Next week, I will be starting a new nursing job. It seems like yesterday that I started classes at USG. Those two years went by fast! For those who plan to graduate this spring, I thought it might be helpful to share some job searching techniques that just might help you land your dream job.
Let’s focus on the basics of the job hunt as most of us forget that it should be a simple process. I found an article by Jenny Foss that effectively outlines things we may have forgotten about the job search. Here are some tips I love:
- Since most resumes are seen first by ‘gatekeepers’ (i.e., not the actual people who can hire you for the actual job), you must make sure your resume mirrors their wording in the job description. It will not seem creative or clever, but if these gatekeepers (HR professionals, administrative assistants, etc.) see the exact words mentioned in their ad, they will be most likely to send your resume on to the next chain in the process. It is particularly important when applying for government jobs as they are often screened by a computer that looks for words that match the job description.
- Did you apply for a job online? If so, it pays to follow up with the company. You may have to call the human resources department multiple times to make sure they received your inquiry. Do you know someone who works for this company? Reach out to see if you can come in to learn more about what they do and see more of what the company is all about. Even if they are not doing the actual job you want, it is a good way to get one toe in the door and most people are flattered when someone asks them for an informational interview. My sister found her current job by reaching out to the director of the company. Even though the director told her they were not currently hiring, my sister still said she would love to come in to meet her and to find out more about what the company did. Turns out, they were so impressed with her, they created a job just for her.
- After an interview, do you send notes or emails thanking every person you met? If not, you should. Most people do not do this crucial step which means that your thank you will stand out even if your interview was less than stellar. It says a lot about someone who takes the time to write and thank someone for their time. And it is perfectly acceptable to email a thoughtful note. After my nurse externship, I sent thank you’s to my preceptor, the nurse manager and the directors of the program. It is a great way to be remembered by people who are super busy.
And what about social media? A friend of mine interviewed for a public relations job after graduating from college. She did not get the job and when she called her contact to thank them for the opportunity, the contact told her that they had looked at her Instagram account and were turned off by what they saw. When my friend went back to look through her account, she concluded it must have been because of photos of her drinking at fraternity parties as well as her posts containing profane language. The bottom line is to just make sure that what you share on social media, would be something you would not be embarrassed for a future employer to see. Check out these tips for tidying up your social media accounts.
There are so many resources for the job searcher. I hope these simple and straight forward tips help get to on the right track to finding a job you love.