Guest Post By: Kayla Brock
Let me start by saying applying for jobs is stressful. It takes a lot of time, research, and constant updates to your resumes/cover letters; however finding the right position that will challenge you and help you grow makes it all worthwhile. Here are some things to think about when applying for jobs.
Apply to a LOT of jobs
In some cases you may have to apply to hundreds and hundreds of jobs to only hear back from three. The job market is very competitive so don’t get down or beat yourself up if you don’t hear from employers because YOUR WORK IS WORTHY. The right job will come along when you least expect it. Use sites such as Indeed and Linkedin to start or go directly to company websites.
Like cheerleaders say “Be Aggressive”. Honestly, they have that right about life. Don’t be afraid to be annoying. Send those emails, send them again a week later, or get on the phone. Just don’t be rude about it - instead be enthusiastic. It will show through in the right ways.
Always Follow Up
Always follow up after an interview. It is also ok to follow up if you don’t get the offer. Ask if they might have time to provide you with quick feedback. Tell them that you understand and you look forward to getting better and applying again in the future. This shows them that the process isn’t just about the job for you and you truly care about developing as a person. It will also open the door for future opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to cold email
Cold emailing is scary - I won’t lie. Employers can ignore your email or send back a snarky response, but it never hurts to try. What I learned about cold emailing in the journalism field is to make it personal. Once during an editorial position, my coworker got an email from a reader and it was set up as follows:
- The reader started out by saying that he really enjoyed a tech article that the writer had written and said he appreciated the publication writing on the issue
- He explained why he was reaching out
- He provided additional information as an attachment so that the email would be short but if the writer wanted he/she could get more details
- He ended the email by saying that he would love to connect
If this can work for your role then try it.
Meet in person
During an internship a supervisor adviced me to always try to meet people in person. People will almost always remember faces rather than emails that are sent through a screen. Something as simple as asking a person for coffee can get you the attention you need. This person can be in the department that you want to work in, someone in HR that you can pick their brain about the company, or someone who’s work you admire and want to know how they did it. Maybe don’t try to meet the CEO, but someone lower down might be interested in hearing what you have to say.
It’s ok to be picky because you want to be happy with a company that you work for so if you’re just applying to apply you’re wasting time. If you aren’t emotionally and mentally invested in that role or company then they will be able to see right through it and you will have wasted energy applying.
Remote Jobs and Start Ups
If you are in a creative field don’t be afraid to take jobs that aren’t paid in exchange for exposure. Many places will take your work in exchange of giving you links back to your website and social media pages. This is a great way to start in the beginning to gain a fan base as well as experience - then branch off on your own.
Live Where You Apply
I’m not saying you can’t live in Illinois and get a job in Oregon because I did it, but I received a lot more opportunities when I was actually in the state in which I was applying to. So if you have the resources consider moving -plus you want to be where you will be happy anyway so might as well start sooner than later.
Kayla Brock is the co-founder of Visual Venture Vibes (@visualventurevibes), an online editorial platform highlighting tips and tricks, videography, and people of color in the travel industry. She’s a lover of wine, animals, storytelling, and anything adventurous. Connect with her on social @kayla_nicole64