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 –
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Skills vs. Role – Search for job postings by skills rather than a particular role. For example, search for ‘analytics’ rather than ‘business analyst’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 –
- Get your answers right – Youtube is full of videos to help you curate your responses correctly. I found videos by Linda Raynier very helpful.
- Assessment – Make sure you are technically/analytically prepared to tackle any assessments that come your way as a part of the interview process.
- 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.