit for the position. If you are networking and doing info interviews you will already have some good information about industry trends and company culture. You can use this information in the interview.
When you shake hands and walk away from the interview, what are you hoping that they’ll remember about you? Think about which of your strengths and achievements you want to be sure to share with your interviewer. Be clear about your motivations and qualifications for the job. Show your enthusiasm, ask about follow up, and remember to send a Thank You.
Feeling overwhelmed with life as a college student? Or maybe you are a recent graduate, still adjusting to life on your own. Chances are you have been or are currently at a crossroad in your life. Which path do I choose? This may include: major choice, career, relationships, finances, etc.
Twenty-somethings commonly struggle with expectations and ideas of life after graduation.
The truth is: you don’t need to know what your entire life will look like five, ten, or twenty years from now. You will grow immensely as an individual in your twenties, since it is a time for reflection and personal growth. You may change career paths four or five times to see what fits, and that is normal. It is all part of the learning process.
“You’re supposed to have moments of uncertainty about which path to take, because the twenties are full of crossroads.”- Lisa Kudrow’s Commencement Speech at Vassar College in May 2010, a humorous take on life in the twenties.
Recommended Reading- Kenneth Jedding’s Higher Education: On Life, Landing a Job, and Everything Else They Didn’t Teach You in College
This book addresses topics such as:
Marketing yourself after graduation in a tough economy, no matter your major.
On October 5, 2011, Apple co-founder and chairperson Steve Jobs died at the age of 56. Since then, many people are re-visiting the commencement speech Jobs delivered at Stanford University in 2005. Packed with general life lessons, the speech also has valuable tips for finding meaningful work and sustaining a fulfilling career. Here are some of the highlights:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
There are many variables in life, known and unknown. For Jobs, one of his “unknowns” was pancreatic cancer. However, he was able to live his days with fulfillment and happiness by deciding what was in his control and following his passions. Let this be a good reminder to each of us to “stay hungry, stay foolish.”
(For a written transcript of Jobs’ speech, click here.)