13 things millennials need to know when starting a job search

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By Jason Syptak

Career hunting is a piece of cake. It’s a gigantic, delicious, dairy- and gluten free piece of cake. Not really. But that’s what I thought as a Texas A&M University student.

Being a full-time job seeker is discouraging.

Venturing to the magical New York City after college graduation was always my plan. With my acceptance into the New York University Summer Publishing Institute that’s just what I did. When the program ended, my career quest officially started. Here’s what I wish I knew at the start of my job search

1.     Begin with a targeted list

You will exercise your marketing muscles by segmenting the job market, targeting the market with the greatest return and then positioning yourself right in front by showcasing core competencies.

Take note of companies, websites, contacts, email addresses, and characteristics that catch your attention because it will help track progress.

2.     Organize your materials

Begin to craft tailored materials for each target. Organize yourself by packaging cover letters, resumes and portfolio compilations into company-separated folders.

3.     Strip your resume

Large companies have online application systems requiring you to upload a document or PDF. Such systems tear resumes to shreds by only extracting words. It gets messy: Bullets are entirely out of line and text is clumped together. Create an entirely unformatted resume to avoid the mess.

4.     Send initial outreach emails

Individuals holding high-rank titles are humans too. Usually they respond if you succinctly prove yourself and are persistent in your outreach.

5.     Score informational interviews

Informational interviews provide tremendous opportunities to build connections. Informational interviewers may not be able to get you a job directly, but they become a part of your larger network.

Keep in touch with and update them along your journey using Twitter or LinkedIn.

6.     Practice patience

This proves to be my biggest challenge. Whereas many respond to emails, many also do not. In my experience it’s completely disheartening and leaves one in an uncertainty abyss. But that’s OK. Learn to play the game so it doesn’t play you!

7.     Revamp your social media presence

If your social mix is sporadic and unorganized, now is the time to outline professional and personal network-specific theme strategies. Always remember to stay fresh and keep it classy.

8.     Attend to relevant news

I constantly open a “Daily Reads” bookmark folder jam-packed with online publications reporting on my interested fields. Not only do I now have Twitter content, but I’m keeping up with the latest happenings.

Continue to educate yourself by reading focused news and absorbing it.

9.     Send follow up No. 1

Remember that initial outreach email you sent two days ago? No response, I bet. It’s the third day and time to send follow up email No. 1. Send a polite email letting the hiring manager know you’re following up.

10.Do something else

Pick up a couple of projects. Guest-write for a blog or start your own. Freelance. My own social media small business consulting is field-relevant and adds a self-revenue stream. Social media marketing for others also involves finalizing one’s self-brand for credibility promotion.

It’s important to stay busy and not lazy.

11.Bookmark job websites

Some situations play out where you have a direct contact into a company, they become one of your fans, but there are no jobs available. Unfortunate, but it’s reality. The way I maneuvered this is by bookmarking job websites. Whenever I discover a job for which I’d be a good fit, I immediately apply for it and let my contact know I did so.

Because they remember me, they’ll be able to put a face to my application.

12.Send follow up No. 2

It’s now the fifth day since you’ve sent your initial outreach email and two more days have passed since your first follow up. Third time must be a charm, and it usually is. Send follow up email No. 2. In my experiences, the person to whom you’re trying to communicate feels bad for not responding and does so right away. You’re finally booked in his or her calendar … or you could be annoying.

Think about including a new work piece so s/he continues to learn about you.

13.Continue with passion, hope and purpose

Rejection makes you stronger, but a lack of response is just confusing and disheartening. We don’t always get what we want.

Most importantly, don’t take rejection or response-lacking emails personally. Keep your essence, vision and what you want do.

Learn more about Jason M. Syptak at http://tx.ag/jasonsyptak or follow him on Twitter @jasonsyptak.

 

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4 ways thinking like Kim Kardashian can help you score your next job

Meredith Coburn

Say what you want about Kim Kardashian, but girlfriend knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. From TV shows, clothing lines, perfume, jewelry, tanning products, and other paid endorsements and appearances, there aren’t many places you can go without seeing her.

You might think she’s all fluff, but what if I told you that reality TV queen Kim Kardashian could actually teach you a thing or two about the best ways to market yourself for your next job?

Here are four things I’ve learned by keeping up with Kim:

Brand yourself

Branding is complicated, but when executed correctly, it’s one of the most powerful marketing strategies. One of my professors at DePaul University told me that branding is simply how people perceive you. They’re not objects you can pick up; rather, they’re intangibles (perceptions, reputations, personalities). The best branding strategies are so seamlessly executed that most of us don’t even realize they exist.

Kim Kardashian has turned herself into one of the most successful and profitable brands in the country. The women who buy Sketchers Shape-Ups or clothes from the Kardashian Kollection at Sears this fall aren’t buying the product—they’re buying the chance to look and feel like Kim. So, start thinking of yourself as a brand. How do you want people to perceive you? What makes you stand out? When you’re up against a lot of candidates for a job or internship, your answers to these questions will set you apart from the rest.

Message, not medium

Whether she’s on TV or Twitter (she earned $25,000 from Armani for a single tweet), Kardashian is always a part of the conversation. While most brands struggle with this aspect of their image, KK has got it down. And because she’s put her stamp on everything from Carl’s Jr. to a really terrible pop song (sorry Kimmy), her brand is ubiquitous. She’s always part of the media’s cultural conversation. It’s no wonder that the products she endorses enjoy frequent success and almost instant publicity.

You need to be actively involved in today’s competitive job market. The company you’re dying to work for? Follow them on Twitter, “like” them on Facebook, and join the conversation (but remember, privacy settings are your best friend: that picture of your perfect keg stand is not an ideal way to set yourself apart).

Expand your social network

Today, networking means many different things, and to set yourself apart from other millenials, you’ve gotta put yourself out there—in person and online. Attend networking events in the city. If you’re a college student, your university is probably flooding your Inbox with internship and career fair opportunities every week. Also, look for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Our girl Kim K is queen of social media, and whether she’s chatting about her latest workout or asking her followers for their advice or feedback (all 10 million of them) she makes sure she’s a part of the conversation.

Kreativity is key

Brands need to market themselves in many different formats. Just because your TV ads were once wildly successful, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other options. Marketing goals are often structured around a single question: “Are we bringing in the desired amount of sales?” If the answer is “no,” changes need to be made. Kim was certainly creative in marketing her summer 2011 nuptials: People Magazine reportedly paid $1.5 million for exclusive rights to Kim’s wedding photos, while E! received an undisclosed amount for the video footage (which will air in October as part of a four hour, two-part series).

While you should definitely network through the “assumed” channels (LinkedIn, career fairs, networking events) think of new and different ways to get yourself out there. Start a blog about your internship this summer. Go to networking events in the city. Take your favorite professor out for coffee. At the very least, you’ll learn more about yourself and be that much more prepared to enter the workforce.

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