You are fresh out of college, ready to take on the world of work and start building your career. All your plans are transcribed and you are certain that you are going to land your dream job. Already estimating your gross income and how it will be allocated, a dip for savings, a new car, travel, and shopping. You’ve sent out twenty plus applications and patiently awaiting a call.
Trust me, I’ve been there. But does it really work this way? The Caribbean job market is tremendously saturated. You have to really stand out by taking strategic moves to get to where you want. I have switched five jobs since I completed my first degree in 2012; each providing a different experience which I continue to apply in both my professional and personal life.
What did I do differently?
Well, I utilize strategic methods from the preparation stage to land the interview and ultimately the job that I want. Throughout my professional life, I have failed, made friends, lost allies, made countless mistakes but learned from them which allowed me to grow so much. It is a work in progress and I do not regret any of it.
I have seen a lot of qualified graduates at home, unemployed and frustrated because they struggle to get jobs. As for me, God just sent a tip of ideas, a focused mind, and determined spirit. I am forever grateful since opportunities have existed both at home and abroad. I would really love to share some of my secrets with you to help you land the job of your dreams.
It might vary for some persons but will certainly increase your chances of standing out; again it depends on you and your approach. And if you prefer one-on-one coaching, send me an email by clicking here.
How to land the interview of your dreams by applying these 6 steps
Step 1 – Only apply for the jobs where you meet the requirements. Do not apply for any job to simply just “earn and income”; instead, apply for the jobs you know you can do. Some people get jobs and they end up being a case of wrong person-job fit. Obtain all the necessary information about the job you would like to apply for including: the required qualifications, duties, remuneration package, location, tenure (temporary or full-time) and use this to guide your application process.
Step 2 – Tailor your resume and cover letter for each job that you are applying for: We’ve all mailed a bunch of applications by preparing a template cover letter and simply changing the address and title. This is an awesome timesaver. Guess what? As a graduate, this is affecting your chances of landing your interview. Do not send out standardized cover letters, ensure that you do a customized cover letter and resume for each job that you are applying for. You are damn awesome and can write a thought-provoking cover letter to make them sip their damn tea. Trust me, the hiring manager will recognize it and will thank you. Furthermore, take the time to conduct a self-evaluation of your personal and professional skill sets and map them accordingly to the various job applications. This is extremely important since it will display that you possess the key capabilities of the job being sought after.
The image below is a typical example of what NOT to do.
Need help with preparing? Contact me here. I’m a #CareerBossBabes and will walk you through.
Seeing that your skill set might not be applicable for every job, list only the relevant ones. You might end up listing skills that are irrelevant to the position and seem like you are overselling yourself.
Step 3 – Proofread: Ensure that you do a grammar check and review for proper formatting to ensure your documents are impressive. After your hard work, avoid minor errors that can affect your chances, so ask a friend to review your letter since two pairs of eyes will spot any typos. In my capacity as an Operations Manager of a small hotel in the past, I’ve reviewed many applications and these are the common trends that I’ve stumbled upon: poorly constructed cover letters, disorganized resumes, and poor grammar. Sometimes, I would simply take one look at the letter then skip to the next. This is the reality and you want to avoid being one of those.
Step 4 – Hand deliver your application (Where possible) – I would dress professionally and dedicate time to go out to deliver my applications. I would always ask to see the human resource personnel or whoever is selecting applicants for interviews. Always try to meet the hiring manager, let them see your face and build rapport. I guarantee they will remember your name when reviewing the pile of applications. Be prepared to wait or return the next day. This might be difficult because they are usually busy. But, you have to be persistent, ask to see them – make an appointment and even if they ask you to give the application to a secretary or registration, leave a few words to explain why you applied. Let them know that you look forward to being called for an interview. You can’t go wrong.
In cases where the job is outside your geographic location, send via courier services. In the case of applications sent via postal services, follow-up after 3 days to confirm receipt of your application. Follow-up via telephone or email. In some cases, if the application was sent by email, they will acknowledge receipt of email – do not follow-up again.’
Step 5 – Prepare for the interview from the moment your application is delivered – Record all the places you applied and the positions applied for – This is the waiting period, the period when you anxiously call or sulk for no response. Use this time to research about the companies you applied to. During your research, record recent news releases about that company, find out the companies’ history (including main functions), success stories and details of the job. When called for the interview, be sure to confirm all details of the interview beforehand – date and time, location and the number of persons on the interview panel. If it’s a panel it will be more intense, learn how to master it and not get intimidated.
Step 6 – Groom your social media accounts – Oh yes, all the night club pics, twerking with hashtags #turnup #haterswillhate #partyislife will not look good for you in the future. A lot of recruiters are doing background checks on their applicants, reviewing their Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram (if opened) and LinkedIn profiles. Ensure that your profiles are not negatively impacting you and filled with derogatory posts, heinous photos and videos. I am not saying that you ought not to be free on your profile, but please be careful with what you post online. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, I recommend that you create one. It is a professional social network to liaise with professionals and even follow influencers and build your professional network. Ask past colleagues to leave recommendations and endorse your top skills and projects where you worked as a team.
I am damn sure you will have a stronger chance with these six hacks. Go rock with your bold self…
What were your biggest takeaways from this post? Got questions? Leave a comment below.