How to Own the Job Hunt

Finding a job – and more importantly, the right job – can be daunting. Combing through dozens of web pages to find that even the entry-level jobs require years of experience is undoubtedly discouraging but this doesn’t that mean you should sulk and surrender. The Use Time Wisely: How to Own the Job Hunt panel at Find & Follow Your Passion at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts gave real and honest advice for how to stay positive and own the job hunt. The panel consisted of Daniel Simpson of the New York TimesJoann Rodriguez of UnivisionMax Morganfield of ICED Media and Michael Buffer of the Theatre Development Fund, and moderator Thanyawan Ausaranurak of Mindshare. Read on for inspiration!

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Start While You’re Still in School

It’s well-known that doing an internship is one the easiest ways to secure a full time job, but what if you don’t have the chance to complete one? Max Morganfield and Joann Rodriguez agreed that the solution is to network with peers, professors and advisors before leaving college and after graduation. Observe what your fellow students who have found jobs did to get there and try to emulate them. Try to communicate with as many people as you can and let them know what your goals are. They may have fantastic advice and perhaps even a reference to offer, which will help you hit the ground running after graduation.

Resumes and Cover Letters

The panelists agreed that a generic resume simply won’t make the cut. Resumes should be thoughtful and tailored exactly for the position you’re applying for. However, you should keep a single document in your personal records that lists everything you’ve ever done and take your applications from there. Joann Rodriguez added that a resume should tell a story to a recruiter – think about what you took away from each experience listed and how that contributes to your growth as an individual and employee.

Cover letters were the main point of contention among the panelists. Michael Buffer argued that a cover letters are essential as they demonstrate if an applicant can write and communicate well, which is a necessary skill for almost any career path. New York Times recruiter Daniel Simpson admitted that he doesn’t care for cover letters and that they can be a bit redundant; the skills listed on a resume should speak for themselves.

Social Media

Social media should be used by professionals purposefully, with the knowledge that it is public and that a recruiter will Google you and find your profiles. The panelists’ main focus was on LinkedIn, the place to showcase your more expansive and detailed resume. For some media companies like Univision, having an online presence as a job applicant is critical; in fact, applicants without a profile might “move to the bottom of the list” by default. The panelists stress using social media to your advantage and “link up with purpose”. Like resumes and cover letters, emails and LinkedIn requests should be personalized and considerate.

Hope Does Exist 

The most effective way to make yourself stand out as a candidate and to truly prepare yourself for the workforce is to remain proactive and network. You should be attending as many networking events and events geared towards your desired industry as possible. Meet people from your industry, connect with them, and ask for informational interviews to find out how they got their start and get advice.

If you have any tips for how to own the job hunt, please share them in the comments section.

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