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Three ways to prep for your dream job during a pandemic

Whether you’re a new student around campus or an old face that’s ready to bounce, you probably chose Rockhurst for one reason: to land a job that will interest you. Luckily, no matter what your situation looks like at the moment, there are things you can start doing today that will help your future self land the job you’ve always wanted. 

Build a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand may sound daunting, but it’s a lot easier to create than you might think. While many people hear ‘brand’ and think of logos or themed colors, a personal brand can be boiled down to something much simpler – how you treat, interact, and connect with those around you. When you score a job interview, the company has already recognized that you have the hard skills to fit the position. They are looking for something beyond the pieces of paper you’ve submitted. They want to get to know you as a person. If you invest time into growing soft skills, prepare intelligent questions, and do your research on the company, you will be miles ahead of other candidates – especially the ones who decided to apply just because they liked the aesthetic of the Instagram page. (Disclaimer: If you want to create a color theme, logo, website, or food blog, do it! These additional elements show you are passionate and will help you stand out no matter what career you want.)

Do Your Research
It can be tempting to apply for any job that seems remotely interesting when fewer positions are available, and the competition is stiff. However, taking the time to research companies you would like to work for will have better results. Dive into websites: get to know the people, culture, and work. Even if there isn’t a posted opportunity, you can still reach out and start building a relationship. Find an employee on LinkedIn (if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you should be) and send a brief message describing what has stood out to you. I landed a job this semester because of a DM I sent on Instagram sharing things I loved about the business. Don’t be afraid to reach out, but make sure you have something relevant and knowledgable to share.

The greatest beast of them all. Networking is scary. It’s intimidating to talk to people you may have never met in person (something extremely common at the moment given the world’s current situation). While my nerves still peak at the beginning of a phone or Zoom call, it’s important to remember that every person you talk to was once in your shoes. One of the perks of being a student is that people want to help. In all my 100+ meetings, I’ve never met a person who was unwilling simply because they had no interest in assisting a student start their career. Be prepared, do your research, and you’re guaranteed to crush it. 

Mara Akers

Rockhurst U '21

Mara Akers is a Senior at Rockhurst University, majoring in business administration with an emphasis on marketing. She is originally from West Des Moines, Iowa, and plans to stay in Kansas City after graduation to pursue a career in advertising. Mara enjoys sitting on porches while it rains, drinking chai tea, and petting random dogs until she can afford to adopt her own.
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