A quick guide to job hunt

Quite a few of us are either searching for our first job after school or thinking about making that big jump post the pandemic. Having had extensive experience in job-hunting due to unforeseen circumstances, I want to share a few pearls of wisdom with you –

Pre-gaming before the search –

  1. Roles/Skills – I encourage you to think broadly about the skill sets you have acquired throughout your previous employment/education. For example, think about Java if you have been a Java developer or Python/R if you have been a data scientist. Try not to fixate yourself on particular roles.
  2. Resume – Try a new and fresh format. Limit your resume to one page. Incorporate all the keywords that the roles/skills you decided upon need. Use strong verbs and try to quantify your accomplishments. Make a solid resume because it is the first reflection of you.
  3. Emails/Inmails/Cover letter/Connects – Job hunting is a lot about networking. Make sure you have a uniform format ready for emails to be sent to recruiters, cover letters by roles, and messages you could send while making connections on LinkedIn. Make everything reusable and scalable.
  4. Calendar – Multiple job interviews can be difficult to schedule. Create an account with one of the applications to help you manage your calendar effectively. Calendly worked for me. You can incorporate the link in the email content and signature so that it is easier for recruiters to set up a time on your calendar.

The hunt-

  1. Skills vs. Role – Search for job postings by skills rather than a particular role. For example, search for ‘analytics’ rather than ‘business analyst’.
  2. Networking & Platforms – Linkedin premium can work wonders. The best part is that you can connect with the job posters during your application. It could help with networking and gets your foot in the door. Use your inmail credits wisely.
  3. Need for speed – Apply for jobs posted on the same day. You may apply to jobs that are probably a week old. Applying for a job posted a month ago could be a waste of time.
  4. Be patient – Recruiters work with candidates in batches. You may be in luck to be a part of the first batch if you are quick to apply. The interview process can be painfully long at times. You have to roll with it. Be patient but don’t forget to follow up.
  5. Network – You can network with professionals from the industry at (virtual) career fairs, meetups, information sessions, etc. Networking can help in more than one way. The meetup.com website is a great place to meet professionals from every possible field. Some recruiters screen candidates at the meetups/information sessions.

Interview process – 

  1. Get your answers right – Youtube is full of videos to help you curate your responses correctly. I found videos by Linda Raynier very helpful.
  2. Assessment – Make sure you are technically/analytically prepared to tackle any assessments that come your way as a part of the interview process.
  3. Know your routine – Prepare solid answers for routine interview questions like – Tell me about yourself. Why should we hire you? Why this role? Why this company? Strengths/weaknesses, etc. Remember that every answer should be a story and should follow the STAR format.

Handling Rejections
Don’t give up and don’t lose hope. If you receive a rejection email from a recruiter (vs. an automated response) you could use that to your advantage. You could respond to the rejection email with a message requesting your profile to be considered for other roles. You could even suggest open roles if possible.

In the end
I understand that each of the sections could be a post in itself. I hope to elaborate on them soon. Please email me if you think I can help. God speed.

Superpowers alert!

Venue: Home
Date: 05/01/21, Saturday

1:30 AM: I donned my eye mask and hit the sack. I heard a car screech.
It was the husband and his phone. He had decided to search for a good night’s sleep in car-racing videos. I decided that 1:30 AM was too late to have a conversation about one’s sleeping habits. I wondered if I could instruct my brain to hear sounds selectively – ignore the car-racing and only hear either his voice or if my phone rang (in case of emergencies). That would be perfect! One thing led to another, and I ended up thinking how amazing it would be to have the following superpowers –

Selective hearing: How cool would it be if you could hear only selected sounds? Imagine you stay in Mumbai near a Metro construction site. You could completely turn off the construction noise using the technique, and live through the Metro construction process peacefully! You could tune into nature sounds when you want some peace. Wouldn’t that be great? Of course, there are cons, but we won’t go there.

Intuition: How many mistakes could have been avoided if we knew an attempt was going to fail? If we had strong intuition, all of us would have dabbled with cryptocurrencies and the stock market and made loads of money. Strong intuition would have helped us make the right decisions at all times and avoid numerous heartbreaks!

Telepathy: What if we did not require Google duo/WhatsApp/Zoom/Webex to interact? What if we could communicate with others with our minds? How cool and funny would it be to be able to read each other’s minds? It would be a boon in relationships!

Teleportation: Imagine if we could teleport ourselves to different places in a matter of seconds. We could go to Italy for some pasta and wine for dinner, followed by New York for some late-night partying! Of course, some places would be more crowded than the others. We would also be able to live in our home countries and teleport ourselves to work every day. Won’t that be a dream come true?

Trans-medium existence: Why only walk on land? What if we could breathe underwater as we breathe on land? We could set up cities underwater, hang out with mermaids, race with dolphins, and fly alongside the birds!

Healing powers: Wolverine and the other X-Men can heal themselves. What if we could heal not only ourselves but also nature? What if we could avoid forest fires and restore the glaciers? We could reinstate the balance of nature.

Understand all languages: What would it be like to understand and speak all languages? We could decipher the carvings from temples, pyramids, and old scriptures. Imagine the ocean of knowledge we could dive into!

Mind control: Bored of cooking, cleaning, and the endless laundry? What if all you needed to do was ‘think’ of a chore, and it would be done automatically? What if you thought of pasta sitting on your bed and it was already ‘cooked’ and ready to be served by the time you stepped into the kitchen? What if you could control all gadgets using your brain too?

Personal weather control: Do you like the rain and your partner does not? Do you like gloomy weather but live in a desert with no clouds? Personal weather control could help you set up the weather for yourself. You could enjoy a rainy afternoon in Arizona and feel the sunshine on yourself in Iceland! Imagine all the greenhouse gas emissions we would avoid!

One earth: This is not much of a superpower but food for thought. What if all of us were treated equally? What if there were no borders? What if we were NOT divided by countries/race/class/creed/medium? What if dolphins, sharks, humans, horses, and birds were treated the same? What if we could travel without visas? What if there was no concept of developing countries and third-world countries? What if Syria and Mumbai had equal opportunities? What if all areas of the earth were equally developed? What if we lived by the concept of ‘One earth’? What if we could push ourselves to think and work for a ‘higher cause’ and not fight on petty issues.

Somewhere between personal weather control and One earth, I fell asleep. I am still trying to decide which superpower I would want for myself. The concept of ‘one earth’ has stuck with me. I wish we lived in a world where every living being was considered equal.

What do you think? Which superpower would you want to have? Awaiting your thoughts in the comments.