3 ways to make job hunting easier (and possibly land your dream job)

So first off, I know what you’re thinking: two posts in one day, is this girl crazy?! Yes, I am, but that’s neither here nor there. I am here and you are there, so I figured I’d share with you my heres to entertain you over theres.

My last post was kind of brutal; very cynical and bitter and pretty much a downer to anyone pursuing a college education, and for that I am sorry (for you, not me, I stand by every word I said, er, typed).

But amidst the anger and frustration, I actually do believe a college education is a beautiful thing, and if I had an endless supply of green, I’d probably take classes forever (don’t forget, the previous post was all about how MY college degree is worthless, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up on the institution as a whole, although it could definitely use some fine-tuning but that’s chatter for another day, another blog post).

Moving on.

In between my bouts of giving up and feeling melodramatically melancholy, I am actually looking for a “real” job (still have yet to clearly define a job as being “real” so we will have to settle for the air quotes for now and call it a day). Having recently moved from sunny Florida to, er, sunny California (all that schooling and I can’t find an adjective better than sunny? sigh), I’m basically in the midst of figuring out what I want to do with myself in my new state, figuratively and literally; I’m digging this state so far, great weather without the crappy Florida humidity, and the people are much more on my level than the general population of the Sunshine State (at least that time it wasn’t my lack of clever descriptive words). Wait, so if Florida is the Sunshine State, what is California? Excuse me while I Google… ah, okay, the Golden State. Not that original, but none of them really are, now are they?

Getting back to the point. What’s my point again? Is this why I can’t find a job? Shit.

Okay, so job hunting. It’s never really a fun thing and it can tend to become very frustrating, especially if you’re currently unemployed and are becoming desperate, but just remember everyone, at some point in their lives, has been or will be where you currently are. Try to maintain a positive outlook and know that, eventually, you will find the right fit (and all those rejection letters that came before just weren’t meant to be, no matter how badly you thought you wanted them). Here are a few tips to get you going in the right direction:

Edit your resume. Before you go sending your resume out to a bunch of potential new bossman bosses, take a quick scan over it to make sure everything on it is current, accurate and relevant. Did you move? Did you change your phone number? Even little things that seem as insignificant as that are important, so make sure all of your information is correct. Then, take a look at your work experience, education and even extracurriculars. It isn’t necessary to have every job you ever had listed on there, but whoever’s doing the hiring is going to want to see some relevant experience,  so make sure that stuff’s on there. If you don’t have any relevant experience (if you’re switching careers or fresh out of school), that’s okay too. Make sure you show you have general work experience, that you know what it is to work hard and accentuate the skills you already possess in a way that makes them relevant to the position you’re applying for. You will have to work a little harder to prove you can handle something you’ve never done before but it’s not unheard of, so don’t lose faith in yourself. Just remember, always be honest about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s enough. It’s better to have a resume that’s a little lighter, one that might not get you the interview, than to beef your resume up with lies and get called out on it later.

Set goals. It’s important to give yourself something to work towards. It could be that you want to apply to a certain number of jobs a day; it could be you’re holding out on quitting your current job until you find the right one, not just the next one. Whatever it is, have a goal(s) in mind to keep you motivated and positive. You’d be surprised how much stress is eliminated when you have a plan.

Be persistent. This is especially important if you’re currently unemployed. It’s important to remember that something will come along eventually; it may be when you least expect it, but if you remain active in the search, eventually something will come your way. After all, everything is a numbers game, and if you send out enough resumes, something is bound to come back. The hardest part isn’t finding any ole job, it’s waiting for the right one to present itself, but it’s not going to unless you stay at it and remind yourself that there is a purpose to your search and you are accomplishing something just by looking and inquiring, even if at times you feel like you’re getting nothing done. You are. Before you know it, you’ll go on an interview or two (or three, no big deal how many it takes), and then you’ll be getting ready for your first day in a new career.

When it comes to the actual interview, though, you’re on your own. I come across much better on paper (I am skilled with the written word, after all) and tend to get really nervous during interviews (I think it’s all the pressure to impress). All I can tell you is dress appropriately, be confident and be yourself. Talk about yourself in a positive, yet humble, way that lets your interviewer/potential new boss know that you have the skills and knowledge they’re looking for and that you would be an asset to their team. Try not to be fake, because if they do hire you, you’ll have to keep up that fake persona and that’s just never a good idea. No one is better at being you than you, so I’d lead with that. Unless you’re a serial rapist or an axe murderer, then I’d be someone else.

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