By: Shea Harris
Ever since I was a child I made sure to set high goals for myself. In May of 2005 I sat at my cousin’s graduation cookout amazed at how things turned out for her. She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Summa Cum Laude with a job in her field. I would hear so many people around me saying how difficult it was to get a job with a degree (mind you this was 2005). I knew it would only be tougher for me when it was time for me to walk across the stage. Thankfully in May of 2014, I walked across the stage with a job in my field and had a salary to compliment it.
In my last post I gave a little insight into the apps I used to find jobs. In the next few posts, I will give a bit more insight into job searching. As we all know, it’s a job within itself to fill out applications. Not only is it repetitive to fill out job applications, but your patience is also tested during this time too. Job hunting is such a long and tedious process people get easily defeated when rejected. Sweetheart the only thing I can tell you is it gets better. You have to stay persistent and motivated any way you can when it comes to searching for a job. First things first: do you have a LinkedIn? If so, great! If not, baby what are you doing? LinkedIn is what helped me land my current job in Miami.
Make sure your LinkedIn is reflecting your résumé. Just because your résumé is bomb, that doesn’t mean you should have a crappy LinkedIn profile. Put as much information on your profile as much as you can. If you can get someone to type a testimonial about your work ethic, do that! If you have any certificates or certifications within your industry, make sure the people know! If you have volunteered or interned in your field, chaaaa let the folks know! If you don’t market your skills and accomplishments, how do you expect to get recognized?
Once I made my profile, I began following companies relating to the Clinical Research field. I followed clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical companies and institutions. Through these companies I was able to see immediately when positions became available. Don’t just stop at following companies though! If you come across individual’s profiles who work for a company you’re interested in, send them an invitation to connect. I’ve learned as a young professional its not what you know, its who you know.
When I was searching for a job in my field, I made sure I connected with people on LinkedIn who were Regulatory Specialist, Project Managers and even Clinical Research Associates. I know this may seem foreign to a lot of you, but I hope you get the point. If you want to be a manager at McDonalds, connect with managers in the fast food industry. Let’s say you want to be a cashier, connect with cashiers via LinkedIn. I know, I know, these are probably not jobs you’re interested in but hey they’re examples for a reason.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve connected with people who work in a position I’ve been interested in or for a company I’m interested in. You cant just stop at sending an invite though. Slide in those DM’s and make yourself known. Let your new connection know you exist. You’re not just connected to be nosey, you’re connected to be SEEN AND HEARD! All you need is that one person to believe in you and see how hard of a worker you are and that’s game! It’s so easy to make connections through Twitter and Facebook, but don’t stop there. Use the same strategies you use on social media and bring them to LinkedIn with a dash of professionalism.
Check out my LinkedIn profile to get a little inspiration. Good Luck and don’t forget I’m always available for advice!