I have never been the type of person that dreamed about my wedding day since I was a little girl. I was that girl that played baseball and flag football with the boys and came home with every bump and bruise imaginable. Luckily, when I moved to the fab town of Athens, I met a super stellar guy who I want to spend the rest of my life with (and he wants to spend his with me, too! Awesome!) and now, suddenly, we have to start thinking about alllll of the details of the wedding — and I’ve never thought about this before! Just like I’ve never thought about planning a wedding before, chances are if you are a rising senior, you have never thought about how to properly search for a full-time job before. There is a lot for us to learn and let me give you some tips that I have learned through my personal journey as it relates to your job search.
GETTING ADVICE FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED IT.
Patrick and I are getting married in my hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It is not the easiest to plan far away, but it is absolutely do-able and we are going to make it work! I told my family and friends about plans for our big day, and asked each of them if they knew someone who got married in the area. Everyone had at least one person in mind that I could speak with. I have been doing informational interviews non-stop with former brides who have already been through the process! Instead of just searching for my vendors online and seeing how they rate themselves, I’ve gone to the source – their clients! They have told me the best vendors (and the ones to stay away from!) You can do the same when you are job searching. Do informational interviews with people (how about UGA alums?) who currently work in the field you’re interested in pursuing to get an insider’s perspective on the industry and get some concrete advice on which path to follow when seeking out a certain job opportunity. Oh, you want to work in New York City? No problem. Make a trip up there. If you meet with individuals in the city and in the field you want to pursue – you’ll get a wealth of knowledge on best practices for landing a job where you want to be.
SAVE THE DATES and RESUMES.
Sounds crazy, but I’m comparing our Save the Dates to a resume (this is what happens when you’re a Career Consultant – it all relates back to job searching!). Patrick and I are getting married in June – the BUSIEST wedding month of the year. So, we fully realize we’re going to be stacked up against some serious competition. Now, granted, we know our friends and family love us to pieces, so they’re going to try their hardest to get there. But, it never hurts to get people amped up about your big day. We know that most of our friends and family are jokesters – we surround ourselves with the people who laugh the loudest and find the irony and humor in any situation. With that, we decided to have a little more of a humorous Save the Date – it truly shows off our personality and we know it will grab our audience’s attention. This is similar to resumes. Trust me, I am NOT suggesting that you create outrageous frills and have funny-faced pictures on your resume (ABSOLUTELY NOT – NO NO NO!), BUT I am suggesting that you need to know your audience. My friends and family are the class clowns – they’re not investment bankers on Wall Street. When you’re writing your resume, you have to think about whose eyes will be looking at it. Is it appealing to the audience? Does it make you stand out from the competition (in my case: all of those June weddings!)? Use industry buzzwords on your resume to get the reader’s attention and prove to them that you’re going to be the best fit! You WILL have competition – make sure that employer knows that you’re the one they want to extend the interview to – not someone else who was better at selling themselves through their resume.
Wedding planning is allll about interviews. I am constantly calling photographers, DJs, officiants, etc, etc, etc to get more information about their services. In this case, I am now in the employer role – I am hiring this person to make my wedding spectacular! You better believe that when I call these people unannounced, I am judging them right from the start. Did they answer the phone professionally – or do they sound like they just woke up from a nap? When I ask about what makes them stand out from their competitors, are they just glossing over their expertise or are they giving me concrete examples of how they made the wedding experience for the couple SUPER awesome? I don’t want to have to keep on prying information out of the venders – I want them to tell me solid details about their experience! The vendor needs to sell themselves, and so do you in the interview (and during any correspondence with an employer). During a phone interview, do not let the employer hang up the phone and continue to question your “expertise” because you did not properly answer their questions – give them the scoop on why you’re the best fit for their job opportunity. BUT, at the same time, don’t make me hang on the phone for an hour conversation that could have taken 20 minutes. Give concrete, concise details. Think about your power stories – what experiences have you had at UGA that make you stand out amongst your competition? Many of these vendors have had 20 years of experience learning about how to best sell themselves. You’re not going to be the best right off the bat, so be sure to set up a mock interview with your Career Consultant to start practicing now.
THE BIG DAY.
Just like wedding planning, your job search is not going to happen overnight. It is going to be a long, rigorous process. But think of it this way – you have your own FREE planning coordinator (your Career Consultant!) to help you every step of the way. Take advantage of that. Start early. Stay positive. Research, research, research. Put yourself out there in the best positive light. And eventually, your big day will come when you get the job offer that is the best fit for you.