The Job Hunt: Getting Started

Most people feel like getting an interview is the first step to getting a job, but it’s the hardest part to get, and the one that matters most. So let’s back up and start from the very beginning. Before you ever start job hunting you need to do a few things. 

Make a killer resume.

I went to career services 13 times to work on mine! This means more than filling in a template with your clubs and sorority - your resume should be a reflection of you both personally and professionally as well as academically. There are tons of resources out there to make great resumes so use them!

Another thing I ran into (that no one tells you) is that it’s okay to have a two page resume! Mine was a full two pages and it was great, however this doesn’t mean that a one page resume is bad! Expectations are different across different fields so ask someone who works in that field what is standard!

Set up four to six great references.

These go on the bottom of your resume and employers may call them to get a better idea of who you are. However, don’t just choose your friends as references, choose them very wisely. I had three kinds of references: professional, volunteer, and personal. I chose my previous boss that I was on great terms with, my magazine leader (shout out to Ali), the woman I lived with two summers in a row, and my godmother (you rarely want to use family as references, so my godmother was my personal reference). I then asked these people if they would be willing to be a reference for me. Never assume that a reference will be your reference! Old professors that you connected with from school are also great to put on your resume!

Make a strong LinkedIn profile.

This is how I applied to ALL of my jobs and how I got all of my interviews. You essentially want to put everything on your resume, on your LinkedIn profile! Always upload a PDF of your resume as well! Check with your school to see if they have access to other sites as well, for example, DU has free access to. Alumni Fire! 

Also be sure you have a good headshot as your profile picture. You don’t want to have a selfie with cleavage on your LinkedIn. If you need a professional head shot you can DIY it (see article on DIY YOUR HEADSHOT), OR go have a headshot done at a local place, sometimes Walmart and Target have a photo studio that will do cheap headshots! Just google it for your area!

Apply for jobs.

GO CRAZY. On average, only 20% of applicants get an interview. So if you apply for 10 jobs, you’ll get maybe two first interviews. I applied to 12 jobs and got three interviews. Use the suggestions spot on LinkedIn, it will search similar companies or jobs for you to make your job search easier! 

Follow Up.

This is one of the most common mistakes millennials make. 2-3 business days after you put in an application you need to call the company! Tell them who you are, ask if they received your application, and ask if they have any questions! You’re not looking for an interview offer from that call, your only goal is to put yourself on their radar! This makes a real human connection and can get you passed the computer screening! 

Accept that interview and show up!

Even if you’re unsure you’ll take the job after a first interview, if you get offered another interview, always take it! Even if you’re sure you won’t take that job, think of it as practice for another interview for a job you really want! (See "Do's and Don'ts of Getting a Job")