I’ve been job hunting for the most part of the past 3 years. I think I could call myself a semi-pro of job-hunting because I tend to change jobs every couple years. And I for sure know that it’s certainly no easy game.
Of course it depends on what field you’re in, but competition is often fierce and, unless your skills and qualifications are outstanding, you risk being on the job market for months at a time.
Thou shalt not despair, though, since there are a few clever ways to speed the process up a bit (that often go unnoticed) to help you secure that dream job you never thought you had a chance at.
Here are a couple of the best ways to give your resume that cutting edge so that you can get started on your career as soon as possible.
#1 Ask a mentor
Mentors often bring to mind those that we are assigned during our time at University or someone you meet through a specific mentor program. Actually, it doesn’t have to be quite so formal, and you can definitely enjoy the benefits of a mentor without having to be involved in a program.
In fact, the best mentors are those you already know – and preferably those with years or even decades of experience in the field.
An example; my boyfriend mentors me as well as other people on the wonders of SEO and building and maintaining a website. He’s done this for years and being the nerd that he is, he has a lot of inside information that no school will ever be able to teach you.
Having a mentor to guide you through the recruitment process, helping you land that first important job, and even give you a heads-up in terms of the skills your potential employer will be looking for is of tremendous value.
How and where you find a mentor is up to you; maybe your parents know someone in your field or a professor, or perhaps your former University or a current employer may be able to help you out.
From personal experience I would perhaps not suggest going straight to your significant other unless you’re both more docile beings. We could’ve avoided many fights if I knew someone who would know as much on SEO as my boyfriend does but it is as it is 😊
#2 Take an extra course
If you’re able to find out more about the other applicants and it turns out that most or all of them are straight out of University with nothing to show for, except the courses they studied, you can easily put yourself far ahead of the competition by taking an extra course.
And I’m not talking about University courses here, or something that would necessarily take too much of your time and money, oh no. Just stop for a minute and think about the skills you might need that you can put on your resume; find some InDesign classes, for example, or a Photoshop course if this is something that can help you stand out. Internet is bursting with tuition material for any field.
Another tip would be to ask your mentor about this. Since all jobs require a different set of skills, you’ll be much better off when you know for certain what they’re looking for. Your former University teachers or tutors will definitely be able to help you on this – and probably happy to do so.
#3 Remember to network
The great thing about University is that you get to network without even trying. Everyone around you is heading into the same type of field, are all completely new to the job and looking for other people who can help them out in reaching for that bright future.
But networking shouldn’t end to the day when you’re handed your degree and bid farewell to your teachers and fellow students. This is one of the most important times to continue your networking efforts and make sure that you’re able to keep a circle of people who you can help out and who may help you out in return.
Some of the courses you attend(ed) may have like-minded people who are also looking to break into the market, so remember to stay social and chat with people about what they’re doing.
You never know if someone might be aware of an open position somewhere or if they should think about you in the future (I can vouch for this since I have been recommended places all over Europe by people I’ve met even just briefly).
Keep your options open by staying in touch with those you meet. That way you’re in a much better position to land that dream job and get ahead of the game.