We’ve all been in the “job application slump,” a time period consisting of constantly applying for jobs and not hearing back. It’s easy to lower your standard after awhile and start applying to jobs that you’re not actually interested. It’s not that you’re not good enough, because you my friend are the smartest, most creative, and ambitious girl I know, but rather the issue is the way you are presenting yourself! Whether you’re having trouble finding a job right out of college or you’ve always dreamed of working for Anna Wintour I’ve laid out for you the 5 steps that will get you in the door and land that dream job!
Step One: Stand Out
Most applications employers receive are boring black and white applications and copy and pasted cover letters. I know how hard it is to try to change every single cover letter; it’s a pain in the rear, try applying to fewer jobs but being more detailed in your approach! Create a killer resume, make it look aesthetically pleasing and show off your personality on paper, some people like to include a photo as well so the employer will feel more personally connected to you. For your cover letter, include information about the company you’re applying for- what projects they’ve done recently, values they hold, etc. Knowing an applicant did their homework AND is a fan of the brand will definitely help you land an interview!
Step Two: Follow Up
I applied to a job once that I really wanted. It was a fun fashion tech company in LA and I checked my inbox religiously after I applied. Eventually I heard back regarding my application, they wanted to do a screening before bringing me in so they sent me a list of questions to email back. After I sent my response I never heard back. I was afraid I answered something wrong and lost all hope of getting an interview. Then I worked up the courage to just call the number that the bottom of her email signature. I told her who I was and why I was calling and her response was not what I expected.
“OH, right! I’m sorry I’ve been so busy I totally forgot to email you! But I’d love to bring you in for an interview, when are you free?”
Was it really that easy? In this case, it was. It’s easy to forget how busy HR employees are but if I had never called to follow up, she probably would have forgotten about me altogether.
Step Three: Be Prepared!
Woo-Hoo! It happened you landed an interview. Your hard work and preparation are not done- now you need to get ready for the real test. Along with your fabulous professional interview outfit, there are a few commonly forgotten things you’ll need to bring with you! Some of the most important things on this list are not just breath mints and your own water bottle, but your own game plan. Show up to your interview prepared to explain exactly how you’re going to make an impact at their company. I guarantee that the initiative they see in you and hearing you speak confidently about what you can bring to the table will leave a lasting impression. Download our worksheet to help you create your game plan proposal!
When you finally get that call, or offer letter, be prepared to negotiate your pay. 9 times out of 10 companies will low ball you in expectation that you’ll ask for more. Perhaps if you can’t negotiate the pay, ask for more paid vacation time or other perks such as healthcare benefits. If they offered you the job, they want you! I spent so much time being afraid that if I asked for more, they wouldn’t want to hire me anymore. As long as you handle the conversation with grace, nothing will change- they wanted you for a reason, because you’re awesome! Please, who wouldn’t want to hire you? Well what’re you waiting for?
Go out there and nail that interview! Once you do land the job, be sure to deliver on your promise and make a great impression on your boss- after all they hired you for a reason. Download our FREE Job Interview Checklist!