An Entry-Level Job Searching Tip

Friday, March 18, 2016

And thus it begins: the job search. "Networking" and "informational interview" and "resume" are about the only words in my vocabulary right now. Sometimes I wish the appropriate answer to So...tell me about yourself. is "Well, my Twitter bio reads..." But alas, I feel most interviewers would not appreciate that answer.

Something I've found helpful in approaching the search for entry level jobs is to begin with the end in mind. As a storyteller, it helps me to have a narrative. What do I mean by this? Have some kind of context for your future career. Establish an end goal, or at least the shadow of one. Immediately, you may think, well I really REALLY have absolutely no clue what I want to do. I majored in something random and now recruiters are telling me my major doesn't even really matter. Yes, but you do have an idea about what you want to do. You probably have enough of an idea to narrow some jobs out. I could barely stay in my Freshman year Biology lab for the earthworm dissection, so I promptly scratched "surgeon" off my list of possible careers. That's a start.

The way to combat the feeling of not being quite sure what you want to do is to sit and think. Think about what you imagine yourself doing everyday for the rest of your life. This can be very high level thinking. Do you like being around people? Are you more of a quiet, studious hard worker? Do you like repetition or dynamism? What are your hobbies? Fashion? Reading? Frisbee golf? (Although, not sure how the last one will ever fit into a career path but I threw that hobby in for you, Dad.)

Now that you've done some thinking, start asking those questions in interviews. If you've got an itching need for constant company, ask if there is a culture of teamwork. Do you like fashion? Ask how strict the dress code is. Is there room to be creative or is business professional enforced? Personally, I try to decipher how much writing is involved because that is what I am good at and what I'm passionate about. It is also a skill I want to hone in my career because my end goal is to write novels children's books one day.  Maybe you won't get your dream job up front, but you'll be doing something you like in a healthy environment that will be a solid platform for your next job. And so on, and so forth.

Ironically, your Twitter bio might be helpful in the scenario of coming up with an end goal. Most bios are a series of statements about who you are and what you like. Revisit those few characters that are supposed to describe who you are and put them in the context of your career. Though "professional boy band stalker" (see below) might not be an actual job, your passion for music and Internet-searching skillz may be the stepping stones to long term career happiness. All you need is a foot-in-the-door, right? Good luck, friends!

PS: My favorite Twitter bio is definitely my friend Ari's: "Consumer of 98% of the world's peanut butter Oreos. Professional boy band stalker. Part-time normal human." Honorable mentions to Anna Kendrick and Leandra Medine. Also, an addicting Twitter Bio Generator and Honest Twitter Bios.

What is your best entry-level job searching tip?

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