How I Landed My Dream Job
You may have seen that I have graduated and am working at my dream job. I plan to make a generalized post (or series) on how to get a job after graduation, but I wanted to take a minute to talk about how I personally landed my dream job.
As an introduction, I work in SEO. If you’re a blogger, you probably know that stands for Search Engine Optimization. I work with clients to help them build up their online presence. I work on websites, write blog posts, create social media posts, and much more. I love it because it allows me to combine many of favorite things: writing, working on websites, and graphic design.
Now, here’s I landed my job. I went about it a little differently than most people seem to think the path to a job after graduation should be. I never had an internship in my field, in fact my last jobs were tutoring and working in a computer lab. That’s not to say that I didn’t have any experience, I just gained it in different ways.
And, as a side note, this worked for me! I applied to two jobs, had one interview, and landed that job before I even got the chance to apply for anymore. I know I’m blessed, but hopefully these tips can help you do something similar (if not as quick).
1. I started this blog.
The main reasons that I started this blog were twofold: I wanted a creative outlet and I wanted the chance to gain skills in writing, web design, social media, SEO, and more related skills. This sounds really specific to my field, but I believe there are a lot of ways to create your own experience in any field. You can start a blog about any subject and gradually build up a reputation as an expert in your field. Or you can create other projects. If you’re interested in engineering, use your (limited I’m sure) spare time to build projects. The point is, you don’t need an official job to start gaining experience in your field.
2. I took extra classes and made them count.
I am technically a technical communications major, but I used my electives to take classes in web design and marketing. Don’t be afraid to take extra classes in areas that are related to your future career path, even if they aren’t required for your major. Take any chance you can get to expand your skills. And once you learn skills in classes, make sure that you list these on your resume! Just because you did it in school, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
3. I prepared a great resume.
I am lucky in that my program includes an entire class on finding a job (if your school offers a similar class, take it!). The fall before I graduated, I studied good resumes, put together my resume, workshopped it with my peers and had a professor look over it. I am very proud of the final product (if you want to see a post on resumes, let me know!) and it is definitely part of what helped me land a job. You can achieve similar results by visiting your school’s career center (it’s there for a reason) or even asking your professors to help look over your resume.
4. I also prepared a great cover.
I know that cover letters are the bane of the job seeker’s existence, but I truly think that they are so important to make a great impression. Be sure that you prepare a custom cover letter for each job you apply for. Companies can tell when you just copy and paste. Look up examples of good cover letters if you have no idea where to start.
5. I networked.
I made sure that I added everyone in my major classes (I have a small major, so it was easy and I knew them all well) to my LinkedIn. Then when it came time for me to apply to jobs, I checked out where my classmates who had graduated before me were working, so I knew what kinds of jobs those with my skills were getting. I noticed a classmate had a job with a digital marketing company that sounded pretty cool, so I made a mental note of that. A month or so later, I actually saw that company advertising an opening on my campus job board, and you better believe I hopped on that.
6. I was prepared for the interview.
Once again, the class I took really helped me with all aspects of career finding, but it’s okay if you don’t have a class like that. The most important thing to do is figure out what value you can add to the company that you’re applying for. What do they need, and how can you provide that? Why should they hire you? Once you figure that out, the answers to all of the interview questions will be a lot easier. Just try to tie it back to the value you add. Look up a list of the most common interview questions and practice your answers with a friend or parent.
7. I (mostly) wasn’t nervous.
I know that this is a tough one, but consider this: the company you are interviewing with wants to hire you just as much as you want to be hired. Most people don’t like interviewing, and they likely have a lot of extra work due to the unfulfilled position. They really want to hire someone, and they called you in because they think it could be you. There is no reason to be nervous because they want to hire you. They’re not judging you, at least a good interviewer isn’t. Take a breath and try to remember this! It really helps me.
Hopefully these tips help you out. What are your job landing tips? What’s your dream, and how are you working towards it?