While I’m in my How-To phase (cause I am totally qualified to write any sort of How-To!), I thought I would post a blog I thought I already posted (ha! whoops).
So there is no doubt that I am completely lucky and blessed (if that is your kind of thing) about my current job. Like crazy lucky.
But along with the luck, there was a ton of strategy.
I’ve gotten asked how I landed my gig, so I thought I would write my strategy down. I in no way came up with the ideas. I got them from other people, put them together and when combined made the perfect combo for me. So hopefully since so many helped me, by sharing my tips, I can help others.
So here are my tips for landing a job.
1. Know where to look.
Certain industries have very particular websites, or post on LinkedIn, or stick to different career sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, or Indeed. I love subscribing to SimplyHired because I could have daily emails come to me based off of certain criteria. I also looked at Indeed a ton because it worked with nonprofit organizations as well as HERC.org because it listed a ton of jobs in the Higher Education field (where I have a lot of my experience). HERC.org is where I found my job.
2. Talk to people.
Ask around. Talk to anyone who is involved in your industry of choice. I didn’t know about HERC.org until I spoke with someone who had used it prior. You can never talk to too many people. If anything, they will be helpful down the line somehow. And everyone wants to help! Lots of people will say that this is the only way to get a job, but for me, I will say otherwise since it was not just talking to people that got me my job. But whether it is your only tool or one of many, it is important.
3. Stay organized.
There is no way I would have landed my job if I wasn’t persistent and followed up at least 3 times. The only way I knew to follow-up 3 times was to stay organized. When applying for umpteen jobs at one time, you have to keep track of them all. I kept a spreadsheet of every job I applied to, when I applied, how I applied, if I had any inside information, and what I need to do next. The next step included follow-up date and who to follow-up with. Include color coding as well- if for nothing else than to make the spreadsheet look pretty and be more entertained.
4. Look at this cute picture so to not be too overwhelmed by the task at hand.
5. Read between the lines.
This is one of the most important tips I received. Read the job description. If the job says, “reports directly to the Director of Communications,” you know who will be hiring you. If you know who is hiring you, you know who you need to send your application to and address all communication to. For me, this was a pivotal part in my application process.
6. LinkedIn is your friend.
To figure out the name of #5, LinkedIn is your greatest tool. Search on LinkedIn “Director of Communications for _____ company” and your key person will most likely come up. If you only have the free version of LinkedIn, the name might not show, only the title. But don’t worry. This is where we get sneaky. Copy and paste that title from LinkedIn into your google search bar. The first result should be the name of your key person. If this doesn’t work, check the company website, oftentimes information will be on there as well. This was my money shot in regards to my job.
7. Figure out the email.
Many jobs make you apply through a huge computer program (or a generic email address) that will toss your application out at the first sign of the wrong keyword. If I had only applied through the huge computer program, I would have never gotten my job. It would have seen I didn’t reside in the city of New York and would have disregarded my application. For this reason, you have to email the person to whom you would report to directly (see #5). Many companies format email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or something to that effect. So just google search the company, the name of the person, the department and things until you find your combo. Often you can find other people’s names and if you can verify a few with the same format, your key person most likely has the same format too.
8. Sell it.
Finally, sell yourself. This means going in with the confidence that you are the right candidate for the job from cover letter to follow-up to interview to first day of work. From personal experience, weeks of no responses, denials, rejections and false hope can really get you down and stress you out. But you cannot doubt yourself and your abilities. If you really can’t muster it up, ask for encouragement from loved ones. If you don’t know why you would be perfect for the job, your direct hire won’t either. Take a lesson from Stuart Smalley. You’re good enough. You’re smart enough. And doggone it, people like you.
So that is it. Or that was it for me. There are a ton of other tricks, trades, and strategies that I’m sure would just be as good. But hopefully, what worked for me can work for others too!