Why Can’t I Get My Dream Job? – A Frank Answer

So you’ve been looking for a job for a while and nothing is working. You’ve created a great resume, you interview excellently, but for some reason nobody is calling you back. You shake your fist at the economy, blame the poor job market, and bitterly think about how good you could be if they just gave you a chance. You need experience to get a job, and a job to get experience, this whole system is broken and designed specifically to ruin you – you who could be so amazing if only the world weren’t so pitted against you – how is anyone expected to succeed like this?

Stop. Stop right there.

Yes, the system is broken – that’s just how it goes. But that is not an excuse to sit at home all day complaining about it. Successful people happen every day, all the time, and they deal with the same system you do. Generally speaking, they aren’t special. They’re not smarter than you, or better looking than you or born into better circumstances. The only thing separating you from the hundreds of people finding success right at this moment is the effort you put into what you do.

Give it All You Got:
Yes, the job market is terrible. Successful people skirt that and make their own opportunities. Want to own a bakery? Start baking every single day. Learn to make the most delicious goddamn cupcakes on the face of this good green earth and give samples to your friends. Start selling them to their friends. Get a crap job on the side and save like a maniac with the goal of a bakery in mind. Be so good no one can ignore you. Be so good people line up outside just for a bite of one of your delicious pastries. Put hours and hours into perfecting what you do. If you want to be successful, you can’t half ass anything. Because there are 20 people who want the same thing as you do and they’re willing to put in the work.

Prepare Your Goals in Advance:
Make a list every morning of three things you want to do that will inch you closer to your goal. Find people who are doing what you want to do, ask to buy them lunch, and pick their brain about every detail of their success. Find out what kind of person excels in the industry and become that person. Zero in on this one thing and make your life about it. Live and breathe it, research it to death, do as much as you can on your own so when you’re finally being considered for that job, you’ll have a lot to show them.

Look Professional:
Pay attention to your appearance – in a perfect world it wouldn’t matter, but we don’t live in that world. People’s first impression of who you comes from how you look, so look like someone they’d want to hire. Maybe they’d love you if they got to know you, but that’s not good enough. Make them love you from the moment they see you until the moment you leave. Be charming and friendly and professional and show them you have initiative and the skills they want.

If all that sounds like too much effort then you have no right to complain about not having the job you want. If you press full speed ahead into your goals, they’ll get done. But if you’d like to lazily wander after them, then you will only experience mediocrity throughout your career path.

 

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Tip Tuesday: Spring/Summer Work Attire

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It’s getting warmer and you know what that means…spring and summer work attire!
 
But don’t wear just anything to work. Just like we’ve been preaching from the start,
keep it professional. Avoid wearing pants higher than your knees or tops with spaghetti
straps to work.
 
Instead, ladies who choose to wear sleeveless shirts should make sure
it covers the whole shoulder. For pants, capris or loose sundresses/skirts
are also appropriate.
 
Men should wear golf shirts instead of t-shirts.
 
Enjoy the sun!

Be a Go-Getter!

Ask yourself this: are you a go-getter? Do you have drive, passion and motivation or are you one of the many others who go to work and then go home? Actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to say that you want to be successful but it’s another to actually act on it. If you are a go-getter, you know the trials, tribulations and failures that go along with achieving your goal. Here’s five tips on how to be a go-getter:

1) Accept failure & move forward:
Know that there will be bumps along the way and handle it with grace. Nothing comes easy and if you have your eye on the prize, forget the bumps and move on!

2) Never give up:
Like we just mentioned, even if something doesn’t work out, something else will. Focus on the things that do work which will get you closer to the finish line.

4) Always be positive:
Dwelling on the negatives will only set you back. Tell yourself that you can achieve it. Good things happen to positive people!

5) Be aggressive (in a professional way):
Everyone is capable of doing anything. But there’s a difference between the people who go after what they want and the ones who just sit there and don’t bother. Try to network and do things outside the box – don’t be shy. It’ll be worth it in the end.

6) Do something everyday:
Set small goals and do something that will lead you to your long-term goal. Do something productive everyday to keep your mind active.

5 Ways to Impress Recruiters

Just a heads up, if you think you only need to impress the hiring manager to get a job, think again. It’s very important to also make a good impression with the recruiter who is calling you back to potentially schedule you in for an interview. However, candidates sometimes overlook the importance of this and as a result, lose a great opportunity.

Think of it like a football game. In order to get to the quarterback (hiring manager), you have to past the defensive linemen (recruiters) first. If you can’t get past the defense, you can’t get to the quarterback and end up giving the other team an opportunity to make a touchdown. In other words, you risk someone else getting the job over you.

Here are five things to do/say to convince the hiring manager that you’re deserving of a job.

1) Update your resume:
Right here at The Job Window, we’ve had a number of occasions where the recruiter is going over the resume with a candidate over the phone and that’s when the candidate realizes their resume is out of date. For example, the word “present” is written beside a job the candidate no longer has. At that point, a million things go through the recruiter’s mind: “Is this candidate blindly sending out resumes to every job post they see?” “They don’t pay attention to detail,” or worse “They don’t care”. These are all impressions that can hurt you as a job seeker. Again, first impressions are key and not updating your resume makes a bad first impression.

2) Be conversational:
In other words, don’t give one-worded answers – it shows disinterest in the job. Even if you’re not a very conversational person, pretend you are and be interpersonal. Speak to the recruiter as if they’re you’re friend. Try to elaborate on your answers as much as possible and make them like you. Without knowing it, you may be developing a personal, but professional relationship with them – which will work to your advantage.

3) Make it seem like you really want the job:
Recruiters hate it when they call a candidate and ask, “Hi, is this a good time to talk?” and the candidate says, “No, can you call me back later?” with no explanation. Right off the bat, the recruiter will perceive the person as rude and disinterested. If you really want the job, you should make an effort to call the recruiter back. They’re not going to chase after you when they’ve got hundreds of other candidates who’d gladly take your place.

Instead, say: “I’m driving right now, can I please call you back when I pull over?” Recruiters understand that they might be catching you at a bad time. So if you tell them that you’ll call them back, they’ll appreciate it.

4) Speak to recruiters in a quiet area:
Do you ever find it annoying when you can’t hear someone on the other line? Or when you’re trying to speak to them and they’re distracted by something? Well, recruiters feel the same way. Just like in the previous situation, explain to them that you will call them back once you find a quieter place. That way, you can express your interest and reiterate your skills clearly, on the way to the recruiter scheduling you in for an interview.

5) Be prepared for the call:
After applying for a position, give everyone in your household a heads up that you may be expecting a call from an employer. Recruiters find it unprofessional when you or someone else answers the phone in a improper manner such as “yo, sup” or “hello” in an annoyed tone of voice. It’s all about first impressions, so perk up and expect every call to be the employer or recruiter.

Final tips:

  • Be polite
  • Sound enthusiastic and interpersonal
  • Keep your resume updated and honest

Remember, first impressions are everything. And just because the recruiter doesn’t have the power to hire you, they still have the ability to give the hiring manager that first impression about you, whether it’s good or bad.

All About References (Part 1): Who to Use

Work references can either make or break your chances of getting a job. A good reference will increase your chances of landing a job and a bad reference will lower your chances. Either way, you’ll be asked to provide a reference or two at some point in your life. So you better have some good people to vouch for you!

Why are references important?
Employers will usually ask for references during or after the interview. This is to give them an idea of how you conduct yourself in a professional environment, how well you work in a team or with other colleagues and whether or not you are reliable – basically, if it’s worth it for them to invest their time and money into hiring you.

Who to use as references
You have to be very careful when choosing your references since they can either make or break your chances at landing a job. The best people to use are:

Former managers or leaders: 
They are the best ones to use because you worked with and took orders from them. Also, it shows your true colors within a professional environment. They will be able to tell your prospective employer about your work ethic and desire to meet your personal and professional goals.           

Current/former professors or teaching assistants (TAs):
If you’re just starting out in the working world and don’t have a lot of experience, you can ask these people to provide a good word. Even though they’re not “work” references, you still showed work ethic, reliability and drive at school, which were presumably noticed by professors and TAs.

Supervisors from internships/volunteering:
These can be even more valuable than former managers and leaders or professors and TAs. Know why? Because interning and volunteering is free labor and can show your true work ethic and drive when you’re not getting paid. If you made a good impression on these people, they will tell your prospective employer that you sacrificed some moolah to gain valuable experience, arrived to your placement on time and went above and beyond your means to complete each task.

Former colleagues: 
This can sometimes be tricky because the closest bond that you form at work is with the people you work with on the same level. A colleague that you chill with outside work can be perceived as biased and your prospective employer may not take their word about you seriously. Instead, use someone that you were on a “hi” and “bye” basis with at work – someone you would call an acquaintance and nothing more. They will be able to tell the prospective employer how well you got along with and interacted with them as well as with others in the workplace.