Okay, kiddos, block and tackle time.
Getting a job is complicated, but there are some basic, basic steps that you _have_ to take in the process. There’s a ton more (personal branding, etc), but those are for other posts.
I know I’m gonna get flamed by somebody who “didn’t do this step or that step, and still got a job”, but the reality is that they got lucky. Annnd, I’m willing to bet that they missed out on a job offer or two by being lazy. Granted, this is all just my opinion/ experience, but… Here are the basic steps in the waltz:
- Commit to a job change – don’t use an offer as a lever to get more money at your current employer. That’s not just unethical (ie, wasting somebody elsestime & money on a lie), but can blow up in your face – people remember being on the receiving end of that kind of tactic, and god help you if you try and apply to a job somewhere down the line and they’re part of the interview process – they’ll kill you dead from spite alone.
- Create a solid, chronological resume. There are tons of great examples out there.
- No first person resumes.
- Keep it to 2 pages – seriously.
- No picture on it – I mean, WTF?
- Don’t snail-mail it. That just gets you laughed at.
- Include links to your professional on-line profile (ZoomInfo, LinkedIn, etc), and/ or your personal site (if it’s professional), portfolio, etc
- Create an on-line profile if you haven’t – it’s ridiculously easy, and makes you look smart. We all need help there.
- Target the companies you want to work for, and individualize your email/ cover letter to that company – don’t SPAM, people on the receiving end (a la, moi) can tell, and hate it.
- Because you’re going to lose track of stuff if you keep it in your head. Create a tracking spreadsheet – or, download the the Job Search Log template into Excel:
- Columns for: company; job applied to; contact name; columns for address, email, etc; date you applied; date you followed up; date of first interview, second etc; date you sent out thank you; final result (yes/ no/ on hold); column for notes – what you liked/ disliked, etc
- Keep this up to date
- Follow the spreadsheet – it’s your Sherpa. Do the follow ups, etc
- Prep for the interview
- Use ZoomInfo to research the people you’re going to meet with – it’s free, and you’re going to look pretty darned impressive.
- Have a suit/ outfit cleaned and set aside for interview – that way, if they say “can you come in tomorrow”, something as lame as having ketchup on your white shirt won’t hold you back.
- Bring paper copies of your resume, in a professional binder, with paper for note – hell, put some of your questions in there as well, we don’t mind if you cheat a bit.
- Plan your route – if at all possible, drive to the spot the night before, so that you know exactly where it is, and if there are going to be any weird quirks (construction, security, etc) that might make the trip take longer than you thought.
- Get there 10 minutes early – no earlier, no later. If you do arrive before then, great – use the time to sit in your car, on a park bench, etc, to go over your questions, print outs of the ZoomInfo profiles of the people you’re going to meet, etc
- Don’t be late. It’s rude – oh, and it can kill you off the bat…
- Get cards/ contact info from everyone you meet
- Send thank-yous to everyone you met. We do talk about people who do/ don’t do that. If the thank you is good, we even forward it around to each other with little notes like “nice follow up”, and “I like this – let’s bring him back in” (honest – I’ll even re-post en exact email like that after this missive is done).
- If you don’t get the job, be graceful about it – don’t demand to know why, since you’ll usually never get a complete answer (people are nice – who wants to tell somebody “well, you give really lame answers to questions”?)
- Huuuge bonus points if you tell the rejecter: “While I’m disappointed, because I think you’re a really interesting company, I understand. I’d be happy to tell my friend’s about other roles at the company – are there any needs you have that are pressing right now?” Hell, you tell me that, I might just try and steal you for my team…