My very talented husband is looking for a new job due to restructuring. His company, Fuse, was just recently sold. As he starts to polish off his resume, it reminded me of the advice my father gave me when I graduated and was looking for a job. He told me to read What Color Is Your Parachute. At the core of the book, it’s all about networking and managing your expectations for transition. If you’re looking for a new job, I’d recommend reading it.
While you’re waiting for amazon drone to deliver, here’s some wisdom I’ve rounded up with my perspective as a hiring manager:
1. Tell everyone you’re looking for a job. (If you don’t want your employer to know that you’re looking, then only do this with people you trust—-i.e. not on facebook or by the Keurig machine in the break room at work.) Social media is a obvious. What about sending your resume to friends and relatives via email? You may think that your Aunt doesn’t know anyone in the news world, but you never know who she goes to brunch with (the grandmother of the guy who works at NY1, that’s who).
2. Be clear about what you’re looking for. I can’t help you if you’re simply looking for a job. But if you’re looking for a job as a digital content producer with expertise in social media and are interested in the nonprofit space, then yes, let’s definitely meet because I’m hiring!
3. Find a good fit—for you and for them. There’s nothing worse than someone who thinks they can do or be anything. A resume that lands on my desk that isn’t a good fit for the position is a waste of time for everyone, and indicates that the individual is desperate, or not realistic about what their skills are. So you’ve been in the hospitality industry for the last 5 years but think you are a good candidate for my digital strategy position?
4. Once you get the interview, don’t be stupid. For the love of god, be on time. Bring a copy of your resume. Do a google search and know what’s going on in the news for the company, the industry, etc. Browse their website and social media. Listen to the interviewer.
5. Say thanks. Send a follow up, right away. Don’t just do the cursory thank you note. If you’ve listened and asked questions during the interview, you should understand the problems they are facing so that you can tell them how you would approach solving them in your thoughtful follow up, which I do read, carefully, I might add.
6. Ask why not. I once interviewed someone who didn’t get the job but had the wisdom to ask why not. I really appreciated that she wanted to know what she could do better next time. If you’ve made it to a second round and don’t get the position, ask why. It may help you to fix a flaw next time round. (FYI she was qualified but didn’t seem passionate about our work. See #3.)
If this all seems obvious, then good! Tell me what you’ve learned during your job search that was successful in the comments below.
* This amazing article about organizing your search from HBR. Must read.
* Don’t write a cover letter, write a pain letter.
* More on writing a simple cover letter. I barely read the ones I get because they’re too long and there’s no time. The one I liked the most last week had bullets because it made it easier to read, but that’s just me.
And by the way, my husband’s linkedin is here. He’s a writer with a background in print and online journalism, as well as digital strategy. He’s funny and cute. Send any leads his way, please!