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How to Secure a Job Interview

Looking for jobs is extremely stressful. There’s constant pressure when you’re a senior to suddenly figure everything out and secure an amazing job, organize your budget, and somehow adjust to working 9-5 hours. Here are some tips that I’ve discovered to try and ease you into this process.

First things first, get a LinkedIn if you don’t already have one. LinkedIn is truly the ultimate job and networking tool. While it’s true that you can find a job without using LinkedIn, there are so many useful aspects to the social media site. It gives you the ability to set notifications for the kinds of jobs you’re looking for, easy application features, and the tools to connect with literally anyone. If you are extremely interested in a company or industry, you can get on LinkedIn and find someone to talk to! It’s so easy to use search parameters to find an alum from your school who works at said company and reach out to get their advice. Just send a message about who you are, what you’re interested in, and see if they have time to chat about getting into the industry! 

[bf_image id="q6c0v3-8jry34-2qzal1"] It’s always useful to have connections to rely on because you never know where the job search will lead you. Who knows, you could end up landing an interview for the job you really wanted. And, once you get interviews, always use LinkedIn to look up the interviewers and prep yourself for the conversations and questions. 

When it comes to showing off how great of a candidate you are, think of the things you have to offer. If you’re looking to go into a field that may want to see past work examples, make a website. You can use Wordpress or Wix to get started for free and create a simple site. My website has social media work I’ve done, writing samples, my résumé and contact information, and a bio about me. It’s great to organize your own portfolio to show off how you stand out!

[bf_image id="5b94gspvwbfkpsxrmjzvnhk"] Of course, you can’t forget about the résumé. Focus on making a document that is easy to understand. You want it to highlight what you accomplished in your experiences instead of what the expectations or job description for that position was. Create a simple outline and match it with your cover letter. I used Microsoft Word because I think it’s the easiest to edit and send to others to give you feedback on. BU COM Career Services has some great templates on their page too. Always remember to export to PDF before submitting to any job. The last thing you want is to have the formatting go awry when a recruiter or hiring manager opens the document. 

[bf_image id="q7k32f-9aftn4-1iqs7l"] Once you get to the interview, make sure you have a great story for the questions in which you’re asked to talk about yourself. Even if you think you don’t have a good answer for this, you definitely do! Everything you have done to get yourself to this point is unique and worth sharing. Mention where you went to school, what you studied, and what your work experience journey looked like. Start with your earliest experience and talk about how you got from that point to where you are now. Circle it back to the job you’re interviewing for and why your past has made you interested in doing this work. 

[bf_image id="q6bzz5-cpueig-fy60fm"] Make sure you’re prepared with examples for common questions such as explaining a time you failed, a time you had to manage a heavy workload, how you manage your time, and what your work style is. If it helps you, make an outline of things you could mention during your interview. You don’t need to write a script, because the conversation should be natural, but just give yourself reminders to help if you get stuck. And always, always, always have questions for the interviewer. You can ask them about company culture, their experience at the company, what skills they want someone to have for this role, and what the next steps are in the interview process. I also prefer to ask about COVID-19 related work changes right now, like if the company is working well remotely and if they have plans to go back to the office. 

When it comes down to it, don’t worry about anyone else’s success. I found it hard to not compare myself to others when I saw constant posts about achievements on LinkedIn. You have to understand that you don’t know the whole story. It may seem like some got a job by snapping their fingers, but you never know. Everyone’s journey is different.  

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Sonja is a senior at Boston University from New Hampshire studying journalism. On campus, Sonja works to promote various brands to the college audience. She has been an ambassador for Razor Scooters, Venmo, Rent the Runway, Comcast Xfinity, and BEARPAW Shoes! When she's not writing or working, she loves exploring restaurants and taking pictures around Boston!
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