Before starting your job search it is to your own advantage to prepare yourself for the process. Like most things, searching for a job will be easier if you know what you’re getting into before jumping right to it. There are a lot of different steps you need to take while preparing for a job. With a couple simple steps you can be sure you’re ready when that job opportunity comes knocking.
Whether you’re just out of college, or looking for a change of pace, searching and preparing for a job can seem pretty overwhelming. Here are some tips to help ease some of that job searching stress.
Step One: Perfect Your ResumeOne of the stupidest things I ever did was send out a bunch of resumes without proof reading them first. After I had sent out the first five or so I opened up the document to take a quick check at it and realized that I had attached the incomplete, color coded, unprofessional resume to all of those job applications. Needless to say, I didn’t get any calls from those places. This is why perfecting your resume is so important. While most people won’t make as big of a mistake as I did, small typos can sometimes be overlooked, and can look unprepared and sloppy to employers. It’s worth the fifteen extra minutes to diligently look over your resume trying to catch any typos or other errors.
Step Two: Use Social Media To Your AdvantageIn today’s day, the majority of people have some form, or multiple forms of social media platforms. When looking for a job, it is really important to make sure you keep those pages clean. Employers will more than likely be Googling you and finding those social media pages, and there aren’t too many people who would call someone in for an interview after realizing their entire Facebook profile consists of pictures with alcohol and parties in them. Instead of posting irrelevant or irresponsible pictures, post articles about subjects relating to the jobs you’re looking at. Post TED talks, or family pictures. Keep everything relevant and PG, and this will surely help make you a viable candidate for that job you want.
Step Three: Dress For SuccessFirst impressions are everything. Make sure when one of the things you remember to prepare for your interview is your attire. Call ahead, or check the company website to see what the appropriate clothing choice would be. One of the strange things about a new job, is that there are technically two first impressions, assuming you receive a job offer. The first impression is at that interview, and the second is on your official first day of work. Now that you have the job, look back at that company website and look over the dress code. Are open toed shoes acceptable? Can you wear jeans on Fridays? Is the dress code always really casual? While overdressing may not be the end of the world, especially for a first day, it’ll help make you more comfortable and make the transition into a new job a little easier.
Step Four: Become Aware Of What Is Expected Of The EmployeesThis is the equivalent of doing research for a project, or reading an owner’s manual. Don’t go in blind, know what is to be expected of you before you get there; this way there won’t be any surprises. The last thing you want on your first day is to feel unprepared and overwhelmed because you didn’t realize the extent of the work that would be expected of you. Not only is it overwhelming, but it can shine a bad light on you. If you don’t realize how much work you need to have completed by the end of each work day, you could end up looking like a slacker simply because you failed to inform yourself of the expectations.
Step Five: Communication SkillsStep five seems fairly straight forward and easy, and yet can really trip people up. Communicating at work is a must. Whether you need to ask for help, file a complaint or are just trying to get to know your new coworkers, you need to be willing to and happy to talk to people. It is much easier to get ahead at work and in life, if you tell people your ideas. You know what they say: communication is key.
I am Courtney McGuane, I am an undergrad at Loras College studying media studies and creative writing. Most of my time is spent cooking, drinking coffee and hiking with my best friend. I really love traveling and I hope to go to every continent someday.