Life in Publishing

Job Search Tip #8: Fake It Till You Make It

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This may be a controversial tip, but I do truly believe in faking it till you make it (FITYMI). This doesn’t mean pretending or lying about your skills or abilities to get a job, but rather forcing yourself to do things that may initially make you uncomfortable or scared to get to where you want to be. It’s about boosting your confidence so that you believe in yourself. If you’re insecure or scared no one else is ever going to trust in you or believe in you.

This could be as simple as getting a new wardrobe to fit in at your new workplace, although FITYMI doesn’t require going into credit card debt to make it seem like you’re successful on the surface. It also doesn’t mean losing your own sense of style but rather dressing in a mature way that says you’re ready to handle responsibility. It could also mean buying books about your industry and taking night courses to improve yourself and learn more. Attending industry events, networking and learning more about your field is another important way to FITYMI. Who cares if you don’t know anyone else? Act like you belong and work the room. Start a blog to show off what knowledge you do have and position yourself as a leader in the field.

Very soon you won’t be faking it anymore.

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Life in Publishing

Job Search Tip #7: Be A Bit Dramatic

My next tip has been inspired by all of the great TIFF movies I’ve seen so far (I give both Jeff, Who Lives At Home and Like Crazy 4/5 stars). You need to stand out in the crowd. Have some flair. Possess a certain je ne sais quoi. ¬†Add a bit of drama to the job application process.

However this doesn’t mean acting strange or gimmickey (unless you’re in marketing. Then you need to assess the situation based on the company you are applying to). Some subtle suggestions? Change up your resume by switching the fonts to something other than Times New Roman and making your name really stand out. Wear one bright colour in the interview through a ring, shoe or tie. Have a flashy or funny website that says something about you and your interests.

Do not go overboard and make yourself look nuts by sporting a crazy outfit or tap dancing in your interview (unless they ask you to). You want to show personality as well as professionalism. Super conservative and formal work places probably aren’t the best place for trying these out, but as humans we generally respond well to drama and storytelling. Being remembered can be hard when lots of people are being interviewed so a bit of pizazz is okay. Just make sure you have the substance beneath the flash by doing your homework.

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Life in Publishing

Job Search Tip #1: Create A Blog To Help Your Career

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times: I can’t think of too many industries where having a blog can’t help you land a job. Create a professional website that works not only as an online portfolio for your work, but like a second resume for anyone who wants to learn more about you. Show your expertise and add in a few (read: appropriate) personal details to help recruiters to see if you’re a great fit for their company. Also, being a part of Gen-Y means that companies expect that you’re born tech savvy, so having a blog shows your initiative to learn.

It’s not hard and you don’t need a graphic design degree. Sign up for WordPress.org. It has professional looking templates with a lot more customization options than Blogger, and is still really easy to use. Show your passion and make sure to include the URL somewhere on your resume. If you’re not sure where to start, see what else is out there in your genre, and comment on other people’s posts and industry news.

Happy blogging!

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