What Am I Even Looking For? Finding the Perfect Job

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You’ve finally picked a major after basking in the freedom of being undecided for the past year, and now you have to face the job search. While the task may seem daunting, these tips will help ease the pain and ensure that you find the perfect job. Next stop, employment central.


So what exactly is a job search strategy and how can it help you? Think of it as a plan you create to hone in on the perfect job that aligns with your personal values, interests and skills. It makes sure you have the triple threat covered. FSU career advisor Caitlin Sweeney said the overall purpose of creating a job search strategy is so you can have a more specific idea of what job is right for you.


What are your values, interests and skills? You might be passionate about letting the world know Jon Hamm finally snagged that Emmy. You might be curious about what Google was thinking when it introduced its new logo. Maybe programming something like Flappy Bird seems like a piece of cake to you. All of these are good starts. When in doubt, go to the career center on your campus. “People come in here unsure all the time,” Sweeney said. “The career center is here to help.” Just remember to be as specific as possible to be sure you’re aiming for the right career path.


Although the particular strategy you create is unique to you, it’s a good idea to see how others succeeded or failed when they were in your shoes. Sweeney suggested looking at match major lists; they help connect students with the different careers that are available in their fields of study. Another way is to start connecting with professionals on social media sites, such as LinkedIn. Swallow that lump in your throat and send out some requests. Networking will help you establish connections and see how others have succeeded in your field.


Going to Google and typing in, “Advertising Jobs” probably won’t bring up your dream job. The best way to look is by networking. Having some connections in the “real world” may lead you to jobs that aren’t necessarily posted online. Also, sending e-mails to a company asking about open positions can go a long way and make you stand out.

Don’t Rely solely on NETWORKING

Networking is definitely important, but it doesn’t matter how many people you meet if you choke during the interview. “Importance is based on an individual basis,” Sweeney said. “If you are looking for a career in another city, then networking might be more important, but some may need to focus on developing their interviewing skills first.” First impressions do matter.


Tailoring your resume to the position you’re applying for is a great strategy, that’s a given. But don’t put all of your faith on that. “Develop a solid job target,” Sweeney said. “Then make sure you prioritize your options after research.” A strong cover letter and a portfolio to accompany your resume and interview will go a long way.


Don’t hesitate to say no to the job in your second cousin’s law firm and seek out a job in your dream city; now is the time. “One strategy could be to network with people in the other city, but continue to build connections locally,” Sweeney said. Then you can compare connections with the locals and see if anyone knows of any available positions in paradise. Remember to develop an “elevator speech,” a 30-second pitch to use on a contact when meeting him for the first time. You never know who you’re going to meet and have limited time to impress.


Traditionally, setting up a meeting and sending your resume is the best way to get a company interested in you. But you should also think of other ways to let the company know you’re interested. Sweeney recommended reaching out to potential employers and asking if they can hold an informational interview for you to learn about the company. If you’re uncomfortable with typical interviews, this might be your best bet at first. Let them do the talking and decide whether the company is worth your time.


Obviously, it’s fantastic if you get the position, but look back and evaluate what part of your strategy went right for future reference. If you didn’t get the job, try to figure out what went wrong. Rather than throw in the towel, ask questions about the amount of time you’re actually devoting to searching, whether you’re using all of your job leads and what creative methods you can utilize next time.

Zachary is a senior at Florida State University studying Editing, Writing, and Media. When he’s not reading, he is writing and recording music. One day, he hopes to help keep Austin weird.

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