Let’s take a moment of silence for what used to be your care-free, college life.
Okay, are you over it now? Good. Time to get that first real job in the “real” world!
I’m not going to lie, I was less than enthralled about the whole job hunt thing. In fact, I didn’t really care when I got a job. It’s hard to cope with the fact that you HAVE to have one when all you really want to do is write books for a living, which doesn’t involve having a boring 8 to 5 (yeah, EIGHT to five) desk job. I mean the thought of it just kind of makes you want to end your life, especially when you’ve never ever worked before.
But it’s not all bad. Who doesn’t like having their own money? No one. So here are some tips for landing that first job you decide to interview for.
1. DON’T HAVE AN UGLY RESUME – This is America. Appearance is everything so like, make sure your resume doesn’t make someone want to barf. Proofread it. Format it all pretty. If you don’t know how, make an old person do it. We want to know right off the bat why we should hire you, so make sure you highlight how badass you are.
Things to include? Education (duh), past job experience (if you have any – I didn’t! No big), internships, and other relevant experience. I love the “other relevant experience” part because you can talk about stuff that actually matters to you like blogs you have, books you wrote, if you’ve been published in a legit magazine, how you’re a total AP and/or Chicago Style nazi, etc etc. You know, things that could be relevant to the job/your major that are actually interesting.
2. CHILL OUT – So you’ve sent your resume in and they called you back. Yay! Now they want an interview. Ugh. Does anyone actually LIKE having interviews? Probably not, but it’s never as bad as you think it will be.
Just remember that the people interviewing you are probably a little bit nervous too. It’s like the adult version of rush week. Even if you’ve interviewed people a million times, you’re probably still going to get nervous because it’s someone you don’t know, and YOU are responsible if you hire them and they suck. So just think about the fact that that’s going through your interviewer’s head and you’ll probably calm down.
- Show up early. Always.
- Look the part. Girls, I don’t want to see your girls. This ain’t a strip club and it won’t get you anywhere – even with men, to my surprise! Our owner didn’t want to hire this one chick because she looked a little too “glamorous”…which I think was a nice way of saying she looked like a total skank to him.
- Be polite, but be yourself. You don’t have to act like you’re meeting with Queen Elizabeth! It’s okay to be funny as long as it isn’t forced.
- Always ask a good question at the end of the interview. Good ones I’ve heard about: “What qualities does your company have that makes employees want to work for you?” or (if you’re feeling ballsy) “Based on my experience, is there any reason that you would not hire me?”
3. FOLLOW UP – Send a thank you note after your interview. People are busy and they like to know their time was appreciated. A little shmoozing never hurt! Also, if you’re interviewing at a place you interned at, it wouldn’t hurt to send cookies either. For real. It may not help, but you will forever be the favorite intern! And people that genuinely like you make the best references. 🙂
Happy job hunting, college grads! There’s a job out there somewhere for you – one that is a “real” job that you can at least tolerate until you can do what you want! In the words of Aaliyah…if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.