Are you a student or recent graduate who worries if you’ll land a great job? All of the networking and experience needed to get an interview offer alone is intimidating, but the Career Services center at the University of San Francisco taught me that a little bit of mindful work goes a long way. As a student in the Master of Arts in Professional Communication program, I was treated with valuable insights at an event called 7 Ways To Get A Job And Be A Boss At It from USF alumni that are current employees of Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and the YMCA.
The moderator of the event, Ellen Kelly Daley from USF’s career services, shared a story that should motivate everybody to pay attention to detail during job searches. Without providing names, she told the audience about one of the worst interviews ever. At last year’s panel, there was a recruiter from Pandora (the music streaming company) who interviewed a candidate that failed miserably. The recruiter asked the candidate why they want to work for Pandora, and the response was, “because I love the jewelry.”
Step one for a job hunt: know what the company you are interviewing for actually does before making a fool of yourself. Below are highlights from this year’s panelists on how to network, become a professional, and score your ideal job or internship.
Grace Lu, Facebook:
- Brand yourself: put yourself out there and utilize LinkedIn. Include a summary that expresses you are looking for opportunities, and have an interesting headline.
- Respond in a timely manner to employers when looking for jobs and internships, and be mindful of how you present yourself.
- Don’t be afraid of short-term contracted positions. Being a contract employee isn’t as bad as it sounds, and it can lead to a full-time position.
Melissa Castro, Salesforce:
- Definition of professional: When I interviewed at Salesforce it was casual. Company culture is changing, but act professionally on social media because it is looked at. Keep your personal and professional life separate.
- Have a section on your resume that shows who you are and what makes you unique. Perhaps include a summary of your strengths, and feature hard metrics to prove your value instead of soft skills that anyone can have.
- You never know what one email can do, so don’t be afraid to make random connections. More connections means more people will notice you for opportunities in the future.
Kristen Dambrowski, YMCA:
- Use actual experiences to help you find your passion, and put one foot in front of the other on your journey to find the right jobs for you.
- On Professional Communication: Be mindful of your writing to people and proofread your emails. Also be respectful of people’s time outside of work hours.
- Don’t be paralyzed by fear when looking for opportunities in the real world.
Lincoln Stanfield, LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn is a tremendous way to get people to know who you are. It’s not a resume; it’s a dynamic place where you can bring your experience to life. As a tip, don’t use a photo from a house party. Allow your profile photo to speak for who you are, and you don’t need to wear a suit.
- Pay attention to details, and review your emails. Details like email signatures matter in order to come across professionally.
- Put in the effort to reach out to people for coffee meetings, and build relationships even if it doesn’t lead to a job at the moment. You might learn about a position from that person later. Also, be authentic when making your pitch to potential employers.