Just got off the call and landed the gig! VP level role, more than double my previous salary, multiple bonuses, and a complete relocation package. So long east coast winters, I’m moving to California!
It’s been quite a journey and I’d like to share my thoughts, tips, and tricks that worked for me. Take them for what you will.
- Keep detailed records of every application you make. This includes saving a copy of every resume and cover letter you submit for every role, so if you get a call back you know precisely what they are looking at.
- Don’t just relentlessly spam applications. I started off doing this, and found I was getting lackluster responses, I wasn’t energized about any of the roles, and when one turned into an offer I turned it down to not being a good fit. Take the time to apply to jobs you want. Take the time to put effort into every single resume and cover letter, customizing each one for the relevant job you want.
- Don’t settle. Unless your bank account is $0 and your rent is due, don’t just go out and snap up the first offer you get. Make sure you like the job, the role, the company, and the culture. Taking a crappy job is going to make you miserable, and not performing well, which makes the company not value you, and sets up all sorts of negative and antagonistic situations that almost never end well. If you have any kind of safety net, take the time to find the job you want. This is your life, and every hour you spend doing something you hate is an hour you will never get back. This was my fourth offer, and I’m glad I took the time to find it.
- Attitude matters. A LOT. Don’t approach a job hunt as some elaborate game where your job is to try and outwit or trick a company into hiring you. Things like lying on your resume, inflating/hiding salary information, setting up fake PO boxes and Google Voice numbers, that’s all a bunch of childish nonsense. Employment should be a symbiotic relationship, where both sides benefit. Not a parasitic one where one side leeches off the other. Having that attitude will come across in interviews, and recruiters can see through the BS pretty easily. You are much better off acting in an honest, upfront, friendly and helpful manner than a deceitful, obfuscating, deceptive one. Stay positive, the more positive you are, the better you will represent yourself to recruiters.
- Use Linkedin to contact recruiters directly. The job I ended up getting wasn’t even posted, I had applied for a similar role, contacted the recruiter on LinkedIn and introduced myself, and on seeing my resume she replied asking me if I would be interested in this other role as well, I agreed, and was presented directly to the hiring manager, and went through the process and landed the gig. I likely would never have heard of the job if I hadn’t taken the time to reach out to that recruiter and message them personally.
- When looking for jobs out of state, what I found worked best for me was: Only apply to out of state jobs that specifically mention relocation as being offered, target jobs in the industry/sector you have experience in, and target higher level jobs that are harder to fill locally.
- Practice your interview skills. Google the most likely questions recruiters will ask, and have your answers prepared. Give that list to friends and family and ask them to run you through a mock interview. Record yourself doing it, then watch the video afterwards. Ask them to give you a mock phone interview, record it, and listen back later taking note of how many “umm’s” and how much dead air there was, did the conversation flow naturally, what the speed of your voice to fast, was your tone a pleasant one? Interviewing is a pretty unnatural experience, so you need to practice it.
- If you aren’t having success, don’t blame things outside yourself. It’s not only useless, but self defeating. Don’t fall into the trap of “I’m not getting any traction cause of nepotism, or I’m not getting calls because my last job had XYZ title, or my zip code is getting in the way, blah blah blah”. It’s a self defeatist attitude to have. There will always be things outside your control in every situation, focusing on them takes your attention away from the things you can control. Focus on your resume, your cover letter, your interview skills, things you can work manage and work with.
- Don’t let others get you down. One thing that surprised me was how many just downright mean and negative people there are in the job hunting world. They will try and put you down, dismiss your success, and inflict their anger at their situation on you. Don’t let them. Looking for a job is rough enough, you don’t need constant sources of pessimism and negativity bringing you down as well. Recognize them for what they are, people who are upset/sad/angry at their personal circumstances and their only coping mechanism is to try and project that on other people. Don’t let them. Ignore them, and surround yourself with positive, motivational people and thoughts. It is their choice to stand in the muck, it’s your choice not to join them.
That’s pretty much it for advice, it’s what worked for me, so take it as you will. I’m off to pick up some boxes and packing tape. Good luck to all the job seekers out there! Stay positive!
7 months, 135 applications, 54 rejections, 4 offers, finally got a job! from jobs