Job Fact: Job Search = Full-time Job

“Searching for a job is like a full-time job.”

We’re sure you’ve heard this phrase at some point, especially if you’re on the job hunt. The fact of the matter is, that it is true. Studies show that in order to be employed, one must treat their job search as a full-time job.

Now you might ask: “How do you expect me to sit in front of the computer for eight hours from Monday to Friday and look for jobs?” Here’s a wake up call. Treating your job as a full-time job does not mean sitting at your desk firing away resumes everyday – that’s just a portion of it. Another chunk of your day should be spent either volunteering/interning, attending industry seminars/events, mingling with professionals and making connections.

Last year, 1054 companies were surveyed and 58% said that all of their hiring was internal. This was either through employee referrals or company portals. Either way, making strong relationships with the right people (especially people who are in a position of power) will make a difference in your career path.

Source: U.S. News

Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways to Think Outside the Box

You often hear the saying “think outside the box”. This can apply to you when something isn’t going the way you want it to or you just want to experience something different in your life. But how to you actually ‘think outside the box’?

First off, you need to understand that thinking outside the box requires you to take risks and approach problems with new and innovative ideas. Here are five ways to do something else rather than what everyone else is doing.

1. Talk to people outside of your industry:
Chat with people who completely have nothing to do with the industry or line of work you are in/want to get in to. For example, if you’re an engineer, talk to someone in the music business. Those people might not be able to help you directly with engineering, but they also go through struggles and find ways to overcome it. Don’t trap yourself in the engineering bubble. New ideas from new people can set that light bulb off in your head.

2. Copy successful people:
Copying people you look up to or have been down the same career path that you desire can really help you think outside the box. Learn about how people in the past have dealt with struggles and found ways to overcome it. Motivational books can also help. The best things about these books are that you get to read about the people who did things differently and how they were able to achieve success in their careers by not doing the same thing as everyone else.

3. Take a class:
Who cares if you’ve already graduated? You can always sign up for part-time classes or take one full-time class and work on the side. Classes will help you learn something different and push new ideas into your brain. Plus, you also get to meet new people who can help you with your career or future goals!

4. Do some yoga:
Mind, body and soul. Without sounding all philosophical, you need to sometimes get in touch with your inner self, forget all the other things around you, and focus. Focus on a fresh new start.

5. Never say never:
Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean YOU can’t be the first to do it. It also doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong way to do it. The whole point of thinking outside the box is to outsmart everyone and come up with something new and creative!

 

Should I Apply to a Job if I Don’t Have Experience?

It happens so often that people miss a job opportunity because they actually don’t’ have the qualifications listed don’t have the qualifications or experience listed on the job posting so they don’t apply. Well NEWS FLASH! All the requirements and experience listed on the ad just make up a “wish list” for employers. They may not expect a candidate to have all those qualifications but still list them to weave out anyone who is not 100% qualified for the position.

An easy rule to remember is that if you have more than 50% of the qualifications and experience listed in the posting, you should apply. Most employers are willing to train new candidates and make exceptions if the qualifications and experience are very easy to learn.

However, don’t apply to a job if there is a very specific and mandatory education or skill requirement that you don’t have. The bottom line is to apply even if you think you don’t have experience but feel like you can confidently take on the role.

Transferable skills are an asset

After going through a good amount of schooling and having some work experience under your belt, there have got to be some skills you already have which can be transferred over to the job you want to apply to.

Work-related experience: See if the skills you’ve picked up during your previous work experiences can be applied to the job. For example, if you were a leader of six people and the job ad requires a supervisor to oversee 10 people, you still have the potential to become a supervisor because: a) You were already in a role that required some kind of leadership of others b) You know a thing or two about managing others, even if it’s less than the amount in the job ad.

Breaking into different industries: Breaking into a different industry can also work because employers might want new insight in the company. If you are an accountant and want to work in a payroll company, they might take a second look at you because the skills of an accountant are similar to payroll positions.

Your cover letter will support your “no/lack of experience”

Like we mentioned before, your cover letter can make or break your chances at getting the job. So even if you don’t have the exact experience they’re looking for, use your cover letter to highlight the experiences you do have that would make you an asset to their company.

Convince the employer: This goes back to thinking about all the transferable skills you have. If you write your cover letter well, you will have the hiring manager sold on the fact that even if you don’t have experience, you do have the skills. In the letter, talk about how your skills can be applied to the role and how you can benefit the company as a whole.

Show your knowledge for the position/industry: Do your research on the position or industry you are applying for so you know the key points to hit when writing the cover letter. That knowledge may make the difference between an interview and being passed over for one.

Maybe You’ll Get Lucky

You never know what is going on in the minds of hiring managers and their intentions for the company. Maybe they want someone who isn’t familiar with the industry to bring in new perspectives. Or they like your resume and cover letter so much that they are willing to offer you an interview. The possibilities are endless. Applying for a job even if you don’t have exact experience doesn’t hurt but it certainly does increase your chances at a job offer than not submitting one at all.