With the semester ending early on campuses and brothers taking classes from home, many SigEps have asked how to keep brothers connected. To meet that need, we’re adding content on SigEp’s Instagram page and holding twice-weekly meetups. These are intended to help you and your members develop now while getting you ready to hit the ground running when in-person classes resume.
This job market is a rough one, but all challenges create opportunities. You can find a job in any economic climate by fully developing your competitive advantage. Sheehan Walker, Virginia Commonwealth ’11, and Scott Swedberg, Elon ’11, offer three tips to finding that advantage. Swedberg is founder & CEO of The Job Sauce, while Walker is a talent consultant for PwC, one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
Here are three tips from Sheehan and Scott to get the competitive edge you need to land your dream job in any market.
1. Optimize your resume and LinkedIn.
Your resume and LinkedIn won’t land you a job by themselves, but they’re critical tools to gaining your competitive advantage. If done poorly, your resume and LinkedIn can be a dealbreaker.
A good resume can get you in the door with an interview. Make sure you’re using keywords on your resume that match the job description, and prove you have the experiences the employer is looking for. Also ensure your resume highlights your potential — and, as you grow in your career and have more experience, make sure the accomplishments you highlight are relevant to the position.
2. Network and understand your potential role.
You are 20 times more likely to get a job through a referral than applying online. You likely know people who work at companies you’re interested in, so don’t be intimidated to reach out. It can even help your connection: Many organizations offer referral bonuses for current employees who bring in new hires.
Even if you don’t know someone where you want to work, second-degree connections can be just as powerful. Does a friend, mentor or family member know someone who works there? Something as simple as passing on your resume to a hiring manager can do wonders for your chances of getting a job. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to ask someone for help, ask them for advice, especially in an area they know well. This can be a great conversation starter.
3. Create a networking one-pager.
What do companies need now, and what will they need in the future? Consider how you can build skills that will be desirable years from now. Many organizations are digitizing if they haven’t already, so technological skills can be a huge area of opportunity. Sheehan and Scott recommend this Harvard article for more ideas.
Make sure you’re always growing your skills and learn to be a utility player, especially if you plan to work in smaller-sized organizations. These companies require smaller teams, and everyone wears multiple hats. In larger organizations, you can specialize more, but making sure you stay ahead of the curve skill-wise will serve you well over the long-term. Keep looking for new technologies and new opportunities.