For those of you who didn’t land the dream internship which turned into the perfect full-time job offer before walking across the stage and receiving your college diploma, know this: you are not alone, and you are doing just fine. (If you did in fact have that awesome internship turned full-time position, congrats!) If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed or discouraged during your job search, check out these 5 tips I’ve adapted to my own life during this transition to make it a bit more enjoyable:
- Know your worth
This is so important, and I cannot stress this enough during this vulnerable time. Over and over again it is easy to compare ourselves to our peers and see all the qualities we don’t have. We read job postings only to conclude that we are not qualified enough. We go through intense interviews only to realize the person(s) on the other side of the table are comparing our answers to their 20+ other applicants. We are continually asked, “How’s the job searching going?” only to give a mere “Still going” response. I don’t know about you, but these are frustrating situations for me. Know that society will try to label your worth based on your current position/accomplishments, and know that you are worth so much more. Continue to stay positive by reminding yourself of all your awesome, unique qualities and make sure to show them off in your resume and cover letters!
- Adapt a Schedule
No more school, no work…sounds like I get to sleep in until noon, right? WRONG. Job searching is now your full-time position, congratulations. Having a schedule helps me stay motivated. Granted my schedule may look a little different than someone who has an office job with my increased flexibility (ha, okay, definitely way more flexibility) but I still hold myself accountable to complete tasks throughout my day. This includes, X number of job applications, follow up phone calls, in person office visits, etc. I’ve found it helpful to keep a list of all positions I’ve applied to, date & time I made a follow up phone call, and log whether I’ve heard back from the company. (Note: No, I was not always this organized. I realized this when I received a follow up phone call from a company I never remembered applying to because their information got lost in the 20+ other job apps from that day. Save yourself the same embarrassment, guys.)
- Get outside your comfort zone
Apply to that utilities company. Consider taking an internship. Get out and network. Although it may be hard to see this time as a blessing, it is. I have been able to research and open my eyes to many different types of work and learn of companies I never knew existed all because I a) have the time and b) want to know of all my possible opportunities. Don’t sell yourself short. Apply to that job halfway across the world, what have you got to lose? Walking outside your comfort zone will introduce you to people you never would have met beforehand. Keep those connections and add them to your network.
- Personalize all applications
Does every application need a cover letter if the employer doesn’t specify to include one? Yes. Worst case scenario, they don’t look at it. Best case scenario, you are seen as an overachiever and they hire you on the spot (or call you in for an interview immediately). Spend the extra 5 minutes and just personalize your application. I get it, it’s tiring. I’m not saying you need to custom write each cover letter and develop a new resume for each application (super overachievers, go for it); however, if I were on a hiring committee, I would appreciate seeing some personalized cover letters instead of a cookie cutter format that is not specific at all.
- “Happiness is…”
One of my best gals, Maggie, once told me she made a list full of all the things that makes her happy and if she was ever feeling down, she would go to her list and pick something to do. Job searching is stressful. Make sure to add a little (or a lot of) happiness to your life. This could be as simple as driving with your windows down blasting your favorite tune, catching up with friends over drinks, or planning a weekend getaway. The point is, create a balance between all the stress and make sure to give yourself a well-deserved break every now and then.
Good luck my fellow job-searchers, hopefully these 5 tips help make your days a bit easier. Have any other secret tips you recommend? Comment and share your knowledge!