“How do I get my foot in the door?” is just the tip of the question iceberg when starting your job hunt.
To help answer this question, I spoke with head hunting expert David Perry, who the Wall Street Journal calls the Rogue Recruiter.
With a long list of questions and his expertise on the foot in the door subject, he shared his top tips and advice on how students and new grads can get through the application process and onto the interview!
1. Begin with clarity
Starting your job search with clarity starts with determining the top 10 to 20 employers you want to work for. Doing this is much simpler than you may think!
David recommends that you “figure out what your top three skills are that you can bring to an employer” and go from there.
Then you can search for employers online who are looking for these exact skills and use this to create your wish list.
2. Put yourself online, professionally speaking
Luckily for many Gen Ys, this is virtually a natural instinct. Yet, creating a professional online presence is where we lack skills occasionally. This may be because we don’t know how to or because we’re nervous that what we have to offer won’t be good enough for an employer.
According to David, we shouldn’t feel this way at all. When getting online (in a professional manner), keep these three things in mind:
- Don’t let lack of experience stop you. If you don’t have a ton of “real world” work experience, David says, “don’t worry about the experience – focus on the skills you have.”
- Don’t overlook the skills developed in school: project management, interpersonal, communication, organization, research, writing. These are all very applicable skills that employers love!
- Even if your LinkedIn account isn’t bursting out of the screen with information, David encourages you to remember that this still puts you ahead of those who aren’t online.
3. Let others sell you
Stand out to potential employers by including brief testimonials on your resume or cover letter! Even though these quotes might be brief, David says, “One testimonial from another person is worth 10 claims made by you.”
4. Remember, rejection isn’t forever
Needless to say, not being chosen for a position is discouraging. But to make the most out of the situation, David suggests always sending a hand-written thank you note. Not only does this show the employer that you’re a respectful person, they may call upon you in the future or refer you to another company where they believe you’ll be a great asset!
He also encourages young job hunters to remember that “persistence and understanding are a part of the process, and there are people behind this process – not machines!”
Photo credit: Ian Rendujia