2020 has been a weird time, we know. However, the world doesn’t stop turning. You’re still in school, some of you are still working, and you still need experience for the future. Today, we’re bringing you some of the top job hunting and application tips from one of our Community Managers, Sarah. And we’ll be honest, applying for jobs is no walk in the park. Hopefully, you can use these tips to your advantage! Happy hunting!
1. Figure out what type of job and position you want.
Your job search becomes 1000x harder if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I know none of us are worried about not enough jobs in this economy, but looking on LinkedIn for jobs in LA and seeing over 17,000 results is daunting! Make sure you know the titles you’re interested in, i.e.: marketing vs. advertising vs. PR. Do some research to help you narrow down what you’re interested in, which will make finding opportunities easier. From there, you can expand or do multiple searches in different fields.
2. Utilize LinkedIn
To many of us, LinkedIn seems like this strange, amorphous, yet somehow important site that is the holy grail of jobs. While you may not find your job on LinkedIn, it is very helpful and is important for networking. I’m going to make this very clear: ADD EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER WORKED WITH ON LINKEDIN. Did you have one meeting with them? Add them. Did you see an inspiring lecture at school? Add the speaker. Is your mom’s cousin’s best friend in your desired field? Add them. It’s important to have a strong network that you can reach out to and see posts from. If you don’t know someone super well, add a note when you connect! “Hey so-and-so! My name is Sarah and we met at blank meeting. I’d love to connect!”
3. Network, network, network!
What’s the best way to get a job? Know someone. It’s frustrating, but it’s true. Establish yourself in relation to your desired career so that when people think of you, they think “Oh Lily the Graphic Designer” or “Yeah Taylor wants to own her own bakery”. Personally, I’m a loud feminist who wants to save the world (trademark pending). Take every opportunity you have to network. Go to events in your department, introduce yourself to your parents’ friends, go to alumni events and job fairs. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know. You’ve got nothing to lose!
4. Up your resume game
It’s incredibly important to have a clean, informative resume that catches the company’s attention. Unfortunately, you’re just one piece of paper in a stack, so be the best piece of paper you can be. I use Canva to make my resume look sharp and clean. They have formats you can use or create your own! Make sure to list out your job experience, your educational experience, your leadership experience, and any interests or other skills you have. Make sure to describe your job experience using concrete examples and numbers and active language. For example:
TSL Campus Rep - Increased business on my campus by 200%. Brought in $100,000 worth of revenue to the company. Skilled in networking, sales, and instagram marketing.
Your resume is the best way to make yourself stand out without the interviewer even meeting you.
5. Don't forget the cover letter!
Your cover letter gives employees a sneak peek of you. Make sure you show them who you are and what you can do. Your cover letter is a longer and better-written version of your resume. Expand on your skills and past achievements in a thoughtful way. Then, make sure to tell the company how your past experience can translate into your new job description. Here’s an example:
As a Campus Rep at The Social Life, I was responsible for networking with Greek Life organizations on my campus and persuading them to purchase their apparel with The Social Life. During my two years as a campus rep, I worked with every sorority chapter on my campus and formed strong relationships with them. I brought in $100,000 worth of revenue to The Social Life on my own. As a Marketing Coordinator for Made Up Company, I will use my networking and sales experience to not only increase revenue, but create repeat customers.
6. Negotiate your salary!
LADIES! Did you know that it’s 2020 and women are still not paid equally to men? That’s right, women, in general, make 82 cents to every dollar a white man makes, and women of color make even less. We are over it! So here are some tips to make sure you’re getting paid your money’s worth:
- Apply for jobs, even ones you think you’re unqualified for. Women are less likely to apply to jobs that they aren’t qualified for and jobs that don’t have a stated salary, while men are more likely to apply. Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot and put yourself out there.
- Even if you are going to accept the salary on the table, don’t feel the need to say yes right away. Women often feel the need to be grateful for what they are given, but make sure what you’re given is what you’re worth.
- Ask for more than you want. If you think you’re worth $45,000 a year, ask for $50,000. Always set the bar high so you end up in the middle - aka exactly where you want to be. Also, if the job description gives a salary range, ABSOLUTELY ask for the highest end of the range. (I didn’t do this one time and I was mad at myself for a month).
- Find out what your coworkers are making. By the first year out of college, women are already 7% behind men in terms of salary. Now, if you find a discrepancy, you don’t need to get ready to sue the company. There are reasons why someone may be making more than you, such as past experience or qualifications. However, you can prepare yourself to ask for a raise in the future to match your co-workers. This is a very nuanced topic, and I encourage you to do your own research as well!
- DO NOT feel the need to say what you were making in your previous position. That is no one’s business but your own.
- Build your case. Especially when asking for a raise, you’ll need to show your employer why you deserve the extra money. Make sure to have a list of your achievements and what the company has done because of you.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the salary right off the bat. We as a society, and especially women, have an aversion to talking about money. But you are a strong, independent woman and you deserve to know what you’re going to get paid. Definitely ask the stated salary in your interview.
There you are! All the tips to get you the best job you can find. Happy hunting!