I spy with my little eye and it looks like a nerve-wracking and gut-wrenching activity
-“The job hunt?”
Bingo! The job hunt is stressful. It’s an insecure period where you’re competing with other job seekers and where you’ll likely face a couple of rejections down the road.
Now, I can’t make the job hunt easy or fun. But a couple of weeks ago Marketers shared how they made the job hunt more bearable during @Brianne2k’s #BrandJam. I took notes and shared a Twitter thread. And now, I’m turning it into an article, which will cover
- How to stand out during the application procedure
- Why your personal brand matters
- Why you shouldn’t go all-in on the job hunt
- The power of your network
- Why and how you should ask for transparency
- How to deal with rejections
Applying: Reach out, stand out, follow up
The more job application forms recruiters receive, the more time they need to read through all of them. You’re competing with many other job hunters during the entire the job application process. Time for you to get noticed by the recruiters: stand out from the crowd!
Reach out to the Recruiter
The more personal you go, the more success you’ll have. #BrandJam speakers argued that you should reach out to recruiters and hiring managers before even submitting your resume and cover letter. You’ll build initial relationships, leave a positive impression, and you will be remembered.
- Drop by the office: Some mentioned how they went to office of the hiring company to drop their resume and shake hands with the recruiters and hiring managers. They showed their face, left a positive impression, and showed to the recruiters that they went the extra mile. (Obviously, don’t do this while COVID-19 is around)
- Slide into the DMs: Many positions are posted on Social Media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Use the benefits of Social Media and be social: reach out to the Hiring Manager, send them a DM, and initiate a short chat about the open position.
- Call or send an email: If you have any initial questions before applying, send an email to the recruiter or hop on a call.
Go the extra mile
I know that the LinkedIn ‘Easy Apply’ button looks tempting, but it’s difficult for you to stand out from other job applicants if you only sent your LinkedIn profile to the recruiters. So go the extra mile:
- Write that cover letter. It’s one extra touchpoint and it qualifies you: It shows the hiring managers that you want the job.
- Research the hiring company. Who are they? Who are their customers? Can you identify any issues you can solve?
- Use that information when writing your cover letter and during the interview. Show the recruiters that you’ve done your research.
By using the briefcase technique, you can sell yourself to the company. Check out how the briefcase technique works
Don’t hesitate to send recruiters a follow-up if you haven’t heard from them for a long while. They might just be busy, they might be ghosting you. Who knows? There’s one way to find out: Email them or initiate a phone call!
Keep in mind: Following up is not a sign of desperation. It just shows that you want the job.
Target your communication
Respect the time and attention of the recruiters and hiring managers, because they have to go through an incredible amount of job application forms:
- Communicate short, clearly, and to-the-point. When you write resumes and cover letter, put the most relevant information at the beginning. Tell them who you are, what you are looking for, and how you can be a valuable addition to the company.
Having a strong personal brand can help you during the job hunt. Recruiters aren’t only interested in what you can do, but also in who you are. A strong Personal Brand tells others who you are, what your interests and hobbies are, and what professional and personal things you’ve accomplished.
Hobbies and personal projects are part of your personal brand. So yes, definitely add the following to your portfolio:
- Blog posts you’re proud of
- Your personal website
- University projects you’ve done
- Examples of voluntary work projects
- Skills you’ve taught yourself, why and how
- Your hobbies
Stay true to yourself
Resumes tell, but your personal brand shows. If you show your true self, you are humanizing yourself. And that’s powerful. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Show the interviewers who you really are. Show your strengths and weaknesses.
And if you don’t meet the requirements for a specific role (e.g. lack of experience), still apply. And show the interviewers your enthusiasm and will to learn.
Your job hunt shouldn’t be a full-time job
The job hunt is already tiring and stressful enough. Don’t let it dominate your workweek. Make sure to schedule some ‘me-time.’: Weekly days where you take care of your mental health
Use your network
We all have friends, family, peers, teachers and colleagues who believe in you and who are willing to help you out. So make use of that network. Your network can help you during the job hunt, by keeping you motivated, suggesting you job positions, or even offering you a job.
If you don’t have that network yet, start building it right now:
- Go to (online) networking events
- Build relationships with other Marketers on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Add value to other people’s lives
When you consistently help other people out, these people are willing to help you out as well.
Set your boundaries, ask for transparency
Companies have the right to know who you are, what you’ve done and what you can do. And you have the right to know what the company stands for. Demand transparency from the company you’re interviewing with.
You have the right to know everything. So ask questions and set boundaries
- Ask for the salary range before the interview.
- Ask for the entire interview procedure: How many rounds will there be? How many candidates are there? Why do you need x rounds?
- Ask for the work culture – How is the atmosphere like? Are you as flexible as you claim to be?
- If they ask you to do an assessment, ask them what the purpose of the assessment. What will they do with the assessment? Will I get compensated for the time I’ve put into the assessment?
- Ask when you will hear from the recruiters at the latest
You don’t want to discover that the salary range is too low for your standards during the last interview round. Neither do you want to find out that you’ve accepted a job offer at a toxic workplace.
So ask for transparency. Ask questions. The company interviews you, so you should interview the company as well.
You want to make sure to have a healthy relationship with your future employer. And the interviewing stage is one of the earliest stages where you’ll find out if the engagement between you and your employer works out. So use the interview to the fullest.
When you click on the Tweet above, you’ll be redirected to a thread full of job interview preparation tips.
Rejections suck. Period. And while you certainly should take the time to be sad about your rejection, you shouldn’t take the rejection personally:
- It’s not your fault, it’s the hiring company’s fault. It’s their environment and apparently you didn’t match that environment. They overlooked your talent.
- When you get rejected, be sure to ask why. Sometimes, recruiters and hiring managers give valid reasons and useful advice and tips you can use when applying for other jobs
- When you’ve been rejected for vague or ridiculous reasons, you might have dodged a bullet. Especially when the company has ghosted you. You don’t want to find yourself working in an inconsiderate or toxic work environment.
And sometimes, selecting the right candidate is just like a lottery. Being rejected sucks, but time will come.
BrandJam by Brianne2k
These were notes from Brianne2k’s #BrandJam. Every Monday, Brianne hosts a Social Audio room on Twitter, where she invites people to share their experiences about Personal Branding
Click on the Tweet to unfold the original thread I wrote about Brianne’s #BrandJam session.
About Jelle Postma
Hi, I’m Jelle! A 23-year old Junior Marketing who is currently on the job hunt! I’m active on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn from other Marketers and to share my own insights. I also regularly write blogs and I have my own newsletter.
If you want to get in touch with me, follow me on Twitter or Linkedin, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or let’s hop on a phone call: +31 614970933.