When it comes to finding your dream job, there are a lot of things to consider. Where do you want to work, and what do you want to do? Was your college major worth anything?
Most people think that the most important thing to have is a polished resume. While that is critical, there are a few things that are even more crucial.
Breathe! Don't freak out yet!
When it comes to making a good impression, there are certain things you can do that will set you apart. Anyone can have a spiffy resume, but not everyone has his or her own personal URL. Every candidate for a fantastic position has a glistening list of references, but not every person is going to be as interesting as you are.
Why? Let me tell you.
Here are nine things that are far better than a resume when it comes to finding a job.
1. Knowledge of the company
Research! Research! Research! Get to know a few companies you would LOVE to work for. Don't waste your time or anyone else's.
Do not show up to an interview without specific knowledge about the company. You should know when it was founded, who its CEO is, what they do and what they should do in the future. You have to show the person interviewing you that this is THE job for you.
We live in a world where connections are increasingly helping people land their dream jobs. It's about not only WHAT you know, but also WHOM you know. It's kind of a bummer, but it's true.
Making connections doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity. Sign up for every free networking event you can find in your city. Schmooze it up with people in the industry.
The more people you know and the more professional relationships you solidify, the greater your chances are of securing an intro to the company of your dreams.
3. Realistic goals
Before you start job hunting, write down specific goals that are realistic and achievable. You want to create a game plan before you even think of applying for a position.
When you're fun-employed, you can get hopelessly sidetracked from the perilous job hunt. If you stick to a set of well-defined goals and a doable plan, you'll fast-track your way to employment.
4. Personal website
A personal website is the new resume. Everyone is online, and your online persona can give you the edge you need in the business world. Your website illustrates your skills and keen eye. Consider it your foot in the door.
It gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a much more interesting way than you could with a piece of paper. You have the opportunity to provide examples of your work and show what you can do. A beautiful, well-designed website from Squarespace can put you ahead of the pack.
5. Topnotch interview skills
Mastering the art of the interview is a must for any job hunter. Anyone can come across as a viable candidate over a computer screen, but a face-to-face meeting is entirely different.
If you're a poor interviewee, no one will remember the skills you listed on a resume. Practice in the mirror, maintain eye contact and be personable.
If you want to blow away an employer, show him or her that you have cool hobbies outside of your work. This demonstrates that you're a well-rounded, interesting person.
If you like vintage cars, mention that. If you enjoy rock climbing, bring it up in your interview. You want to show potential employers that you aren't just a name in a schedule, but an awesome person whom they’d want to befriend.
7. A personal "elevator pitch"
An elevator pitch means being able to pitch your company, product or service in the time it would take to ride an elevator. People have short attention spans and like to process information quickly. They want the hard facts, and they want them now!
When it comes to a personal pitch, you should utilize the elevator strategy. Be able to communicate your personal bio, skills and what makes you a great candidate for a job in under three minutes. The more concise you are, the better you'll be remembered.
8. Lots of sleep
We all need at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you want to keep your mind sharp, you can’t skimp on sleep.
Knowing you have an interview the next day is incredibly nerve-racking. But instead of staying up all night freaking out, you need to sleep. Have a cup of tea, go to bed early and wake up refreshed and ready to take the day by storm.
Lastly, you need to have confidence. It doesn't matter what you know or how qualified you are if you don't believe in yourself.
Confidence is infectious. People remember it. Walk into the room like you already have the job. Ask questions, show interest and ditch the nerves.
These people want to like you. They took the time to meet you, so you’re already in the pool for consideration.
If you come to an interview self-assured and poised to impress, you'll be one step closer to your first paycheck.