Congratulations! You’re officially a graduate. While you may be inexperienced in the corporate world, you’re fresh with life experiences, an unbreakable spirit, and an unwavering determination to make a difference. You’re still on a high from receiving that diploma, but your excitement is starting to wane – you can navigate the job boards with the best of them, but you’re still having trouble compiling a resume that reflects the schooling you just finished and the somewhat limited professional experience you may have.
Well, have no fear. You’re not alone and there’s hope for you yet. Says who? Says us. When it comes to finding your footing in the working world, the best place to look for help may be right under your nose – and no, we’re not talking about your iPhone. We’re talking about your parents, your grandparents, or your older sibling(s). Look to those who have come before you and have managed to make their way down the path you want to take.
Think about it: generations of workers have all found jobs without the help of LinkedIn and Indeed. In this day and age, we are so connected and tend to use that virtual, social connection as a crutch. But the working world doesn’t always work that way. There are tried and true benefits to the old school way of doing business, and they don’t involve “liking” or “friending” someone to get a job.
The great news is, in the year 2014, there are benefits from both paths – leaning on the new and learning from the old. So, how do you navigate the balance? Here are some job strategy tips from generations past:
The Benefits Of Face-To-Face Interviews
When interviewing for new hires, companies look for two main things: technical fit and cultural fit. It’s not enough to have a degree or experience in XYZ, you also need to be able to have a conversation and get along with your future colleagues. People make first impressions within seven seconds of meeting someone so you want to ensure that yours is a positive one.
When you go on an interview, prove that you’re more than just your resume – you can work in teams, you have a sense of humor (that is, if you do) and you can polish up well. Someone may look really good on paper, but may be denied a second interview based on their lack of social skills, cultural fit, or professionalism.
Say ‘Thank You’ In A Written Note
There’s no better feeling than receiving a genuine ‘thank you’ note. To feel recognized, and to know that someone put in extra time to let you know that they’re thankful is priceless. In the working world, it’s just the same.
If you go on an interview, send a written ‘thank you’ afterward. If a family friend meets you for lunch to talk about his career and regale you with stories about his industry, let him know how much you appreciated it. These days, it’s so easy to send a quick email or text. Going out of your way to send a written note can really make an impression.
Networking: Get Out And Mingle
As they say in the biz, it’s all about who you know. Our company gets a multitude of referrals on a monthly basis and roughly 75% are people we end up hiring. So, let the people in your life know that you’re job hunting. Tell them what industries and specialties you’re interested in. Maybe they know a guy, or they work with a guy who knows a guy. If you put the conversation out there, people are going to listen and be receptive. Everyone’s been there at one time or another and most people want to pay it forward and help when/if they can.
Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to be doing. Take advantage of opportunities to network in your city. Join a meet-up group, start volunteering, and find out where the young professionals hang out. And if you’re worried about small talk – check out these 18 easy conversation starters for networking events. You’re not going to get that face-to-face time and charm the right people while hiding behind job boards.
Turn To The Job Market Experts
Though you may not have used one before, high quality recruiters are the best people to go to for local job, industry and growth information. They have their pulse on the job market and know who is hiring and what they’re looking for at any moment. They can help you navigate your job search and even better, help you reach your end goal – a job.
If you’re interested in learning more job strategy tips from some of our top-notch recruiters, visit one of our Adecco branches on April 30th for our Street Day careerathon. We’ll be hosting open houses all across the country and offering tips on everything from creating a solid resume to acing an interview. Check out our Way to Work site to find the Street Day event closest to you.
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