The Best Job Search Advice From Mashable’s #BizChat

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The world is not going to stand still for anyone. It is constantly changing and keeping up can be incredibly difficult. Luckily we have sites like Mashable that help us to stay up-to-date with everything that is going on in business, technology, and everything else.

That’s why we were so excited to hear that they would be hosting a Twitter #BizChat all about job searching tactics to use in 2015. Career experts joined together to answer @mashbusiness’s questions about the job search process and to share their experience and wisdom with all of Twitter.

If you tuned in (or even joined the conversation), we’re proud of you. Now get to work putting this advice into practice!

But, just in case you missed it, we thought we’d share what we thought was the best job search advice from Mashable’s #BizChat.

Start by creating a game plan.

Everyone who participated in the chat seemed to agree on this point. Before you can start actually applying for jobs or reaching out to people in your industry, you need to get organized!

You need to explore your options. Figure out what industry you’re actually interested in. What types of opportunities are available to you? Who are the people who really stand out to you in your field? It’s exactly why we created the Explore button on AfterCollege.com. You can’t start applying for jobs if you don’t know what you want to do.

And if you already have a strong idea of your preferred industry and position, it’s still not wise to just jump in willy-nilly. You should create a plan. Make a schedule for yourself. Keep track of networking events and who you’ve met. Follow up with those people. Figure out the days you’re going to be researching companies, working on your résumé, perfecting your LinkedIn profile, applying for jobs online, and when you’re going to get out of your house and into the world.

As @jobjenny said, “Get your buns out of ‘endlessly surfing job ads’ mode and start connecting with real people at companies of interest.”

Show your personality.

Focus on bringing your personality forth in any way possible. Ideally, you’ll be able to get your face in front of someone who works within the company of interest. It can be intimidating, but there are ways that you can meet people in your industry.

Here’s one specific example of how one recent graduate built relationships in the advertising industry.

I really appreciated what Ryan Kahn of Hired had to say on the matter: “Focus On Real Relationships – It’s not what you know OR who you know… it’s who knows you.”

Which is why you have to be personable as well as inquisitive, informed but not robotic. How can you do that? With practice. Here’s what I mean by that.

And remember that your interaction shouldn’t end with just one conversation. You have to follow up. Continue to provide useful information to these people. Keep yourself fresh in their minds.

Tell a story.

I took a bunch of different classes on American History both in high school and college and yet, if you were to ask me about World War II, most of my knowledge comes from movies like Schindler’s List and books like Number the Stars. Why is that?

Because I was much more engaged in these stories than the list of dates and facts that were offered in my textbooks.

The same thing happens when you tell people about yourself. Your résumé is there to list the facts. When you meet someone, they’re much more likely to remember you if you tell a story. Though there’s some debate over who said it, the quote, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” is still very true.

Even if they can’t remember the exact percentage by which you increased your Twitter following, they will remember the struggle you went through trying to figure out just what #FF, MT, SMH meant and how nervous you were tweeting directly at @mashable but how it ended up resulting in a real conversation with the editor.

Practice telling stories about your successes, failures, and accomplishments. Both I and AfterCollege Content Marketing Manager Melissa Suzuno took a class with Fundamentum that taught us how to discover and tell these stories naturally and in an engaging way.

Ask “real” questions.

Eventually, it will be your turn to ask questions in an interview (or if you’re conducting an informational interview, that’ll probably be the majority of your conversation). As @jobjenny says, “you simply cannot ask questions whose answers are a quick Google search away.”

Research the company beforehand. And I don’t just mean giving their website a glance. I mean really do your research. What are they doing in the industry? What are the problems that they’re trying to solve? Check out any social media accounts they might have. Really get a feel for the company.

Then use that information to shape your questions. Ask how the position will help with the total vision of the company. Also use this time to get a better idea of what the company culture is like.

This doesn’t only apply to questions either. I really appreciated how The Daily Muse also encouraged using this research and critical thinking to make suggestions.

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Other words of wisdom:

@MaddieGaither: No risk, no reward. Reach out and ASK for what you want!

@EmilieMeck: It’s ok to compromise, just don’t compromise yourself. And stay positive!

@dailymuse: Treat everyone well from the moment you walk in the door. You never know if the receptionist will have a say in the decision

@jobjenny: Show up prepared but not so over-rehearsed that you look and sound like a robot. You MUST be engaged in the conversation.

@HIRED: No matter how many times you fail or how slow you progress, you are still far ahead of those who aren’t trying

@alevit: Keep your expectations reasonable. No job is the be-all, end-all of personal and career satisfaction

Want to know more? You can see Mashable’s storified version of the #BizChat here.

Did we miss anything? Did you tune into the chat and think we missed some good advice? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Homework time! Now that you’ve heard the advice that all of these career gurus have shared, go out there and put it into practice. Start figuring out what your stories are, where you can mingle with professionals in your field, and what you can do to show that you’re a good fit.

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