Here’s an interesting link on some basic job hunting tips that I (and probably many of you) may have not thought of when searching for jobs and attending interviews.
I particularly like #3 and #7:
3. Know your audience
7. Show true appreciation for help
One thing I started doing as of late, is deciding first what industry, and then what specific company I would like to work for. Of course, you don’t have to narrow it down to just one specific company in an industry (and probably shouldn’t), but it helps with the next steps.
Then, I start looking people up online: searching their organizations website, their LinkedIN pages, etc. for any information on that person’s current position, and more importantly – their career progression. This where step #3 comes into play. After doing a LOT of research, I narrow down my list of contacts and start sending them connection requests on LinkedIN. In the <300 character blurb that you can send to a potential connection, I make sure to give enough information about myself that they will understand where I’m coming from, and then put in a question specific to what I would like from them. It can be a statement as simple as, “Based on your profile, I see that you have worked with X but have an academic background in Y. I am interested in learning more about Z…”
And I am amazed at the number of professionals who have written back to me, offering to start an email conversation or set up a phone informational interview. For those of you out there who aren’t sure of one particular job stream you would like to pursue in an industry (ex. research in pharma, associate in finance) – this is a great way to talk to professionals actually working in that field about what they like/don’t like, and what their job entails. In turn, I’ve found that it has helped me narrow down the possible types of jobs I would NOT be interested in.
So, once you’ve finished with your conversation – or even if you haven’t – it’s imperative to follow #7 and thank them for their help. They’re working professionals, who – granted, were probably in the same position as us many years ago, are taking time out of their day to help you. Even if the information they relayed wasn’t particularly helpful, out of the hundreds of “calls for advice” you sent on LinkedIn, they at least responded.
Also (and this may really entice some of you), showing true appreciation by repeating some of the information they’ve given that was particularly helpful, or explaining how you will take some of the new information and use it to assist in your job hunt, will help you make a really good impression with them. And if you’ve really connected, they may keep you in mind if any open positions come to their attention, or pass along your contact info. to another professional they know, who can give you a taste of another profession.
Make sure to use these tips, guys! I am speaking from experience when I say that they help!