Job hunting can be one of the most frustrating things in the world. It’s also that much more rewarding when you finally find something you love. Here are a few lessons I learned while hunting, which might be helpful if you’re still looking for something or about to graduate from college…
Beware of False Offers
A month or so before I graduated, the Creative Director at my internship started asking me questions like “Are you staying in New York?” “Would you be open to working here full-time?” She made it clear that she was interested in hiring me and I thought, “Of course she wants to hire me.” It seemed almost a certainty. I always got praised for my work, the company had enough money to hire me, and other people had noticed my value. Our Social Media Manager at the time even thought I was trying to steal his job. Despite all this, I never got the offer (I’ll have to explain why in another article since that’s a big discussion). I had already begun slacking off on my applications in anticipation of the job and was about to enter the hiring dead zone known as the summer. I now had no full-time employment and no back up plans except for some part-time work that was barely enough to support myself. Needless to say, you should apply much earlier than I did and always have lots of back up plans well before you graduate. Even if you get an offer that ends up coming through, don’t stop gathering options in the wings.
Use Resources Like “FindSpark”
FindSpark is the best company I’ve worked with so far when it comes to helping with your career but it isn’t the only one. Why not be involved with more than one career organization at once? FindSpark helped me strengthen my online presence and networking more than anyone else and I always took advantage of their job board. However, I ultimately got the most interviews through my career center at NYU and ended up securing the job I have now via LinkedIn. These resources converged to help me since it was the skills I got at a FindSpark workshop that made my LinkedIn profile so appealing.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
Twitter and LinkedIn have become essential for most creative careers. It’s not enough just to have them. Your profiles have to stand out. Try making a video for your LinkedIn. Try tweeting at people you want to work with. Make full use of them. Personal websites are expected as well and can be great as a hub for all the different parts of your online presence. Try using Wix like I did since it’s free. You can also have your own blog via blogspot or wordpress. Employers like it if you have a significant following, prestigious publications, or even just something interesting and unique to say.
Job Hunting is a Full-Time Job
I heard this a thousand times and always thought it was an excuse until I was actually in the aforementioned situation. Let me modify the saying a bit. I think “vigorously job hunting is a full-time job.” I wanted work as soon as possible so it was difficult to focus on anything else when I was always prioritizing the job hunt above all.
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
When my job offer got rescinded and I didn’t have any other full time options, I felt like a failure. I thought: “I’m letting my parents down. I’m letting myself down. There’s no excuse.” This might sound a bit melodramatic but trust me when I say I found scores of other graduates with these same feelings. Meeting them also made me realize that I had taken a lot for granted. I had part time jobs while many of my peers were completely unemployed. I was still living in New York while others were moving back home. I had part-time work that made use of my skills and knowledge gained form school while my equally hard-working friends were walking dogs and waiting tables, unable to find anything else.
That being said, please comment and tell me if you think I missed anything important. Everyone has a unique job hunting experience despite these common factors and I would love to hear your story. Remember to never give up!