6 Job Search and Application Tips

Summer is coming to a close and companies are starting they search for new hires. If you’re looking to apply to a job think about these 6 tips during your job search.

1. List What You’re Good At and What You Like

Before you start sending out applications to any hiring company, know yourself. List your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, goals and dreams. You’ll waste much less time searching aimlessly online when you know yourself better. You can be more specific in your job search to find a job and company that suits you.

2. Find Something That Suits You and Makes You Happy

Now that you are properly prepared you can start the search. Find a position you can succeed in. Even better, find a company you can support and advance in. Finding a company you can support will give your work meaning and purpose. You’re passion about your work will give you the drive to make an impression and advance through the field.

3. Gather Your Experience and Qualifications

Narrow down what experience and qualifications you have that apply to the job. Think about what you’ll use in your resume, cover letter and portfolio. Do you have any online presence you can included? Or other “outside of the box” qualifiers? You don’t need to list everything on a resume, only items that most apply to the position and create a story about you.

4. Find A Way To Stand Out

When that big pile of black and white resumes lands on the employer’s desk, how are you going to stand out? Will you stand out by the design of your resume? The story in your cover letter? An unique experience? Come up with something creative so you will be remembered.

5. Represent Yourself Correctly

Sometimes we can get caught up in the formality of the job search. Don’t lose yourself in all the paperwork. Make sure you’re presenting yourself in the right way. Don’t sell yourself short. Show some personality and what you can bring to the company. You can do this through what information you choose to share on your resume and cover letter; how you design your resume; and your online presence.

6. Complete The Process

You can find numerous articles and resources on how to create a resume, write a captivating cover letter, properly dress for an interview, and how to prepare interview question and answers, so I won’t dwell on that. Just remember when you are doing the professional thing, be the charismatic you. Show your true self. Let the interviewer get an idea of you are. Genuine personality is more attractive than dishing out answers you think they want to hear.

Today I will be posting more articles and tips on job searching, applying and interviewing on Ask the Young Professional’s Facebook page! Follow today! 

What other job search and application tips do you have?



The Defining Decade – Identity Capital Part 4

Underemployment, it happens to all twentysomethings. Even though we are overqualified we accept these positions for two reasons:

1) A part time job to pay for expenses while we are finishing school
2) A job that gets us in the door for our chosen career path

We could take a part time position in retail or gather tips as a waiter/bartender to pay for schools, bills, rent, etc. An internship or a basic floater position might open up opportunities to work experience, networking and other job opportunities. Underemployment is not exactly glamorous, but as Dr. Meg Jay puts it in The Defining Decade, “some underemployment generates capital that trumps everything else.”

Some underemployment has no credit towards our future. In fact, it can actually hurt our resumes. Underemployment positions after college, with no explanation, are a red flag to future employers. It signals a period of misused time or lack of motivation; qualities a new employer does not want an employee to have.

Underemployment like this can also have an effect on our personal life, sometimes for the long term.

“The longer it takes to get our footing in work, the more likely we are to become, as one journalist put it, ‘different and damaged.’ Research on underemployment twentysomethings tells us that those who are underemployed for as little as nine months tend to be more depressed and less motivated than their peers – than even their unemployed peers. But before we decide that unemployment is a better alternative to underemployment, consider this: Twentysomething unemployment is associated with heavy drinking and depression in middle age even after becoming regularly employed.”

It is important, that we twentysomethings choose what to do with our time and how we plan to gain capital.

“Economist and Sociologists agree that twentysomething work has an inordinate influence on our long–run career success. About two-thirds of life time wage growth happens in the first ten years of a career… the latest data from the US Census Bureau shows that, on average, salaries peak – and plateau – in our forties.”

It is crucial that in our twenties we take the time to explore experiences and gather capital before we are weighed down; before “families and mortgages get in the way of higher degrees and cross-country moves, and salaries rise more slowly.”

Underemployment will happen and there will be tough choices to make. When you are contemplating your decision, think of Dr. Meg Jay’s advice,

“…Take the job with the most capital.”

*All quotes from this post and this post series come from The Defining Decade and should be accredited to Dr. Meg Jay.*

Related articles

Stay Involved

Recently I’ve received advice and then read a couple articles with the same advice… I’m taking this coincidence to mean it is actually important to follow this advice, so I’ll continue this trend by passing it along to you as well.

Stay involved.

That’s basically it. Stay involved in the area to which you want to work.

Stay involved even when you’re out of work. 

While you’re looking for a full time position stay involved by volunteering your skills. For example, if you desire a designing position, offer to design a new webpage for a local company. You can then use that work in a portfolio and you keep your resume fresh with new projects (verses handing out resumes where the most recent dates are 3 years old).

Stay involved while you’re climbing the latter.

If you’re just starting out chances our its good to have that line on your resume, but there won’t be work you can add to a portfolio. You may be in a office position that will get you to that next step but you have nothing to show for to prove the skills you have.

This is a great opportunity to stay involved by doing your own work. If you desire to be a writer, start writing your novel on your own time or create a website. If you want to be a director of photography, work on an indie project. You might not get paid, but you’ll get experience and new material for your demo reel. If you want to be a business owner, start a small business on the side, even if it is just selling your friends home made jewelry.

Staying involved means keeping yourself relevant. You know first hand what is happening in the field. You have current experience.

Staying involved shows that you are passionate to be in this field and you want to be here.

The Gen Y Job Market

Literally 80% of articles I read each day talk about the future of the digital world. The importance of taking advantage of these new developments and making sure you have the skills to work with them.

It seems like the Generation Y is suppose to flourish by coding, creating apps, taking advantage of social media and anything else digital based. The digital world seems to be our golden opportunity to find a job and keep it. If we’re the generation who is the current “experts” on the subject then we better all jump on the band wagon!

Is this just me getting this feeling? Or are you other Gen Y babies feeling the same way? And if so, what are you doing if you didn’t prepare for this digital sensation?

Resume Formatting

Resumes are very important. A lot of people struggle to make their first one. I’ve created a page dedicated to resume formatting. It combines my own work and tips from professionals including from Human Resources.

I just updated the page a few moments ago. I added two example resumes you can download at the bottom of the page.

Check it out and add your suggestions!