Pretty soon will be the season when job applications, phone interviews and summer plans will become a daily conversation piece for Gonzaga students. It’s only February but students, especially seniors, are starting the process of reaching out to alumni, going to career fairs and sending off every application to see what sticks.
Everyone will start to get these questions tossed around:
“What are your plans after graduation?”
“What are your plans for the summer?”
“What companies are you going to apply to?”
“Have you heard back from Boeing?”
“Are you staying in Spokane this summer?”
Here are some tips to help get that job reigned in and ready to go once May comes around:
1. Research and respect
- Before you even apply, check out the company’s website and read their mission statement. Do their values and beliefs match up with yours? Could you see yourself representing this company in the future? Also research what others have said about the company you’re thinking of applying to. A third party perspective brings out different points that the company might talk about. It’s important to make sure that the places that you’re applying to are ones that you are proud of and respect. Nothing is worse than working for a company that you don’t believe in. Be inspired at work. This is one way to allow your career to be fulfilling and enriching in your life.
2. Email and connect
- Next step is to get a hold of the company and connect with them. Whether that’s through email, phone call, or in person. If there’s no set application process posted online, call or email the human resources representative and inquire about the application process. They probably won’t reach out to you, so it’s a good idea to make that first step and connect with someone. Once you get that conversation started with the hiring manager of the company, start taking notice of the type of language they use when communicating with you. This will be a reflection of how communication is conducted in the office or company. It’s important to stay in contact with the person you initially reach.
3. By specific in your cover letter
- When writing your cover letter always be very specific. Use numbers whenever possible. For example, when talking about your experience running a Facebook page, make sure to list the number of follower and likes you have on the page to give them some perspective on your audience and its growth. Your cover letter might be one of hundreds or even thousands, so it’s important to give as much insight into your experience as possible. After reading your cover letter, they should be able to know exactly your degree of experience and your plans with applying for the job. Be straight forward with your intentions for the position that you’re applying for. Employers always are looking for ways to improve their company so explicitly state what you have to offer to the company. Focus less attention on what you want to get out of the position and more on how you plan to contribute to the company. They are looking for an employee who is ready to work and make a difference in their company.
4. Use your resources
- There are Gonzaga alumni everywhere and as a Gonzaga student, alumni are more than willing to talk with you and help you along your journey towards a job or internship. The GAMP program run through the Career Center on campus help students connect with alumni who have jobs in the career and location that interest the student. The Career Center also many other programs that help students with interview skills, resume help and cover letter formats. Another great resource for job searching is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has an option to narrow down your connections by state, city, major, skill set and company to see who you know in the certain city or company where you want to apply. It’s not only really interesting to see, but it’s also a great opportunity to find someone you have a connection with at a company that you want to work for to further your knowledge of the company.
5. Apply on time
- Know the deadline and apply on time. Simple as that. Most of the time employers won’t even look at an application that is submitted past the deadline because it shows a lack of professionally and just simple rule following. In order to get your application in time, start early and don’t procrastinate. Let yourself have time to write a genuine and eloquent application to exemplify your highest potential.
6. Know your strengths
- Your strengths are going to be the most valuable thing that you contribute to your job. Reflect on past experiences and take note of how you dealt with difficulties, how you reached goals, and how you interacted with others in group projects. Many employers want to create an environment that is cohesive yet productive, so it’s important to find a balance of being approachable and productive.
7. Have a story ready
- During your interview have a story in mind that you can bring up or use in one of your answers. This story should exemplify one of your skills or strengths and give the employer a window into what you have to offer their company. The ability to tell a strong story goes a lot farther than you think. Your openness and ability to share a part of your experience will make you stand out and give your employer examples of who you are.
8. Don’t be afraid to call the hiring manager directly
- Calling the hiring manager shows your dedication and commitment to the application process. The more you can interact and connect with the person that will be deciding your future with the company, the better. You want to try to stay in the back of your potential employer’s mind as much as possible. Even if you aren’t offered the job, if another opportunity comes up, they will remember you and might reach out to you for another position.
9. LinkedIn is your best friend
- Always update and always seek ways to strengthen your LinkedIn account. Be specific and post links to other projects your’ve worked on when possible. Use language that is professional yet approachable and engaging. LinkedIn is not like your Facebook page, so it’s important to filter and only post appropriate content. The Career Center can also help students create strong LinkedIn accounts if you are having trouble. Not only make a strong LinkedIn account, but also reach out to others and grow your connections. Sometimes employers reach out to people directly through LinkedIn if they can become connected with you. Allow them to get a good idea of your professionalism and experience with just a couple scrolls of your web page.
10. Follow up, follow up, follow up
- People are busy, especially human resources consultants who are constantly dealing with a large amount of people. With this in mind, you don’t want them to forget about you or look over something. After each interaction and connection with them, email them. This email should be thanking them for their time and asking any questions you have. After you submit your application, call them or email them again. Confirm that they have received your application. This shows how seriously you are taking your possible position with the company. In every step of the process, take the opportunity to follow up with your person of contact. This brings your application to life and puts a stronger identity behind just a piece of paper or screen online.
Overall, just be honest with how you are representing yourself because a job is a commitment that you’ll be putting your energy and valuable time towards. See each step of applying for a job as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
Categories: Campus Life