With spring convocation just around the corner, many students are starting to plan ahead for summer jobs or looking at their career plans. When entering the job market, there are a few basic strategies that should be kept in mind to make that job search a success.
We’ve all heard the saying “a little goes a long way.” It may be a cliché, but it is important for any individual looking for a job or seeking a place in their future career. The little things in this case are enthusiasm, effort and respect.
Maureen Bourassa, assistant professor in the department of management and marketing at Edwards School of Business, explained the importance of these qualities in an email to the Sheaf.
“People who are excited about their jobs — or their prospective jobs — have a contagious energy, and it makes other people want to be around them and want to work with them,” Bourassa said.
Having a positive attitude can also result in a multitude of doors opening, and who knows where that may lead?
However, this does not mean you have to be cheery and upbeat all the time. Instead, your best bet is to be yourself. We’ve all heard that networking is an important part of transitioning into the workforce, and it’s true.
“The best networking is authentic networking,” Bourassa said.
This advice is extremely important for those new to the working world. Authentic networking is sincere. Although you may know that the person you are currently talking to has a contact that would be of great benefit to you, don’t jump the gun. As much as they are a resource, they are also a human being — they can tell when they are being used.
Instead, give them a reason to want to help you. Show them that you are not only interested in furthering your own agenda. A 2014 Forbes article on networking lists “start networking before you need it” as one of its tips. Authentic networking it just that, and it can happen at anytime and anywhere.
Another cliché saying that works in this scenario is “knowledge is power.” Take this to heart while networking and put in the effort to gain this knowledge — pure research is all it takes.
Pretend you are an employer interviewing potential employees. You are down to your last two candidates, A and B, and can’t initially decide between them. Both come with stellar references and wonderful resumés. While reviewing, you realize that candidate B has excellent knowledge of the company and some of its current initiatives. They have definitely done their research on the company and know quite a bit about it — clearly, they care.
At this point you feel that candidate B is the one who you would like to hire. Whenever possible, be candidate B. Put some effort into your knowledge and make that final cut.
Despite all this, keep in mind that different sectors have different expectations.
“Employers are all different — they come from different generations, they use social media in different ways in their own lives and they have different approaches to learning about prospective employees,” Bourassa said.
If you are applying for a social media related position, for example, perhaps you want to be active in the social media realm, as this could give your employer a clear idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Some employers may even recruit employees using social media itself.
As far as we know, nobody has discovered the “job tree” — we can’t just shake a branch and have our dream job fall into our laps without some hard work and searching. By putting some meaningful enthusiasm and effort into your search, you will be one step closer to your goal.
Image: Ashley Britz