Transitioning into a career is a big life change. We know all about that. Whether this is your first full time job, or your third, we’ve put together some resources and tips to help ease your stress.
Resumes are very subjective. Give just enough information to explain what you did, but leave a hook that will open up conversation. Intrigue them. I don’t believe in giving away everything on a resume. Show your experience, but make sure you have highlights to discuss in the interview. You’ll have nothing to talk about if you give it all away!
List your skills, share your LinkedIn (make sure it’s updated). If it’s a job out of state, make sure you put somewhere you’re willing to relocate. Sell yourself and don’t tread lightly on what you’ve done. This is your time to shine! NEVER lie. If the job requires something you don’t have, stress you are EAGER to learn – the excitement factor. No one wants someone who doesn’t care about the job.
Find opportunities in your experience – think outside the box. You filed papers, but you didn’t just ‘file papers’ – that helped your organization level increase ten-fold and saved the company time and efficiencies.
There’s a mixed opinion on where to put your education – being fresh out of college, typically means you’ll have little to no experience. Putting the graduation year is a little bit of a trap at times, it shows you’re young. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just listing your degree – and if they ask, tell. But then again, if you are applying for entry levels – they know you will be young. So it just depends on what you’re going for.
Keep reminding yourself it’s a competition, so at the end of the day you need something that makes you different from everyone else. How will you benefit their company? Why will they do better with you there? What makes you an asset? Try to answer these questions with your resume.
Have a PDF, a Google doc, a Word doc, any and every version you can think of. Submissions can get wonky and you never know which type you’ll need to submit. Be overly prepared for any scenario.
Do not have a generic cover letter for every job – tailor it for each one, and remember to mark off which jobs asked for a cover letter in your notes.
Free Resume & Cover Letter Templates:
Tell yourself you’re excited. Even if you’re nervous. You’re also excited. Especially if it’s a phone call. It’s harder to make an impression over the phone, but if they can sense you’re excited – it goes a long way.
Employers KNOW you’re nervous. They expect it. Don’t let fear and nerves consume you. Again, nerves mean you care! Do your research ahead of time, have your questions at the ready. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll feel.
“What questions do I ask?“
Save your questions for the end and be mindful of their time. If there’s 10 minutes left, only ask 1 or 2 – depending on their reaction when you tell them you want to be mindful of their time, will determine how many more you continue to ask. Be sure to ask your most important one first.
- If you have a question that can’t be answered on their website – ask it. Avoid things that make it look like you didn’t do your research.
- Ask the other person what they love most about their job. People love to talk about themselves, plus it’ll give you insight and you’ll be able to tell if they’re being genuine about it or not.
- What does the company offer in terms of bettering your career? Do they train you? How will you grow there? You want to assure them you expect to be an asset, and they need to help accommodate that.
Employers know when you are kissing up to them vs. when you are being honest. Don’t note that you absolutely love that thing you read about them 2 minutes ago – make sure you’re being genuine.
Be prompt on the phone. Have a notebook at the ready. Have a sheet with your questions in view. Smile when you’re on the phone. You can hear a smile, I swear.
In person, be early, always. (10-15 minutes) Be yourself but try your best to match the interviewer’s body language and tone. Example: I am quite bubbly and friendly – if an interviewer is more reserved, this can come off negative even when you’re not meaning to be. Depending on the job you’re going for (I believe it’s best) to have a portfolio and extra copies of your resume.
Eye contact is important. If you feel like you’re starting to stumble over your words, breathe and regroup. Remind yourself you deserve to be there, you’ve earned it. You are capable of this job or you wouldn’t be in the interview for it!
These are important.
One time I got an internship position solely on the fact that I sent a follow up email thanking them for their time after my interview and no one else did.
Send an email as soon as you’re finished with your call. You are looking forward for next steps and you appreciated their time speaking with you. You’re looking forward to the interview they scheduled. Follow. Up.
If it’s been a week and they told you, you’d hear back in a few days. Call them. Tell them you’re just checking in and look forward to hear from them soon. Send them an email if they don’t return your call. Be persistent. Your name will resurface when you follow up during their time with other interviewees. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Sometimes you won’t hear back, and it’s crappy. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t happen – unfortunately it does. You wouldn’t want to work for a company like that anyway. Keep plugging away! All it takes is one yes.
The big and awkward question.
“I’m young and have little to no experience, so I should take whatever they offer me.”
Do not do this. Research what the JOB is worth. Take the pay if it’s fair. You need to know ahead of time what types of jobs you’re applying for and what the job is worth. Do your research. Use Glassdoor. Use Payscale.
If the interviewer asks YOU what you’re looking for salary wise, tell them the halfway number of what you’ve researched. If a job says 20k-30k, say 25k. You’ve researched the job, so you know what it’s worth. Say you are excited for the opportunity to grow in their company.
It’s so important to do this research and to also create a budget sheet for yourself. You need to know what you can realistically take money wise and be able to live. You won’t be able to buy everything you want right off the bat, but you do need to live like a normal person. You deserve that. Gmail has budget sheets in their templates – fill this out. Plug in different numbers in that salary range you found and see what you can take.
Check out our additional resources here, that include job hunting tips and industry resources. We hope you found this helpful – if you have anything else to add or have ideas on how we can improve, please let us know! We’d love to hear from you.