Right now I’m relaxing while reading a book and eating cookies, but let’s be honest, the past few weeks have been a weird, confusing ride.
Since I officially dropped out of university and started looking for a job I realized that there are certain things school doesn’t teach you. Like how to do your laundry or fill in tax forms or even the most basic thing to do after college: how to apply for a job.
Ofcourse I’ve applied for student jobs in the past, but those things were just for the summer and didn’t require that much work. I’d show up at a store, say “Hey, I saw you were looking for someone, HERE I AM.” and most of the time I’d be hired. That is not the case if you’re looking for a full-time job. I’ve been searching for a job for less than a month now and I’ve made some mistakes but I also may have a job next week (fingers crossed). So here’s a little list to help you guys nail your jobsearch.
- Apply to everything
Naturally you have to decide in what sector you want to work first. For me it was simple, I’ve done several jobs in retail over the past summers and I quite liked it. The biggest thing is that you can’t bet all your money on one horse. Don’t apply to one job and just assume that you’ll get hired. Apply to four, five, six, yes even twenty jobs. It increases your chances of finding something. The clue here is to not be too picky. Of course you want to work in an environnement that you love and with a compagny you adore but sometimes they just aren’t looking for someone.
- Dress to impress
You may have heard this a lot but it’s true. You need to dress for the job you want. If you eventually want to be the Big Boss of the compagny, dress like it on your interview. I went for a jobinterview in the Delhaize, a supermarket here in Belgium and the employers have to wear a shirt or vest of the delhaize so basically it doesn’t really matter when you wear. I came in a blazer, dressy top and dark jeans (so it would be more casual) and I felt way more confident than if I had sat there in a hoodie.
TIP: plan that outfit! Lay it out. That way you won’t have to stress in the morning about what you want to wear.
- “You need me!”
We all know that a CV is one of the most important things while applying for jobs. So don’t be afraid to change it to fit different jobs and no, I don’t mean lie. I mean that you can have different CV’s for different job applications which highlights different assets. They need to know why you are the best applicant for this specific job, not everything you ever did. If you’re going for a management position, write down all your skills as a leader and specific situations that required teamwork and leadership. Don’t tell them about how you spend one summer cleaning the school, tell them about your lemonade stand when you were a kid because you’ve always loved taking initiative and you’re a go-getter (now okay, maybe don’t put this on your CV but mention it in your interview as a little anecdote).
- Google is your best friend
Google the compagny you want to work for. Find out who their CEO is, what accomplishments they have, how long have they been in business. What products do they make? Which demographic are they focussing on. You may think this isn’t important when you want to work in for example retail, but it is. Finding out the views and goals of a compagny is a big step in deciding if it fits with your lifestyle and interests. For exemple, I had an interview at Scapa, I did not research the style beforehand and when I got there I was like “Yeah, not for me, I’m more of a casual, H&M girl.” Well, they actually liked me and they wanted to hire me immediately. I turned them down because I knew that in the long run I’d feel like I didn’t fit in. GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE.
This is one of the mistakes I made. I just wanted to get a job so when I went to my job hunter office thing I said yes to everything. Callcenter? YES! Scapa? YES! Working until 10? YES! When I got home I started rethinking everything and I came to the conclusion that about half of the things I said yes to weren’t really what I wanted or were way too far. By then I was too scared to call my job consultant and be like “Actuallyyy, no.” So I went along with it. Within no time there were 3 stores that wanted me but I really didn’t want to work there. It came to a point where I purposely didn’t pick up the phone when my job consultant called me (I am sooo sorry!). So be completely honest with your consultant and with the compagnies you’re applying to and avoid the messy bits.
- Be yourself
Be the best version of yourself, trust that you are awesome and if the other doesn’t want you, it’s their loss. Because you are a badass (Thank you Jen Sincero!) and nothing can stop you. Show the compagny who you are and you will do great. If you’re somebody you’re not, you won’t feel good about the interview and it will affect if you get the job or not.
Relax, take a deep breath and have fun.