10 Job-Hunting Tips

Tips for job huntingHi there. It’s Trey again. So you can switch to a dude voice in your head reading this. My go-to man reading voice in my head is Richard Gere, and not my own, for some reason. Make of that what you will, I guess.

Anyway, job hunting. With it being graduation season, it seemed like an appropriate subject. We talk a lot about starting your own venture here, but let’s face it: There aren’t enough customers out there for every single person to have their own company, so a lot of you might be job shopping. You might be thinking, “Emma’s husband offering job hunting advice? Step 1: Marry a business owner. Step 2: Work there. Great.” Understandable. So I’ll focus on my career hunting pre-ABM, as I’ve done my share and been relatively successful landing some positions I loved.

Graduating college is weird, right? All the movies make it seem like some blissful moment of glory—you know, throw your hat in the air, freeze frame, happily ever after, etc. But for me, all that was overshadowed by this heavy notion of “now what?” I no longer had the option to sign up for my responsibilities. I had to apply and compete for them. It was 2008 (you know, the year the market plummeted). I had a degree with a double major in philosophy and journalism, and sadly, there weren’t a lot of jobs out there for pontificating about split infinitives (most choose to not care). Plus, less than 30% of college graduates actually work in the field they majored in.

I kind of felt like I was holding a blank map. My roommate moved to KC, and the little market research company I worked for was quickly shrinking and had me cut to part time at $9/hr. So I moved back in with my parents and slept on a twin mattress on the floor in their basement. I spent pretty much every spare minute scouring job sites and listings. I started out really picky, and by the end I was throwing my resume at anything with 40 hours and vague enough applicant requirements. This went on for months, and I have to say it was one of the most defeating pockets of my life. It can be hard not to take all the rejection personally. But I didn’t give up, and a local ad agency decided to give me a shot in account service.

Tips for job hunting And since then, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. That same ad agency that gave me a shot ended up laying off 75% of its staff. And then I was in the same job-hunting situation, only older and feeling even more defeated. I certainly can’t speak for all fields, but here are some things I noticed through it all, now having been on both sides of the hiring process.

1. Identify your strengths, not just interests
First, you need a clear definition of yourself as a worker. Your interests are simply what you like to do, whereas your strengths are what you can offer an employer.  A company only cares about your interests insomuch as it improves what you can offer them.

Plus, if you start with your strengths, you open yourself up to positions you might’ve otherwise overlooked. For example, I’m a huge music fan, but so is 95% of humanity. If I narrow my job hunt to my interest in music, I’m just restricting myself to a very competitive (and not very lucrative) job market. And I don’t really have any outstanding strengths in the field that markedly set me above every other guy who was in a medium-low band in college. That said, I have a strength in management and communication. I’m a people person. And thinking from that perspective opened me up to a whole world of positions I’d never considered. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to work in a field where you excel, rather than blend in. Find what you’re good at, something a company needs, and do that.

2. Keep the resume prioritized and concise
There could easily be a whole post about resumes. But above all else, lead with the most important information, and only make the resume as long as it needs to be. Having watched others review resumes as well as reviewing several myself, I can tell you with confidence a lot of employers skim read. They’re just people after all. Chances are, if they’re hiring, they’re probably busier than usual. So they’re trying to find the useful information in your resume as soon as possible. So if you bury your experience and strengths between a bunch of nice-to-knows vs. need-to-knows, they’ll likely get overlooked.

3. Network, network, network
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, and it can make the job hunt sound more like luck than anything else. Yes, it’s true that the most talented person does not always get the job. The person with right friends does. And you can choose to write yourself off as an unlucky introvert and curse the unfairness of life, or you can decidedly get your name out there. Where do your friends and family work? Where do your friends’ friends work? Find companies where you might fit and excel. Then, find a connection to someone with hiring power/influence. This is exactly how I got someone to look at my resume at that ad agency, which made it possible to start this leg of my career.

You have to find a way to get your resume to rise above those online forms they make you fill out, and nothing does that better than word of mouth within the company.

4. Informational interviews
Here’s a networking tool. Don’t overlook a company just because they’re not hiring. If you’re able to track down a valuable contact there, see if they’ll set up an informational interview to talk about their company and the kind of employee they’re looking for. This accomplishes a few things. First, it further establishes this person you meet with as a connection within a company you’re interested in. Second, it communicates forward thinking and your passion for the company. And last, chances are someone working for the company is well connected throughout the industry. While this company might not be hiring, they can recommend you to a similar company that is.

5. LinkedIn
Yeah, I know. I know. Another social network where you have to build ANOTHER network base. Shouldn’t Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and whatever Google+ is be enough? You might even already have an account that’s just sitting there. Believe it or not, when it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn is far and away the most useful social network. It prioritizes sorting people by the company they work for. You can find a company you love and then find a person that could connect you to it. I’ve had several job recruiters find me because of it. I’ve landed several interviews through finding connections. Yes, it can feel shameless, but it totally works. It’s how I got my job at an agency in Nashville (a city I really wanted to live in). If you’re only half-heartedly using it, try out its full potential and establish some connections. Think of it as an active tool to find people rather than a passive tool for people to find you.

Tips for job hunting  6. Never overlook internships or any chance at experience
The more experience you have, the easier you make the job hunt. The best way to show you know how to do something is to do it. Again, I can’t speak for all fields, especially the public sector and highly specialized positions (healthcare, accounting, engineering, etc.). But in general business, experience wins over education every single time. I’ve seen college dropouts with ample freelancing/contract experience get the job over people with their masters. And that’s so annoying, because I can control the education I get, but it’s a lot harder to control my experience if a company won’t hire me. It’s this catch-22. I can’t get a job to get the experience to get the job. So if you’re looking to break into a field, consider an internship. Or start freelancing for some of your friends’ small ventures or needs. Offer up free services. Employers aren't going to ask how much you got paid to do it. They just want to see what you’ve done in a real-world situation.

7. Take any opportunity to show you care
Every piece of extra effort is noticed and appreciated. If you’re applying, definitely write a custom email (or cover letter) for each company. We can always tell when it’s copied and pasted generically. Dress up for an interview or meeting. Do your homework on the company. Learn about their values, culture, news, or just anything you can find online about them. Make it really clear you want the job.

8. Think of an interview like a conversation more than an audition
Here’s another topic that could get its own post. Yes, they need someone with the right skills, and the interview will mostly center on that. But more than hiring a functional set of skills, they’re hiring a friend—someone they’re going to have to be around for 40 hours a week. If they like you as a person, that immediately pushes you to the top of the list. Ask a lot of questions about the job. As far as you’re concerned, they’re experts about the company. Make them feel like that, and be sure to show your interest in what they’re saying. Follow the rabbit trail down any tangents they want to go on. Make them laugh. I promise if they enjoy the conversation, they’ll remember you.

Above all, be comfortable. The best thing my dad ever taught me about interviewing was that the interviewers want to hire you. They want to be done with the search. And they want you to be the one. They’re hiring because they need help immediately. If you’re the right person, that means they’re relieved of some stress.

9. Follow up
This is an easy one. Again, you’re dealing with busy people. It’s very possible they didn’t get your email with your resume. Or if you’ve already interviewed, and it’s been a couple weeks, check in and see where they are in the decision-making process. Anything you can do to elevate your name a little helps.

10. Be patient and try not to get your heart set on one job
When I first started my job hunt after college, I found this position online that had me obsessed: Music Editor Assistant at Amazon. If I recall, the job pretty much entailed helping choose featured albums for the music page and the short write-up descriptor copy. It had vague enough requirements for me to qualify, and I felt like a perfect fit for it. Part journalism, part music. I could do that! I completely customized my resume for it and wrote an overlong, embarrassingly passionate cover letter. After I submitted my resume to their automated job recruitment system, I was so excited I told my dad about it. He just kind of smirked and started rapid-firing questions at me: “Seattle? Who do you know up there? Why would they hire someone in Missouri? Do you know anyone who works for there? How are you going to get your resume looked at?” I wanted to think my dad just didn’t understand how the Internet worked and that he was totally wrong. But sadly, nope. Never even got a response.

Tips for job hunting   You will find several jobs that you think are the one, the kind that get you daydreaming. Most of them won’t be. You will not get the vast majority of the jobs you apply for. And don’t be discouraged by that. It’s just a game of numbers. Keep applying. Keep trying. I’ve applied for hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in my life. It can take months, a year, or in some cases, years. You might have to take a lesser job while you continue to hunt. The only way you can guarantee you won’t get a job you love is to stop trying.

None of these tips are the magic bullet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist in job hunting. It’s a combination and a lot of trial and error. The whole process can be wildly discouraging, but I can't recommend enough to push through. It will get better. -Trey  

Credits // Author: Trey George. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Bowie and Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • A really useful blog post. I’m going through the application process with 4 ‘dream’ jobs at the moment and it is hard to keep a balanced head and not set your hopes on being offered all of them, and more importantly your ideal.

    The follow up is a really good idea!

    http://www.averageadventures.org

  • I have been job hunting for about a month now (but with no success as of yet) and some of your points were ones I hadn’t thought of! Thank you for sharing your experience and advice! This is a really great post and it really helped.

    Best,
    Shelby

  • This is so true. My husband struggled after college, and then he went to police academy, struggled again, and randomly got a job as a vet tech. He loves it! He found his passion after many long months of searching for jobs in his fields of study. You never know until you put yourself out there! Now he’s going to get his vet tech certification 🙂

  • Thanks for making me realize the dude voice in my head is my brother’s and forever weirding me out. Great.
    But on a serious note, thanks for all the things you post, Trey. My husband and I both work in media marketing, so there are things we can definitely relate to. Your posts always lead to dinner time chats about the business, our industries, our jobs and how they all fit together.
    Thanks!

  • Oh, wow.. Thank you! When I first saw this I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry (or something in between) since I actually lost my job two days ago due to a heavy downsizing in my company. So yeah, this is helpful! I haven’t used LinkedIn much before, so I’ll definitely try using it more as an active tool 🙂

    Camilla

  • My reading voice is Sam. Jackson lol
    Thanks for the tips.. I am very thankful to work in my field. Ironically I have a done all of the above 🙂

  • Thank you for affirming what I believe in my head, but think isn’t legit enough…haha. I feel like my best asset for interviews is my personality, making them laugh, and feeling comfortable and social. But lately I’ve been psyching myself out, feeling like I need to sell myself more in a forced way that I’m not used to. You helped me get back to believing my gut! 🙂 Great post.

    -Stephanie
    msmelange.com

  • Trey, I love your dude voice and writing style. You should post more often! This was a helpful and encouraging piece. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • First of all, thanks for the tips. I am currently employed but I would like to move on to something I could enjoy more.

    Secondly, I want to say it is great to “hear” from Trey and to see a post on something a little out of the box in the lifestyle blogging world. I would love that you guys kept up this kind of articles.

  • In my profession, you need a masters and experience. After a grueling THREE years of job hunting, I finally landed a job. The best advice I gave myself and others was to keep positive and remember that someone else is probably in a worse spot than you are. It can always be worse. Just keep working at it! And have people proof your resumes and cover letters! I definitely wanted to give up many times but it worked out in the end.

  • Just sent this one to my husband! Thank you Trey! We have been on the job train for 3 or so years. Its tough and bumpy and sometimes we are just exhausted, but I know If he keeps being persistent, it will come! Really appreciate the words of wisdom and courage!

  • Awesome post Trey! Great ideas!

    Would love to see a post on resumes and how to make them stand out. Like others have said it’s nice to see something outside the box.

  • Fantastic! I’m in the midst (8 months in) to a job change and can’t even snag a barrista gig – but probably because I’ve never barrista’d before 😉 I am always reassured when I see that I’m not the only one (besides the college grads) who are struggling with this in such a strange time, economically speaking.

    I disagree with using Linkdin in favor of trying to meet people “out in the world”. I’ve exhausted my friends/family so now I go to events (through my alma mater, meet-up, message boards, etc). and got a little bit of writing work through that tactic which, I hope, will lead to more (or different work) through the 6 degrees of separation.

    Bottom line: DON’T GIVE UP and CHAT UP EVERYONE YOU MEET! You never know…crazy times.

  • loved reading this. thanks so much for sharing your tips, trey! and i also loved that your “go to man reading voice” is richard gere. so funny!

  • Great tips! I moved to Los Angeles a couple of months ago after working in marketing for four years and then quitting that job to pursue a full-time job in improv comedy/sketch writing for two years. Employers in LA didn’t like that when I was trying to go for full-time jobs again, as they (rightfully) thought I was just looking to be in entertainment and would be a flaky employee. I was having such a hard time so I decided to find interesting companies I wanted to work for, and knew I’d have experience in, and even if they weren’t hiring – I sent blind emails to the “[email protected]” email addresses with my resume and a brief summary of myself and my experience. One of them happened to respond and I got the job! So I’d recommend that as well. Even if they’re not hiring, send your resume. You never know.

  • I like your tip that “Interviewers want to recruit”, it nicely balances one I’d like to pass on.

    When applying to an advertised position, always remember that the first person to read your resume/CV does *not* want to give you the job. They only want to short list as fast as possible – get 200 applications whittled down to 10 likely candidates in the time it takes the first batch of coffee to run through the machine. It’s the second person that reads your resume/CV that wants to recruit, but 190 of the 200 applications didn’t make it that far.

    Don’t make it easy for the first person – make sure you’ve tailored your resume/CV to match the requirements of the advert. If they can’t match what you’ve submitted to the specification inside 20 seconds you’re in the reject pile.

  • Awesome, timely post for all the new grads! I moved home after college and bartended at a sushi restaurant (despair/delicious). A regular (chardonnay drinking math professor) gave me the best early career advice: try anything out but stick with it for 6 months. This seems fairly obvious-try out anything, don’t quit until you’ve given it a chance, but the best part was not feeling tied to something and taking every opportunity for the experience (whatever the experience).

  • I graduated 20+ years ago. The field I have been in for the last 18 years……I didn’t even know it existed when I was in college. How did I land here? Got downsized from my job while on maternity leave. A friend of a friend told him about the job. He wasn’t interested but told me about it. I had zero experience, a vague idea of what was required. Turns out no one really came to them with experience. They thought nothing of it. I stayed in that position for 10 years, loved it and am still close friends with several of my old co-workers. I left for a next step opportunity. So don’t count out anything. And don’t assume you aren’t qualified. And don’t get stuck on what you thought you were going to do. This might be better! And I get 3-5 contacts a week from recruiters from my very simple Linked account. Use it!

  • Great tips. Networking does play quite an important part of the job search. I actually just landed my new job through contacts in my extended network. And I truly love your opening paragraph! Last night my hubby told me his presentation coach said he has a voice like Johnny Depp. So needless to say, he’s been practicing Johnny Depp “phrases” to play the part. ;P

  • Crazy, this is exactly what I needed to read right at this moment. You guys came right on time. Thanks so much!!

  • Thanks for this post! I have currently been employed at the same company for the past 2.5 years but plan on looking for something that makes me a bit happier in the near futre…these are some great points to get me moving 🙂

  • Ha ha I love your writing style! But anyway thanks for this post—it was super useful!

    Maurine
    maurinedashney.com

  • As a soon-to-be graduate, I needed to read this, so thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts down. It’s all really useful advice and I’ll definitely be taking it on board as I continue my search for a graduate job and the application process.

    x

  • Honestly–fantastic article! I have seen so many of my friends give up because they cannot quite land their dream job, but it’s really competitive out there and not easy to get a foot in the door. I appreciate your tips though, and in my very limited experience, I can attest that they are all very helpful!

  • i know it is cray finding jobs after college. i was a history major…a crap major…i spent 10 years working in call centers and then i moved to rural nebraska…and got hired teaching history at a public school…never been so thrilled in my LIFE!!!! be willing to move anywhere — that is my tip! 😉

  • Great post! It took me ten months after I graduated college to get a job and you’re right, it can be discouraging, but it does get better. 🙂

  • Post couldn’t have come at a better time. I am currently applying to several jobs and your tips are great. One thing I have learned so far is to be open to the possibility of different types of jobs. Thanks for sharing love the post.

  • Very sage advice. It took me nearly 2 years to get a career oriented job. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

  • I feel like we’re reading each other’s mind! I was just planning out some blog posts in the calendar, and that’s the one I wanted to do! These are incredibly useful tips. The networking bit is SO true! You never ever know where you next job is going to come from!

  • So useful and encouraging/challenging. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • thank you so much for sharing your experience as well as tips. at the very least it’s just nice to hear that someone who seems talented and happily employed also had a tough go of it at one point!

    also i read the whole damn thing in a richard gere voice…. couldn’t help it…

  • Thank you for the advice, Trey! I’m currently job searching, and this piece reminded me of a few things I had forgotten about the task itself.

  • Wow, really great post with useful and realistic tips. Job hunting is the worst, but it doesn’t have to be hopeless. Thanks for these!

  • This is incredibly helpful, and I’m looking for a job now. I graduated a year ago, moved to California, hunted for over a month and finally found an admin job by a pure stroke of luck. Circumstances moved me up to Portland, and now I’m on the hunt again. It’s tedious and discouraging, but I have more than enough time to work at it. Thank you again for the tips, so so helpful.

  • Thanks so much for your article, Trey. It was most helpful and also refreshing to know that the job search can be a long road for a lot of us!

    I especially liked your section on LinkedIn. I haven’t used LinkedIn much before as I’ve been a bit sure of how to properly use it. So if you ever wanted to do a more in-depth post on LinkedIn, that’d be awesome!

    Thanks 🙂

    Claire

  • Thank you so much for this !

    Very useful and it was what I needed right now. I will start to apply those tips right now. 🙂

  • A helpful suggestion someone gave me was to consult my university’s career center. Many universities have career centers that offer free help writing resumes and cover letters, even to alum. They basically taught me how to write my resume (the versions before and after were astonishingly different). Alumni networks can help with networking too. I know people who made connections through alumni networks and were able to find jobs that way. The fact that they knew someone who worked at the company they were applying to helped them get an interview, and then a job.

  • Great list! I’ve been stuck in the after college job search stage for a while now, which is no easy task when your undergrad degree is mostly useless in your field of choice. I think the most important thing to remember is to just keep trying. Thanks for the advice!

  • Thank you so much for this post! And I giggled at the dude voice comment…

    I think networking is the biggest thing and I’m totally one of those unlucky introverts who curses the unfairness of life. Trying to be better about that.

  • I absolutely LOVE Trey’s posts. They are so helpful and he has a great voice. He should have a whole series like this post!

  • loved this piece! i’m going to graduate soon and i will definitely use this as a reference.

    just a random question, where did you get the green planner in the last photo? it’s gorgeous and i’m always looking for ways to stay organized. thanks1

  • Such an awesome post! I graduated a couple months ago in Uruguay and came straight to NYC to do an internship. Now I have to start working hard on finding a job for the future. I am right now in that time of my life: “now what?”
    As always, this tips where helpful and inspiring.

  • Thanks, Trey, that was a great read. I’m recoginzing my own behavior, thoughts and fears, at the moment, in what you wrote about your experiences in job hunting. It actually helps seeing one is not alone, let alone the only one, somehow not managing a smooth transition from one thing to the other for the first time in life. Your tips and stories really helped 🙂

  • This is awesome. Thanks for writing such a solid post, Trey—and thanks ABM, for addressing the recent graduate part of your readership. Honestly, all of your career/life posts stand out the most. Keep it up!!

  • Really well written post and highly motivational! Thank you for that!

  • Thanks for these really great advice Trey! It’s really hard to find the right balance between being committed and showing it in your letter and no getting your hopes up!

    Only point I would disagree on is to offer your service for free to show what you have done. In my experience it’s important to show that your work has value, that you know what you are worth, and that the company has to pay the right amount to beneficiate from your expertise. I fear you can be sending the wrong message by agreeing to underpaid positions.

    Loving some dude voice on the blog in any case, keep up the great job!

  • “Network, network, network” So true and yet so sad 🙁 I’m really bad at handling interpersonal relationships. Thanks for the tips!

  • Trey, you posted this when I needed it the most. Thank you! Not giving up now

  • Just finishing up with university… And the job market is tough. So I really appreciate these tips! 🙂

  • Thank you ! I’m nearly finishing my first 6 months job contract as an architect so i will have to look for something else soon, i’m now in the mood for it !

  • I just read this text for the third time 🙂 thank you so much. thats what I needed righty now! vielen Dank 😀

  • This is great advice. I am not looking for a job but I think a lot of this advice is something that should always be in the back of your mind. Noting your strengths and experiences along the way is a whole lot easier than trying to come up with them all at once.

  • This is one of the few actually useful, excellent posts on the topic I’ve ever read. I recently started a new, “real” job after spending nearly 6 years stuck in an admin job and doing countless hours doing volunteer work on the side. I’d reached the point where I thought I’d never get out of that job so for everyone out there struggling, it does happen eventually. All the points in the article are spot-on and nearly word-for-word what my colleagues talk about when they’re recruiting.
    And after all my internships and now recruiting for volunteers and interns, I’m realising there are so many things people are doing ‘wrong’ or not doing. Another topic for another post!

  • i do not think you can ever be strong at something you are not interested in!

  • Awesome post! As a career counselor at a university, I live and breathe this stuff everyday. Every tip was spot on. It’s nice to read the information in a different voice (tone, personality, & a dash of Richard Gere) from most of the career blogs out there, which can be a little on the colder side. Bonus tip #11: if you’re a university grad, check out the career services office. Often times, they have services to help alums (and current students) with a whole array of career/job search related questions. At the minimum, check out the career services website for helpful information. Thanks again for the post!

  • I love these tips! They’re so practical and easy and they really do all make an impact on finding a new job. You should definitely do a whole post on resumes, like you said. It would be great.

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Thanks for this post, very useful and true! I work in my field (tourism) but only managed to find seasonal jobs since I graduated three years ago. I enjoyed all of them, but I keep looking for a more stable job at the same time, there are not a lot of positions even when I apply spontaneously, but for the moment I think every experience is worth it and may possibly play a huge part in finding a stable job in my field in the future! It’s important never to lose hope, even if sometimes you can be strongly discouraged!

  • This post came at a great time. I graduated from college a month ago and this will be so helpful. Thanks for the tips!

  • I just wrote a post yesterday on my blog about my current job situation… thanks for your insight! It comes at the best time.

    – sarah

  • This is great advice! I’d love to see more posts like this from you. My man is a huge fan of informational interviews but the process of reaching out can be intimidating.

  • “So you can switch to a dude voice in your head reading this.” Hilarious and I did switch! 🙂 Thanks for this post. I literally started job hunting again YESTERDAY. Reading this was a good refresher and I actually pulled up LinkedIn before even finishing the post! Networking is not my favorite, but it’s important. blah

  • Great post Trey! My brother hasn’t had the best of luck with finding jobs since he graduated and I think all these tips would really help him. I love what you said about thinking of an interview as a conversation and not an audition. Interviews have always terrified me so that’s a great way to look at it.

  • Haha I love this post. The second paragraph tickled me quite a bit but I definitely appreciate the tips 🙂 I guess I have to go update the ol’ LinkedIn profile now and work on tip No.8- silly nerves 🙂

  • Thanks for the great tips, Trey! (: I’m graduating from college this year and I definitely feel the same you did (“Now what?”).

  • Thanks so much for this post! It’s wonderful to hear someone so successful talk about how discouraging job hunting can be. I’m a year out of college and still working part-time at the company I interned with senior year. Def didn’t think I’d still be here at this point. This post was a great way to start my Friday morning! 🙂

    P.S. I’m loving all the new and different posts from the growing ABM family!!

  • this is a really different post for ABM, but i like it– something i really admire about you all is your business savvy, so this somehow fits into that same mental box for me. thanks for the reminder that we don’t all need to own a small business!

  • In regards to being memorable. You would be surprised by how far a hand written thank you letter will take you. A simple thank you card, speaks volumes over a follow up email.

    And you couldn’t be more true, talking about the you think is the one perfect job. I knew I wanted a job in marketing, but the industry itself didn’t really matter. I landed at not some glamorous makeup company but rather a home improvement contractor doing marketing and I couldn’t be more happy!

  • Great post! I was struggling with revamping my resume but your tips really helped me put things into perspective.

  • … Trey, thank you so much! (really liked your witty introduction 🙂 your post has come at the right moment. It has kind of comforted me because I’m currently looking for a job and I have been in this process of applying, bla bla (and I’m kind of heartbroken because I didn’t get a job I thought I was right for)… looking forward to your future posts!

  • I’m currently on the hunt and it’s tireless! This has made me excited to take another swing though! Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  • Thank you so much for your wonderful insights, Trey. I am currently a masters degree holder/ tired job hunter and FINALLY have an interview on Monday! What perfect timing for a wonderfully informational post. I always tend to over analyze my weaknesses and doubt myself before an interview, but your post inspired me to just be myself and focus on my strengths.

  • Great tips! I live in LA and would love to be in entertainment too, so this is very helpful.

  • Thank you for this awesome post Trey! I’ll be graduating with a degree in Communication with an emphasis on journalism in two weeks. Even though I’ve heard most of these points before, it always helps to hear them again. But even more than the tips, it helps to hear about your personal experience. It’s easy to forget that it can take hundreds of applications to land a job, especially a dream job. I would love to hear more about transitioning into a different career than the one you studied in school. So many people could relate to that.

  • I really enjoyed reading this, I’m currently on the job train trying to look for the one. Its tough and the rejection is hard, but I’m trying to laugh through it.

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU

    I just graduated from University and am currently job hunting like mad. I needed this, thank you.

  • Thanks Trey I am actually at a cross roads in life and looking to change direction so this is perfect timing for me.

  • The thing your dad said about the interviewer wanting to hire you and for their search to be over is so true I never thought about it like that before. That changes the whole perspective of being interviewed. Thanks for the good read!

  • I’m a recent grad. My professor emphasize we apply at least 5 resumes out each day. I’m trying to meet the quota but for past three weeks, I’ve applied 20+ jobs and sent out several interest cover letters. It gets really discouraging to not hear anything back. But like you said, nothing is easy and most companies are very busy.
    My goal is actually to work with small tight-knit companies like some of the mom and pop shops. It’ll be a dream to work with a company that works with foods, design or art. But I’m trying to not let myself restrict to that area.
    I guess it’s nice to see something like this just to push me a little bit, ha! 🙂

  • Thank you for the post, I am currently job hunting with a masters and no experience, it is frustrating at times because most companies don’t want to take a chance on someone with no experience… But I will not give up.

  • I went with Morgan Freeman.. which made me take twice as long to read this. Worth it. Great post Trey. Really informative!

  • As a recent Graduate this post couldn’t have come at a better time! It is great to hear advice and previous experience that also acknowledges how hard the whole process can be!

    Brilliant post, thanks Trey!

  • Great post topic, and a fun read! Trey has a fun writing style/voice! (I credit the journalism degree!) 😉

  • I’m sorry, but this post was completely irrelevant to have on ABM. Why would you post just a standard post that can be found elsewhere, when really, this is a group of friends and family (husband and wives) who post on here.

    This reader would like you to continue on the DIY and cocktail posts and NOT try to discuss job hunting when it really isn’t your end.

  • Lmao i really appreciate the 1st sentence “switch the voice in your head” it’s really that

  • Thank you. Awesome Post. It can be so exhausting and at times frustrating looking for a job. I’ve had to take a lesser job now since being unemployed 2011 and graduating 2013, but you have encouraged me not to give up.

  • My boyfriend is job-hunting and I just read out the entire post to him 🙂 these informational posts are my favourite ones from you guys. Also, I love Trey’s posts. Informational and interesting at the same time!

  • Great tips, Trey! Ugh, I hate job hunting. I’m so relieved by that 30% number — I majored in mechanical engineering but am a writer. Don’t ask, it’s a long story 🙂

    Love that part about figuring out your strengths and what you have to offer. Like cool, Tara, you like eating cupcakes… that doesn’t mean you get to be a baker based on that skill alone haha 🙂

  • This comment made me laugh – I totally tried to get a job as a barista when I got laid off and was like come ON, it can’t be THAT hard (because I don’t have any barista experience either) 🙂

  • This comment made me laugh – I totally tried to get a job as a barista when I got laid off and was like come ON, it can’t be THAT hard (because I don’t have any barista experience either) 🙂

  • This is not just another typical article on job hunting that highlights all the things we already know. I appreciate that it is written by a man that has had education, goals, desires and failures but does not become defeated. Lots of thought, research, observation and personal experience in this writing. I believe there is even more wisdom and creativity to come. Well written and I am passing this on.

  • i’m finishing grad school next year, so these tips are really helpful. thanks for sharing!
    xo, cheyenne

  • thank you for this post trey, i’ve been searching soo many jobs for summer and I’ve already thought about almost all the things you’ve mentioned here. unfortunately no luck so far! but i’ll keep on trying! x

  • I just finished my Bachelor of Engineering and now seeking for a job. Those tips might come handy to me. Thanks!

  • hi Trey
    a great blog post but the opening with— So you can switch to a dude voice in your head reading this — was brilliant!

    loved that

    thanks for the tips- great blog post

    Betty Bake

  • Thank you very much for your helpful tips and honesty. I’ve been freaking out about graduating and your post certainly calmed me down!

  • Great tips! I signed on with a temp agency out of college since my job search was kind of a bust and I just needed some kind of income. The first job they had for me they said would last 4-6 weeks with no chance to hire. I took it and I ended up filling a need they didn’t know they had. I landed a permanent position and I’m still here 3 years later. Sometimes it is the most random opportunities that can get you the job (I got my college job by playing on a flag football team and meeting a hiring boss at the University gym)

  • Thanks so much for this post. I’m a year out of school and am still looking for a full-time position. This was a great encouragement and motivating read for me! Love the tip about LinkedIn; will definitely give it a go.

  • I’ve forever felt many of us ignore the immense potential an internship can carry. I can totally vouch that it also tends to work at any age or time period, when we are trying to change fields!

    thanks for sharing!
    Upasna at Someplace Else

  • Great post!
    I can definitely relate to what you are saying. College graduation for me was a big “What next?” moment… Turned out i had a good job offered at my university, did a master in parallel and when i thought we have it all figured out- my boyfriend got an amazing job offer in another country…
    So we packed up, moved to Czech Republic… and job hunting started all over again.

    What I can recommend from my very long job hunt- find something- even if you are overqualified for the job. I did just that, and it turned out to be a very good learning experience. In the meantime you can continue searching for jobs- don’t be afraid to apply to jobs you think you’re not qualified for- might be a long shot, but you never know.

    I think it’s better to explain why you want to to have a step-change in your career, than to try to come up with a reasonable explanation why you haven’t worked the X years since graduating.
    Once again, great post! More like this to come:) ( and the dude voice in my head is Morgan Freeman for some reason:) )

  • GREAT INFORMATION and ADVICE! I work in HR as part of a recruitment team for a large company. I review 100’s of resumes, speak to 20 candidates a day and spend many hours on LinkedIN.
    -Make sure your resumes talk about your accomplishments (use %,#’s, facts), list awards/special achievements (Dean’s List, college athlete, completed triathlon, military, Pres of sorority, etc)
    -do NOT just list your responsibilities (ie, most people know what a waitress does… but how did YOU make a difference).
    -Use spell check.. but then read, reread and have someone else read your resume.
    -Send thank you emails immediately after an interview.
    -Make sure you relay what you have to offer to the company -don’t just ask what’s in it for you.

    So many tips I wish I could share but these are basic good ones!!

  • Thanks for this! It can be terribly discouraging. Good advice.

  • this is super helpful. trey, do you think sending a little note after you applied but before you get an interview is a good thing to do? i’m considering stopping by the local store i recently applied to and dropping off a ‘thanks for reading my application’ note. also, to show my face so they recognize that when they read my application/resume again.

  • What a great post! I spent a couple of years out of work (turns out that quitting television production makes getting a ‘real’ job rather difficult), could have used some of these tips then! Sadly, you hit the nail on the head when you say it’s one of the most defeating times of your life, I all but gave up. Your tips will definitely help others, and I’d like to mention how useful temping can be. Not sure how it works in the US, but in the UK I got my break at a new job because I temped through an agency with them first. Temping may not offer full time work, but it offers the opportunity to work and gain experience in the short term until something more long term is found.

  • I first got LinkedIn while in college, it was part of a class that I took that we learned about it. I have to admit, I still don’t know anything about that site, besides that my profile looks good. I’m definitely not good at connecting on there. Putting that on my to-do list.

    Here’s where I find myself: I’m looking to move to a new city this fall and have been focusing my job search in that area. I’ve applied to places and sent out e-mails, with only about one reply back (rejection at that). Is it better to mail in resumes or do it all online? Should I send follow-up e-mails to these places? How long is too long or too quick to send those out.

    Job-hunting is just frustrated in many areas and can be discouraging. But, your tips definitely gave me some things to think about and ways to up my job-searching game. Thanks for writing these!

  • Exactly what I needed to read today to help reinvigorate my efforts to “make it all happen”!

  • Thanks for this post Trey, I graduated in 2008 too but instead of remaining confident and considering all my strenths, I definitley focussed on the negatives and the rejections got me discouraged!

    I would say I’m only just getting over that stage in my life (6 years later!!) Now I’m trying to be confident in myself and am thinking of better career opportunities. This post has definitely given me a boost! 🙂

    Nikki

  • Well done! I hope you do follow up with specific posts on resumes and Linkedin (which I still just don’t “get”…should I be asking clients to leave reviews/endorsements there?)

    I’m reentrring the job market after 10 years of free-lancing while my boys were small…and worry that my resume is very 2001.

  • it took the pressure away and I went to the interview and walked in with a big smile on my face! It was my first real interview and for an internship. Keep my fingers crossed 😉
    Nice article! Best, Luu

  • Thanks for this post, Trey!
    I just completed my Masters and have been job-hunting for about a month now. It is SO defeating, yes! I’m to the point where I’m applying to anything that seems even remotely interesting. Now, maybe we can follow this up with a “dealing with the defeating pocket in your life called job hunting” post! It’s hard to stay positive and not feel like a complete failure during this process. Sigh.
    Anyway, thank you so much!
    http://www.strippedchic.com

  • I am hoping the facts that you were in Missouri job-hunting and got a degree in journalism means you’re a fellow Tiger! I also double-majored at MU (journalism & history) and am not using either of my degrees now, but I hope I will one day. 🙂 Thanks for the tips!