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.