Landing the Dream Job
This article, written by the awesome Alexander J Bortone has some brilliant points for would be crew. If you are looking for a job on a yacht take his advice onboard. It will stand you in good stead.
If you are fresh out of college, you are probably looking to start your professional career. It won't take you long to find out how hard getting the job you desire really is. Yes, you could wait tables until the market changes, but why? This article will provide some valuable insight to landing that interview with the company of your dreams, and securing the position you have always wanted.
First off, quit blaming the recession. While our our economy is extremely delicate and slowly gaining momentum, it is no longer a valid excuse for being underemployed. Most sectors have recently reported significant job growth and guess what... it is still increasing. Major firms are looking to expand and are competing to attract new talent from schools across the country. You might be saying... "It is nearly impossible to stand out in today's workforce." I will agree with that statement. Graduate schools are the new benchmark for most dream jobs. Don't fret, success will be yours with implementing these 6 steps.
1. Read Read Read!!!
Yes it may seem obvious, but most employers want candidates who are well versed on recent news and articles in their industry. Read the newspapers! While old school print may not be a trending topic on Twitter, newspapers offer so much valuable information for a low price. If you are in business or finance, pick up a Wall Street Journal from Starbucks. They are free if you read them there! If not, spare some of the beer money and grab a copy. It will be well worth the sacrifice! If you are not into business and want to take up the hobby, you can never go wrong with a USA Today. This paper is always the least expensive and covers a wide variety of current topics in American culture. If you don't already, learn to love reading! As simple as this sounds, it will certainly give you the upper hand and help get your foot in the door.
2. Be Happy- Be Healthy
No you don't need to have the celebrity body to be successful, but when was the last time you felt comfortable buying a product from someone who was unhealthy? If you can't take care of yourself, how do you expect anyone to take you or your product seriously? While it is illegal to discriminate against anyone for race, ethnicity, or weight, it still happens. Not only will getting healthy help with your confidence, but you will notice the dramatic difference in your energy levels and attitude. Like Nike's legendary slogan... Just do it!
3. Look the part
As many of us hear on a daily basis, dress for the job you want, not the job you currently have. Depending on your industry of interest, you may want to lean more to the conservative side when going in for the interview. I constantly heard throughout high school and college that it is not in a candidate's best interest to wear a black suit to the interview, but brown or grey works wonders.
While I do agree it is unwise to look like you are attending a funeral after the interview, I would never turn down a qualified candidate because of the color of their attire. Black is exceptionally powerful if you are over 6 feet tall and have a dominating presence, but blue, grey, and brown are politically correct. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your attire is appropriate to you and the occasion.
4. Keep the resume one page-TOPS!
Many candidates believe that handing an recruiter a resume that is as thick as a phone book makes them look like a rockstar. There couldn't be anything further from the truth. Most recruiters spend a max of 10 seconds looking over resumes. Why? You guessed it! They have to go through so many each day. Look over your resume and determine what you can cut out. You don't need to put your high school organizations or mention that you were named "Scout of the year" in 2003. It is irrelevant to the career and will probably make the recruiter create a paper plane out of your hard work.
State your objective early in the resume and make sure it is specifically tailored to the career. I can't stress how many "typical" template resumes come across my desk without specifying what the resume aims to accomplish. A good example of an objective statement would be: "To gain a sales position with Fidelity Investments, with opportunities leading to a long term career in sales management." The statement alone is incredibly powerful and automatically sets you apart from the competition!
Finally, list specific achievements and skills that are related to your field of interest. For example, if you are applying for a sales position, list courses and specific achievements that will reinforce your qualifications for the job. Simply stating that you are kind, honest, and hardworking doesn't cut it!
- Keep your resume one page or less
- Tailor your objective statement to the specific job you are applying for
- Tailor your achievements and course work to your field of interest
5. Do your homework!
I once had an interview with Edward Jones. The first question the recruiter asked was the most obvious: "What do you know about us?" Luckily, I did my homework and was able to casually convey my knowledge of their mission statement, company history, competitive advantage, and the firm's rating in Forbes magazine. When I was finished, the recruiter told me that no candidate had ever known so much for an interview. Already I knew I had a solid chance of being hired. The recruiter then went on to explain that the previous candidate knew absolutely nothing about the firm and the interview lasted only ten minutes. Sad day for them, but that is the reality of the situation.
Demonstrate your knowledge and passion for the company for which you are interviewing. The point I'm trying to make is that information is critical to your success! The more you know about the company you are interested in speaks volumes about your ability to conduct research and demonstrates your enthusiasm to learn more.
Going back a step, you want to do your homework prior to contacting the organization of interest. Doing research will aid you in your search for that perfect career, not just by setting yourself apart from the competition, but seeing if you are a true fit to the organization. I turned down a job with a successful financial firm because I did not care for their corporate culture. It happens!
If you realize a company is not what you thought it was, don't give up! Keep searching. I guarantee you that there is a company you will fit with! Hey, look at the bright side... You saved a tremendous amount of time and effort by finding out early!
6. Make the cold call
Believe it or not, this is the most effective way to land an interview. Yes it helps if the planets are aligned, but making a simple cold call can change your life. How? Most professional organizations generate new business by contacting a decision maker. How does this apply to you? By calling a business directly, you are demonstrating a simple skill that so many lack.
With your research done, you will most likely figure out who is the head of your target organization. Browse the company website and look for phone numbers. Emails are not the answer! Once you find the phone number of the person of interest, make the call! Understand, It is rare to be put through to these individuals as they are extremely busy. That's OK, they're not your target. You will most likely talk to a secretary or an administrative assistant. Simply state that you are interested in a career in said industry and you wanted to speak to "Insert Name" to gain some perspective on the industry. The assistant will either put you through to the head of the organization, or refer you to someone else who can assist you. At this point, you are in!
I implemented these exact steps and was transferred to the firm's recruiter. Not only was she incredibly pleasant to chat with, but also impressed with way I went about contacting her. Don't just stop there! Learn as much as you can about the industry and the organization prior to the interview appointment. Again, the more you know about the industry and organization significantly increases your odds of success. Implement these steps in your career search and that corner office could soon be yours!