Monday, June 30, 2014

How to Survive the Job Hunt (AKA Don't Be Like Me)

Maybe you're fresh out of college, like me. Or, maybe you're just looking for a summer job before you head back to school.

Either way, the job hunt can be pretty intimidating if you're hoping for something specific.
I know everyone says that you're not going to find your dream job right away, but that also does not mean that you have to settle for whatever job happens to land at your feet first. 
You don't want to be miserable at your job, because that makes going in even more difficult than usual.

That's the first rule:

  1. Don't settle.
    Yeah, you don't want to be unemployed for a long time. But you also don't want to be stuck in a miserable job, working paycheck to paycheck, just because you didn't wait until something better came along. I've already turned down 3 job offers because I knew they weren't what I really wanted to do, but I almost considered accepting the most recent one just because I was sick of the job search. Wait for a job you'll be happy with. I promise that you (and I) will find it.

  2. Search Actively.
    I'm sure you've heard it said a thousand times before: Searching for a job is like a full time job. And honestly, it is. You may not be applying for every single job that you spot online, but the time you spend searching can take up a lot of time. I'm pretty sure I'm at my computer for at least 6 hours a day searching and applying for jobs, and those are just the ones that I am qualified for and feel I would enjoy. It may be kind of disheartening to sit at your desk all day just clicking, "apply," but think of it this way: you're preparing yourself for your future job!

  3. Personalize It.
    Okay, first of all, I don't care if an application doesn't require a cover letter. Write. One. Anyway. That shows initiative and it shows that you are truly interested in this position. Now, it's okay to have a cover letter that you use as a template for all of you applications, but these are not one size fits all. Every time you sit down to write a cover letter, you should be considering the job description and ensuring that you're including details that hint to your skills and how they match said description. For a while, I just changed out the position and company title and sent the same cover letter with every application. Not so surprisingly, it wasn't very good and I didn't hear back form most of those companies.

  4. Don't get Discouraged
    The job hunt can be a trying time; believe me, I know. But don't let it get you down. Just because you've sent out 50 applications and haven't heard back from anyone doesn't mean you're a failure. Maybe they just haven't gotten to your application, or maybe it got lost in the chaos. Contact the companies and check up. Make sure they got your application and ask about how the application process goes; they'll appreciate your initiative and maybe even ask you in for an interview right then (trust me, it's happened). But even if they don't, just keep on keeping on. You'll get the best job for you when you get it!

So, while it may seem never-ending, the job hunt will eventually come to a close for everyone. Hopefully sooner than later, but whose to say what can happen and how it will happen? I know I'm not going to settle for a job that will not make me happy, and I'm sure you're the same. If money is an issue, you can always work a part-time job on the side while you continue your job hunt! I'm currently a hostess at Mellow Mushroom while I send in my applications and go on interviews! 

If you have any job search advice or even just a find story, let me know in the comments or an email! I'd love to hear from you!

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