Have you ever taken a job for the simple reason that you needed the job? Whenever I’ve done that, I’ve ended up hating my experience. I prefer something that challenges me and interests me, but for some reason I always second guess whether or not I’d be the right fit for those kind of jobs. This happened to me in February when I wasn’t sure whether or not to apply to a marketing internship, simply because I had not yet taken any marketing courses. Thankfully, I went for it and I’m currently a Digital Marketing Intern for the Darla Moore School of Business! Here’s some advice from me to you on how to land your dream position, even if you aren’t 100 percent sure if you’re qualified.
1. You are qualified, so you better start believing it.
In a report done by Hewlett Packard, and later quoted in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, men will apply for a job when they only meet 60 percent of the qualifications. However, women wait until they’re 100 percent qualified before they apply. Do you know what that means? Missed job opportunities for us ladies, and that is NOT okay. Put on your big girl panties, write a kickass resume, and get that application sent in! Confidence is key here. When you get the call for an interview, walk in and own it. You’re awesome, and they’d be silly not to hire you!
2. Your resume is important.
After I started my position, my boss told me that my resume was one of the biggest reasons for why I got hired. Want to know how I got it that way? Help from some of my biggest supporters, from my parents to fellow members of my professional fraternity. Show your resume to your friends, your family, and your professional connections. Everyone will have a different perspective on the best resume, so all of your bases will be covered. Ultimately, you’ll be able to create an appealing and error-free work of art that will be your key to success.
3. You have relevant experience, so flaunt it.
What you decide to put on your resume and talk about in the interview is crucial. You don’t have a lot of time to prove to the person interviewing you that you’re perfect, so you have to make the time you do have count. Always draw your accomplishments back to the company, because after all they’re hiring you to help them. Your babysitting job is probably not important to mention, but your personal, just-for-fun blog shows your understanding of basic web coding, your graphic design skills, and your ability to connect with a large audience.
4. Your lack of knowledge isn’t always a weakness.
Sara Blakely, the billionaire girl boss who founded Spanx, had it right when she said, “don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure you do things differently from everyone else.” Having a fresh perspective can be a huge asset to a company that is trying to fix something that just isn’t working for them. Feel free to mention some of your ideas in the interview or cover letter where it’s appropriate!
5. Your passion is an advantage. Show your excitement and interest by following up.
Companies know that someone who actually wants to do the work is a lot more likely to get things done than someone who is just there to collect a paycheck and add a few things to their resume. Go the extra mile by following up approximately a week after submitting your resume, and thank the interviewer within 24 hours. For this position, I even followed up after speaking with the company at a job fair!
6. It doesn’t stop when you get the job.
From day one, you need to be on your A game. This means getting to work early, staying late if you need to, and getting your workload done. There’s always more to be learned, and there’s always an area you can improve upon. Keep this mentality, and you’ll be sure to excel at your job.
At the end of the day, landing your dream internship or post-grad job boils down to confidence. Find something you are passionate about and have some relevant experience in, and then go for it. Never be afraid to fail.