Gemrick’s Guide: The grand plan of getting a job
As a senior graduating in May, the smartest thing to do right now is start planning my life after I walk across the stage. If you’re not one of the lucky chosen ones, it can take months to find your first job, but that period can be shortened by having a plan in place.
This is where questions are asked. Ask yourself where you want to work, what your deal-breakers are and whether you want to leave Houston. If there was ever uncertainty about the last question, the correct answer is “no.”
Look at the bigger picture and work from there, filling any gaps before concentrating on the finer details. Who in your network can help you most? List them and reach out because you’ll need them later.
Start from a place of inspiration. If you need something to get you moving, here’s 30 motivational quotes from Forbes.
Sharpies, pens, diagrams, roadmaps, paper and sticky notes are helpful items to collect when one enters the game called “job hunting” and proceeds with a plan. Like most grand ideas, this plan might never actually be followed, but it’s a smart idea. Utilize free weekends to outline potential leads, job postings and how to land those job interviews.
Even if this plan doesn’t play out as expected, it still puts one into that mindset of thinking strategically with long-term goals at the forefront. It contrasts the perspective of applying for jobs as a student versus applying as a post-graduate, shrinking the learning curve earlier in your career.
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Speak with mentors. Remind the big movers and shakers in your professional network that graduation is months away and that you’ll be looking for a job soon. I recommend planning a power lunch or a coffee meeting.
It’s shocking how little people know about the company they’re trying to work for. Always know how to spell a company or organization’s name and how it is stylized.
Find out whether it is one or two words, if there’s a hyphen or if there’s a space or no space in-between. It’s one of the simplest ways a potential employer will know how much a candidate pays attention to details.
Know who’s who within every company and understand the dynamic — or at least try. Company websites usually have a page about their team.
LinkedIn gives users options to search specifics, ranging from place of work to work location or industry.
If you have an extensive network of connections, LinkedIn will tell you what connections you share. Using these connections will help job seekers find people in their network who can introduce them to their target.
One of my favorite LinkedIn features is the ability to see an individual’s past work history. Great LinkedIn profiles have the years worked at a company listed with their accomplishments and what a person did as their job.
Beware of crossing the line into cyber-stalking. Not many people can impress a perspective employer by knowing the names of their pet dog or where they vacationed over the winter holidays. The goal is to appeal to the employer on a professional level, and that’s something that comes from one’s own judgement.
Sure, maybe you’ve procrastinated on a school project and that research paper for a class you’ve blocked out of your memory, but this is the real deal. Get it done.
Opinion columnist Gemrick Curtom is a public relations senior and may be reached at [email protected].