Whoa! Woowee! It is tough out there! I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, everybody has heard it, but have you felt it? The feeling of dread, annoyance, anticipation, nervousness, rejection, perseverance, and the feeling of doing it all over the next day and the day after that and the month after that and the month after that. It’s exhausting as that run-on sentence was to read. Really.
So here I am reveling in the rich experience of trying to get employed in the good ol’ U.S. of A. And it is seriously no joke. There are many interviewees paying upwards of $700 to know exactly how to interview, how to master the trick and behavioral questions. They’re learning how to ask the interviewers questions that flip them on their heads. They’re learning how to stand-out, sell themselves if you will. Today, things aren’t what they used to be. Although I have no idea what they used to be, because I’m only 24.
According to my relatives though, it used to be, if you just showed some initiative and maybe passed a skills test you got the job. Or better yet, if your Uncle Bob was buddies with the supervisor at the factory you’d land that job. Or heck, just thirty years ago a lady my age wouldn’t even be expected or encouraged to jump into the job market, I’d be at home tending to God knows what.
Either way the generations crumbles, all of us, X, Y, and Z’s have had a go at complex issues and challenges. And generally most of us have come up on the other end of the hard stuff. So, I’d like to share just a few observations I’ve made in my job search that might be helpful to someone, especially those twentysomethings with a liberal arts degree in 2014.
- For every 15 applications you’ll receive 1 call for an interview.
- I’ve done my own equation on this, but this number seems to be the average for most young professionals today.
- If you don’t have some great questions to throw back at the interviewer during the interview, then you’re not ready.
- Do your research on the company, listen to what they tell you, and then ask some great pre-prepared questions!
- After 15 real-time in-person interviews you should land at least 1 job offer, mostly likely at a salary $15,000 lower than your expected rate of income.
- This can certainly be a slow process. Patience is necessary! And a smile. 🙂
- Basic to Intermediate technical skills are a given, you’ve got to have something better to say and to put on your resume.
- Everybody has a website, everybody is glued to 5 forms of social media, everybody works on MS Office Suite, so what else have you got?
- Confidence certainly goes a long way, look ’em in the eye, shake their hand gruff, and describe yourself and your work experiences in an exciting and interesting way.
- You need to be entertaining. You can see in the interviewer’s eyes if they’re bored. They’ll look glazed over.
- When they ask you, “Tell me about yourself,” in the interview. Don’t go crazy, be precise, creative, and confident in who you are. You can even pull-out an object and show them who you are rather than tell them. Get creative!
- I honestly can’t think of an object that would describe me. Maybe a laptop, as I’m multi-faceted and equipped with a variety of functions and capabilities to make your day smoother.
- In my opinion whether you’re applying, writing a cover letter, submitting a resume, taking a call, or having an interview the key is this: creativity. Interviewers and hiring managers have seen it all, hiring is a bore, a yawn. Please feel free to be slightly weird, to stand out, and to be engaging in your approach. You’ll lose more in the end by being the boring person they simply cannot remember!
What is it about today’s job market? It really is impossible, but then one day you wake-up and you’re hired and it wasn’t impossible after all. Today getting a job is a very precise process, patience is necessary every step of the way, and so is a can-do attitude.