Holiday hiring slump: how to network & be productive when business is slow

Holiday hiring slump: how to network & be productive when business is slow

December is notorious not only for its icy freezes, but for hiring freezes, too. (Unless you work in retail. In which case, I admire you for your strength.)

And that can be a pain for those of us looking for work. (Though what job-seeker wouldn’t be a bit panicky at the thought of starting a new gig at the height of the holiday season?) If you’re on the market for new employment but aren’t getting a lot of leads, you can still use the holiday season to get ahead on your networking game.

Here are nine ways to polish your online presence, make new connections and maybe even open up doors that will lead to employment. (You know, for when you’re not last-minute Christmas shopping or sipping seasonal cocktails):

Update your bio or about page. So you have a website that you update regularly. But when was the last time you even looked at your bio page? Is it collecting dust? Does it still say you’re overseas teaching English to penguins who are probably dead by now? (First thing that popped into my mind.) Don’t let your first impression give the wrong impression—refresh that bio, and update your headshot while you’re at it.

Revise your resume and organize your clips/samples. If you’re been using the same resume template for years, it’s time for a revision. Have you picked up any new skills or taken on new clients? Can you tighten up the language or remove a position that’s not really relevant anymore? Make those changes. And if your work constitutes having a portfolio or providing work samples, collect links or files and organize them neatly on your computer and website. This is your go-to when potential employers ask for examples of your work.

Breathe new life into a standby cover letter. They say you’re not supposed to have a “Dear X, I’d love to be considered for the X position with X” cover letter, and they would be correct. (It’s so obvious when you just copy and paste positions and company names into a generic cover letter.) But most of us aren’t rewriting each letter from scratch, either. Sit down and write out all the things that make you a great catch and then use that to draft a letter that’s inspired. If you’re stuck, this post outlines a great mind trick for writing a non-sucky cover letter.

Clean up your social media accounts. Unfollow people who annoy you or don’t follow you back, create Twitter lists of your favorites, and read through your latest posts to make sure they’re contributing to an image you want to convey. Do away with any social media sites that zap your energy or merely feel like an obligation. As Sarah Von Bargen says, you only need to be active on two or three sites that you enjoy using and that make sense for you.

Talk to people you’d like to work with online. On the subject of social media—are you following or talking to the people you’d like to work with (or for) online? Find the writers, editors, designers, marketers, public speakers or developers who are your colleagues—or who you want to be—and respond to their posts, share their content and offer up your own thoughts on the same subjects. Don’t kiss ass just to kiss ass. Engage and discuss. People will start to take notice, and you’ll attract followers in your field.

Offer pro bono work. ‘Tis the season of giving. Offer your services free of charge to a nonprofit or organization you’d like to work for or whose cause is important to you. This is especially valuable if you don’t have a lot of experience. Sometimes one solid recommendation is all you need to get your foot in the door for the next paid gig that comes along, and if you do a solid job, you’ll get just that.

Write testimonials for connections on LinkedIn. Endorse or write glowing reviews for current or former colleagues whose work you’re familiar with. It’s not only good karma, but those people will be more likely to think of you when they hear of a job that pops up. (And maybe they’ll return the testimonial-writing favor!)

Send holiday cards or “thinking of you” emails. This is not one of those emails that says “It’s been so long” and “I have a favor to ask” in the same damn paragraph. Instead, try a no-ulterior-motive email like this: “Hey X – Merry Christmas! Hope all is well. I thought of you recently when X. I just caught up with your latest project – impressive stuff!” Warm fuzzies all around.

Keep an eye out—just in case. Hey, new opportunities can come up any time. (There are a lot of good reasons why December can actually be a great time to land a gig if you’re looking.) Just ask Laura or Nicole—they both just started great new jobs they’re excited about! So have your stuff together and be ready for when that opportunity arrives. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays!

Aside from some of the above, I’m working on a brand new site design that I’m really excited about and hope to reveal for the new year. It’s a much-needed refresher that I’ll be even more proud to show off to potential employers.

Are you currently on the job hunt?

A guide to quitting your job (and why every 20-something should do it)

A guide to quitting your job (and why you need to do it)

An article I read recently urged young people to quit their jobs.

As someone who quit her first job out of college (a gig I stayed with for two years) to move across the country and go to grad school, I couldn’t agree more.

I still remember the day I told my boss I was leaving.

With multiple people on maternity leave, the company taking on new clients and other big changes, my department had been stretched thin for weeks and was about to get even busier. But I’d been keeping the news of my acceptance into grad school to myself for months and couldn’t contain it any longer—it was time to drop the bomb. So after one of our department’s weekly meetings, I asked my manager if we could speak privately—an uncommon request. Walking down the hall toward his office, he said jokingly, “I hope you’re not leaving us.” I started, “Well…” and told him my good news. And I quit.

The Atlantic article explained what a study on youth unemployment revealed about the benefits of quitting:

“Jumping between jobs in your 20s, which strikes many people as wayward and noncommittal, improves the chance that you’ll find more satisfying—and higher paying—work in your 30s and 40s.

“People who switch jobs more frequently early in their careers tend to have higher wages and incomes in their prime-working years,” said [Henry] Siu, a professor at the Vancouver School of Economics. “Job-hopping is actually correlated with higher incomes, because people have found better matches—their true calling.””

I certainly hope that’s true. And in my experience, I’ve found other benefits as well.

The act of quitting your job builds courage. There’s nothing scarier than giving up your paycheck—possibly the first steady source of income that allowed you independence—and telling your boss you’re leaving. It takes bravery to decide it’s time to move on to something else and then act upon that realization.

It also requires serious planning (and soul-searching). You’ve hopefully put a lot of thought and consideration into why you’re quitting your job and what you’re looking for wherever you go next. If it’s more money, no shame in saying so—identify exactly how much money and put into writing the steps you’ll take to earn it. If it’s room for growth, fine—make a timeline of where you expect to be in five years and talk with potential employers about how you’ll reach that goal. If it’s not having to answer to a boss, make sure you can be productive working on your own and are comfortable playing multiple roles in self-employment.

If you’re going to quit your job, a few words of advice:

Give fair notice. No matter how uninspired a job might be, unless your work conditions are unsafe or completely unprofessional, it’s not fair to walk out on a day’s notice. Don’t burn bridges by going out in a blaze of glory. Ask your boss for a private meeting (be kind—don’t do it on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon) and give at least two weeks’ notice. Because I knew the department would need me, I gave my boss seven weeks’ notice and helped train my replacement.

Don’t focus on the negatives. Unless you’re in the tough position of quitting a job you just started (only to realize it’s completely, 100 percent wrong for you), don’t talk about what you didn’t like about your job. Maybe you were bored as hell, maybe the job wasn’t what you thought it’d be or maybe your boss’ managing tactics grated on your every last nerve—quitting time is not the time to offer critiques. Unless specifically asked what about the job could be improved or convince you to stay, speak only about what you learned or got out of the experience in a positive way. It’ll soften the blow of your departure and make you look like a class act.

Say thank you. Handwrite letters to your manager or boss, the coworkers in your department, the CEO and whomever else you worked closely with or for as a way of showing thanks. These are the people you’ve worked alongside in an important stage of your life. Thank them for being part of it. The handwritten part will floor anyone who thinks Millennials don’t value old-fashioned etiquette.

Above all, don’t quit your job if… You’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. You don’t have something else lined up. You genuinely love your job. (If so, congrats! And why are you still reading?! Go to happy hour with your coworkers already.)

When I quit my job, I realized no one is irreplaceable.

After what felt like an eternity (but was probably only a minute or so) of my rehearsed resignation, I was relieved to see my boss smile as he congratulated me on getting into school. He was sad to see me go but said he pegged me as someone who was itching to do something a bit more creative and might not stay around forever. And I realized then that quitting isn’t more of a shock to anyone else than it is to you. Do good work and as long as the industry is sound, you can probably hang on to the same gig for a while. (And in an economy like this, we should be thankful for any job.) But unless you’re lucky enough to land the dream gig—or close enough to it—in your 20s, if you can afford to risk it, why not try on a couple of things until you find the right fit? You’ll never say you wish you did when you had the chance. And if it leads to bigger paychecks in the future, even better.

Have you ever quit a job? What did you learn?

On isolation, authenticity & failure with One Woman Shop’s Cristina Roman

We hear a lot of words like “authenticity” and “failure” thrown around when talking about careers and businesses.

But these words are often used in big-picture terms, as though someone just starting out in her career should know what we mean when we use them. Today’s Q&A is part two of a career mini-series (see part one from last week here) that focuses on words in the context of careers and really getting specific about them.

I’m chatting with One Woman Shop founder Cristina Roman, whose community for creative solopreneurs addresses one word in particular: isolation. See what Cristina has to say below.

self-employment

Briefly tell us your story and how you came to become so laser-focused on what you wanted to pursue for a career.

I think my friends and family would crack up if they heard someone call me “laser-focused”! I’ve always struggled with being pulled in a ton of different directions. Luckily, there’s a name for this kind of person, which I really identify with: multipassionate. It’s for those of us who love to dabble in various projects, always have our fingers in many pies, and love to learn just about everything.

That being said, I have found the common thread in my various projects and interests relatively recently: working with young women to find and thrive in careers and businesses that they love. Even more specifically, I now work almost exclusively with women who are starting or running their own solo businesses.

I do this through running One Woman Shop, a resource hub and community for female solopreneurs and freelancers, and offering business and career coaching and consulting, e-courses, and seminars through CMR Strategies in the areas of digital marketing, productivity, and personal branding.

And of the best parts of running my own business is that I can incorporate in any new interests I have willy nilly. That’s how my Unique Hobbies blog series and my Cultivating Happiness email series both came about, for example.

One thing your business touches on is something many people don’t talk about in entrepreneurship—loneliness and isolation. How does self-employment lend itself to those things and how can entrepreneurs combat them?

I would say that’s the number-one complaint of solo business owners and is how our tagline “going it alone doesn’t have to be lonely” came about. Entrepreneurs often start out working alone, either by choice or by necessity, and this can lead to a feeling of isolation, especially if friends and family don’t share the same passion for discussing the ins and outs of email marketing, the pros and cons of different legal designations, and the best strategies for finding a virtual assistant!

It can be tough working from home alone day in and day out, often going to a coffee shop doesn’t have quite the same feel as being in an office, and coworking spaces (shared office spaces for freelancers and entrepreneurs) can be expensive.

My advice for combatting this feeling of isolation: Meet other solo business owners in your area through Meetup, Twitter (try using FollowerWonk to search by area), and other local events; plan work dates and coffee dates to get out of the house; collaborate with other solopreneurs on projects and events, and set up periodic phone calls with people who motivate and inspire you (some of my most productive days have come after early morning phone calls that lit me up!).

We place a high value on authenticity in business these days, but that can seem like a double-edged sword for anyone just starting out who doesn’t want to offend potential clients or employers. How can any entrepreneur or corporate ladder climber walk that fine line while keeping her personality intact?

I think it comes down to making a decision: if there is a part of you that has the potential to offend or alienate someone – like your dirty jokes, your strong religious beliefs, or your political affiliation – and you choose to bring that into your business or the workplace, you need to own all of the possible repercussions. That could include not getting hired by a certain client or a company you want to work for.

Some people have made very successful careers for themselves by being 100% their “not suitable for work” selves – like Ash of the Middle Finger Project. This works for them, but it doesn’t mean you need to be the same way. It’s not inauthentic to have slightly different versions of yourself in your everyday life and your work life, as long as you don’t feel weird about it.

One Woman Shop

People talk a lot about failure as a positive thing. But what do you think they mean by that? Is there good failure and bad failure, and how can we use both to our advantage?

Failure sure is having its heyday, huh? It’s a complicated discussion because failure is all about perspective. For example, a $10,000 product launch could be an utter flop for one business owner, while it’s a gold mine for another. It’s also a matter of attitude – what one person considers failure, another may consider a learning experience. Basically, I think it’s all subjective!

The idea behind thinking of failure as a positive thing is that if you are putting out there over and over, you’re bound to fail sometimes. If you’re not failing occasionally, it probably means you didn’t really put yourself out there. In my opinion, it’s not absolutely necessary to fail, but it’s important to not be afraid to fail. And when you do fail, it’s crucial to learn from your mistakes.

At the risk of sounding too cheesy, we can use every failure to our advantage by learning from it. For example, I offered paid membership on One Woman Shop from the very beginning and exactly one person became a member in the first six months – pretty big failure, right? I learned that I needed to have a solid base of active individuals, prove that I provide valuable content, and poll my audience about what they were looking for in a paid membership site. Now that we’ve done those things, we’re relaunching our paid membership component!

How can someone just starting out build a community (online and in the real world) that will give her not only the audience, but the relationships necessary for upward growth?

Great question – we’re actually launching a coaching program around this idea! I think the first step is to cultivate resourcefulness and the ability to see the opportunities around you. Once you realize that opportunities to connect are everywhere, things get rolling pretty quickly. Another important piece is to make building a strong community around you a priority, not just something that falls to the wayside.

I firmly believe that community building is not a one-size-fits-all thing; for example, some people love online networking, while others thrive on making in-person connections. Some people build community through blogging, while others have find Instagram to be more suited to them. It’s all about finding your fit while still being willing to experiment.

Hands-down, my #1 recommendation is to get incredibly comfortable with direct outreach, whether it’s to ask people to join your email list, be a guest on your podcast, let you speak to their organization, or partner with you on a collaboration.

At One Woman Shop, we’ve been putting a lot of effort into high-impact activities, such as guest posting on sites like Design*Sponge, setting up a pop-up on the site, doing direct outreach to women we think would be a good fit for the community, and partnering with solo business owners on things like our 28 Tips for Growing Your Community freebie.

 

Thanks, Cristina!

Enjoy what she had to say or have any thoughts of your own? Let us know in the comments. And if this series hasn’t touched on something you’d like to see covered, let me know that, too!

On creativity, entrepreneurship & fulfillment with Working Self’s Rebecca Fraser-Thill

get to work

There’s nothing like debt to light a fire under your ass.

At least, that’s what has me more motivated than ever to carve out a career that will hopefully sustain me (and then some). But whether it’s student loans or a desire to break free from our uninspired jobs or something else that drives us, we all chase that elusive “dream” job or career—sometimes we just don’t know what that’s supposed to look like and whether it can realistically be done.

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Fraser-Thill of Working Self about these things and more in the first installment of a two-part career Q&A series. (I’ll have another guest next week!) Rebecca has spent the past several years crafting a life that’s equal parts fulfilling, attainable and sustainable—the trifecta for success, I’d say. And her blog is dedicated to making sure others can do the same. Today, Rebecca has some words of wisdom for those of you who are creatives types and somewhat new to the workforce.

Check out our Q&A below.

Working Self

Briefly tell us your story and how you came to become so laser-focused on what you wanted to pursue for a career.

I became laser-focused by meandering. That may sound paradoxical but it’s completely true. As I was graduating college, I was so afraid of not knowing what I was going to do with my life that I jumped into a PhD program right away. Wrong move. I had no idea why I was there or what I wanted to get out of the experience, so I high-tailed it out of there after receiving my master’s degree – even though the doctorate was Ivy League and fully funded. That’s when meandering took over: I moved to Maine, the state my creative soul had dreamed about since I was a preteen, and stumbled into a one-year gig teaching psychology at a selective liberal arts college there. That one-year position turned into an eleven year stint, to date, including some amazing opportunities related to my passions that are unfolding at this very moment.

I’ve also had the chance to be highly intentional about how much teaching I take on each year, leaving me room to build side hustles and try other avenues out, in addition to caring for my growing family on an “as needed” basis. Throughout my process of leaping in a panic, stepping back and walking away from something “great” that wasn’t great for me, I kept coming back to the same question: how does a person build a fulfilling life? I became so obsessed with that question that I created Working Self, my corner of the web reserved for considering various possible answers. The pursuit of meaningful work has been at the heart of everything I’ve done, and I love having a forum for exploring the “how” with others.

What myths do young people, particularly recent grads, buy into about jobs and careers? Can you dispel them?

While teaching college, I’ve found the most common myth to be the need to find THE career. You know, the one and only career that will provide lifelong fulfillment and joy. Fantasy alert! That simply doesn’t exist. That myth actually spins off a bunch of related myths: that we need to have a multi-year plan in order to succeed; that it’s better to wait for the “right” opportunity than dive into an opportunity you have at hand; that our major sets our path. These are all deterministic, A-causes-B-causes-C ways of thinking, which are not at all not realistic. Thank goodness! Life is so much more dynamic and exciting and keeping-us-on-our-toes than that!

The reality is that a combination of action, reflection, and serendipity carves most people’s career paths. We can’t see how our life is going to unfold as we’re starting out, but when we eventually look back on the years behind us, all the twists and turns make perfect sense. So after graduating you simply need to reflect on what you think you want at this moment based on your strengths and interests, take the leap and start DOING something, and then be alert to serendipity when it comes knocking. Then repeat the process over and over throughout your life. That’s how a career path actually unfolds – which I find to be a lot less daunting (and more thrilling) than the plot-and-plan approach most graduates think they need to take. My story is a case and point, and just one of many.

By the way, I enjoyed tackling this topic in more depth recently on Life After College – and, bonus, Jenny Blake and I offered a free webinar on the topic that is archived here.

Lots of people aspire to be entrepreneurs, but not everybody’s cut out for that kind of bootstrapping work. How can someone who’s uncertain tell if they’re meant to pursue a path of becoming his or her own boss?

I can certainly relate to this question: I’ve finally accepted that I’m not cut out for full-time entrepreneurship, even though I always thought that would be the right path for me. As far back as age 7, I began selling homemade greeting cards to relatives and neighbors! Entrepreneurship sounds great in theory: complete autonomy over scheduling and tasks; no boss to wrestle with; flexible work setting. In reality, though, you have to be someone who can withstand loneliness, work that grows to fill every single crevice of your life, and a lack of financial security.

I found out that full-time entrepreneurship is not right for me by building side hustles, which is the route I suggest everyone take. Side hustling not only allows you to test out your particular idea, develop a client base, and gain confidence about your potential income, it also lets you try out the less tangible aspects of entrepreneurship, like the hustling itself! While freelance writing and career coaching on the side, I discovered that I love to create but hate to sell, a combo that doesn’t have “full-time entrepreneur” written on it! Thankfully I have had the opportunity within my actual job to carve out entrepreneurial endeavors, which feed my creative needs while letting me off the hook on the sales front. It’s possible to think and act like an entrepreneur without actually being one full-time.

Having a fancy website design, sassy copy and professional photographs are all well and good (and important!) for anyone looking to catch potential employers’ and clients’ eyes, but what are the less sexy, more practical tools everyone should have in their belt?

I could use some of that “sassy copy” you mention! Seriously, at the basis of any job search or development of a client base lies the same thing: genuine relationships. You can have all the flash, but if there’s no substance beneath it, you simply aren’t going to get too far. I love the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz, which emphasizes the importance of building connections that have substance and are reciprocal. That’s the skill set everyone needs to get down pat to lead a life that’s meaningful and successful.

Networking isn’t about superficially seeking people out when you need something; networking should be done all the time, in every circumstance, with no ulterior motive at all. Those relationships are what yield the vast majority of job offers and client leads – either your own or another person’s. When networking is approached in this way, you become part of a giant web of helping and sharing, which is fulfilling in and of itself.

Are creative types doomed to constant debt and worry, or are there ways we can armor ourselves against falling victim to the unpredictable creative landscape?

I hope we’re not doomed! I actually think we overestimate how much security “regular workers” have. The reality is that we are ALL at the whim of the economy, as we saw during the last economic downturn that left thousands unemployed for long stretches of time (and many still are in that boat). If anything, I think creative types are better equipped to handle economic shifts than people who do not identify as “creative.” We creative types are used to taking an existing “problem” and coming up with a novel solution; that’s our bread and butter. So when the landscape changes, we’re ready to say, “huh, maybe I can make money doing X, Y or Z.” It’s all about staying mindful about the convergence of what the world needs and what we have to offer (and creatives have multiple offerings, by definition), then matching the two together as those needs shift.

Any final thoughts to add?

If you want to create a life you feel good about, you have to be prepared to have people scratch their heads about you. The vast majority of my big decisions have been incomprehensible to everyone but a handful of people who know me extremely well. I used to let that bother me, and sometimes would make the “understandable” decision because of the pressure. I see many of my former students take the easy route, too, and I feel badly for them because I know that while they’ll enjoy others’ acceptance, they’ll never enjoy their own acceptance. And the latter? That’s what really matters.

 

Thanks, Rebecca!

Enjoy what she had to say or have any thoughts of your own? Let us know in the comments. And make sure to come back next week for part two, featuring a Q&A with the founder of One Woman Shop.

The secret to job hunting: It isn’t about you

Job hunting sucks.

The problem is, we sometimes are so desperate for a job that we focus too much on ourselves in the process of searching for employment that our desperation shows through as we try so hard to fit into the mold we think the employer wants—and they see right through it. But guest blogger Erika of All Things E cuts through the painful stuff in her guest post today to tell job seekers everything they want to know about the hiring process… from the employer’s side.

job hunt

Applying for jobs is stressful.

You agonize over tiny details, ride the roller coaster of hope and rejection, find yourself legitimately concerned that your voice “sounds weird” on the phone and overall, turn into a ball of nerves.

Am I good enough? Am I what they’re looking for? Is this job actually as great as it seems on paper?

(Answers: Yes, maybe and probably not… if you were wondering.)

The humbling, tiresome circus of applying for jobs after graduation or as a working professional is something that we all experience, usually several times in our adult life. After settling in and finding a job that I actually like (though, I have to say: I had a job from hell beforehand—it was character-building), I recently found myself in an entirely new position in the hiring process: as the one doing the actual hiring.

Weird.

I’ll say this first: being on this side of the equation was not at all what I expected. Companies hire when the amount of work is greater than the amount of manpower. Because I work for a small company, the extra work plus the work of finding a suitable candidate to join our team meant late nights and very busy days.

And a LOT of pressure to find someone that would be able to step in, learn fast and contribute right away.

Luckily, we found that person. It took about 3 months, but it’s in the past and I’m on my way to figuring out how to manage (also, very weird).

I learned a LOT about the hiring process from the other side of the table and the experience made me reflect on how I’ll go about applying and interviewing for jobs in the future, so I’m excited to be sharing my insights with you to hopefully make the job-hunting process a bit less scary and anxiety-ridden.

First, the biggest takeaway from the experience:

It isn’t about you.

From the company’s perspective, you are one piece in a pretty big puzzle. I don’t say that to belittle you or make you feel small about what you’re getting into. I say it to help ease your nerves.

Because the truth is: you, as the applicant, control only a very small portion of the outcome.

So breathe easier, embrace patience and by God, take it WAY less personally when you don’t get the job, even if it’s your “dream job.”

If it were your dream job, you would have landed it. Because you would have been the perfect fit. You see, the trouble is, it’s difficult to deduce whether you’re “the perfect fit” for any job from a one-page description.

Personality traits, foundational skills (i.e. writing, talking to people, coming up with ideas) and cultural elements are all really important dimensions of a candidate that just don’t come through in a job description.

So my biggest piece of advice? EMBRACE the fact that it isn’t ALL about you. 

Once you embrace this idea (and the idea that the outcome of the interview process isn’t a reflection of your worthiness as a human being in the slightest bit), you’ll be ready and able to actually showcase yourself and your talents in a way that a potential employer won’t be able to stop thinking about you.

Beyond that MAJOR piece of insight (seriously, take it to heart), there are a few pieces of advice that I know I’ll be keeping in my back pocket for when I go back to the other side of the table:

  • BE THOROUGH. Small details matter. Spelling, grammar, layout and presentation of your resume and cover letter DO make a difference—it’s easier for the hiring manager to weed out the people who were too careless to run spell check or make sure that their cover letter made sense. Also, things like thank you notes and proper email etiquette go a long way. Present yourself with polish.
  • BE HONEST. I was flabbergasted by the number of people that straight-up lied to us about the very things that we spent ALL DAY doing for work. It was actually kind of offensive. If you don’t know something, say so. If you lie about knowing how to do something, your employer is going to expect that when you start, you know how to do it. Don’t set yourself up to fail from the get-go.
  • BE PREPARED. Know something about the company and come prepared with questions to ask the interviewers. It shows that you’re curious and know how to use Google, which are two very important skills. Make a list of questions if you think you’ll forget it when you’re in the moment and please, make sure this one is on your list: “What would a normal day be like for me in this position?”
  • Finally, BE YOURSELF. Nail down the “tell me about yourself” and “what do you like to do outside of work?” questions with interesting, complete answers. Practice delivering them—it’ll give you confidence. Talk with passion about something —anything—and you’ll stand out. Personality goes a long, long way. Many people shy away from their personality in interviews because they want to show how professional they can be. Don’t. Interviews are impossibly boring and when you interview a lot of people, they all run together in your mind. The people who had a great personality stood out a LOT.

 

Obviously, every job is going to be a bit different, as is every job interviewer.

One thing I really believe to be true after this experience is that one of the most critical times to be your true self is when you’re in the process of finding the job that you’ll spend a HUGE chunk of your waking hours doing.

So if you walk out of an interview feeling like you represented yourself in an honest, engaging way and you don’t get the job?

It wasn’t the job for you.

And it wasn’t about YOU.

So tell me: what’s the best piece of job interview advice you’ve ever received?

Erika SevignyErika Sevigny is a 24-year-old single gal living, loving and learning in St. Louis, Missouri. She writes about friendship, books, self awareness and daily life on her blog All Things E and wholeheartedly believes in long hugs, cold coffee and handwritten letters. Say hello on Twitter @ErikaSevigny or at erika [at] allthingseblog.com.