Monday, June 4, 2012

how i approach finding a job .

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about jobs, interviews and the like. I have a good number of friends who were lucky and determined enough to get an internship this summer, and as much as I tell myself that my time for that will come in time (while it is rapidly running out) I can't help but feel extremely jealous of their position. It's great to get some experience under your belt, and it will really open options for them. In my studies on what people look for, it seems that the number one item they look to check off their list before hiring you is that you have some experience. The more, the better. But it's not easy when you have none and you're trying to get your foot in the door. I mean, my gosh, SOMEONE has got to let you in, right!? Or so I thought.

You see, I have always been someone who likes to do things very by the book. I'm risky, but that's in my personal adventures and athletic endeavors. When it comes to instructions, or applications, I do what is required. I don't go outside the boundaries but I feel like it would hurt my chances of gaining an interview. But it seems like other people often say screw the boundaries and just email people or call people up, hound people for an interview or something else. There is a huge grey area here for me, and let me explain why.

If you're too conservative (like I have been), you tend to blend into the crowd. Despite how fantastic your resumé may be, or how awesome of a person you are, or how compatible you are with the firm (in my case), you will just be another name on a piece of paper, another name to be turned down. Your projects may be great, but it needs to hit people immediately! You need to instantly stand out as a great candidate, literally within a matter of seconds! I've been told that people often go through an entire applicant's information, especially at a larger firm, in under a minute. That's doesn't make it easy to fit the bill!

On the flip side, if you are too extravagant it could come off as immature, rude, and as a giant display of downright douchebaggery. I don't want to be that guy that everyone remembers are the insane lunatic who stalked us until we gave him and interview. I also don't want to bend the rules or feel like I have cheated my way into a firm, bypassing those that I'm sure also deserved a completely fair shot.

So where does that leave me? Clearly the standard I have set for myself in terms of applying for jobs and internships is not yielding results. I have made contacts in the past, met people, digitally introduced myself and even had people that really liked my stuff. That's the sort of thing I'd like to attempt to do from now on. It may very well be that I don't have a full portfolio put together, and they would prefer that. It may be that my resumé isn't completely updated, or that its relevance is lacking. But in order to make myself stand out, I have many other skills, skills that I can show people just by introducing myself (digitally or in real life) and by proving that I am excited about what I do, excited about the things I can learn, excited about the work that they do, and excited about the prospect of working together. Everyone will be enthusiastic. Every applicant will have good marks, a solid resumé, and a desire to get the job. But I will have to put myself apart, and by separating myself, I can distinguish myself.

It's scary to think about these things: the fact that I will have to find a job in a few short years. The fact that true adult life is coming quickly, where you don't have summer breaks and winter holiday and all that nonsense. It is scary, but also exciting. I'm ready to get started -- I just need to find the right building where I can get my foot in the door.


  1. I remember feeling all of these things!

    For me, the old cliche of "it's all about who you know" has really been true. Every job I've ever had has come from this.

  2. Ah, I don't envy you - been there, done that, got the T-shirt sort of thing! I could go on and on about this topic.

    Not easy setting yourself apart from 'others' especially when not the one to stand out of the crowd... but you'll find that more interviews you do, more confident you become and in the end you will (hopefully) even enjoy them...

    Just put the best of you out there and you'll be fine! :)x


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