Updated: January 2012
Employers are looking for love. And not just on Valentine’s Day. After all, they can teach someone how to do the job, but they can’t teach enthusiasm. So there’s a good chance that if you can demonstrate passion, you’re 99 percent of the way to getting hired.
Read Magazines, Periodicals and Websites Be a regular reader of industry magazines, periodicals and websites to keep up to date on the latest trends. Employers like this because the more inside information you have about an industry, the better prepared you will be to assist your new company in furthering its goals. In an interview, you will impress a potential employer if you can talk about industry trends or articles you’ve read. Article topics also make a great conversation starter at meetings and networking events.
Join an Industry Association Most industries have formal associations made up of like-minded professionals who gather regularly to share information. Many offer students a discounted membership. Being a member of an association looks great on a resume and shows you take your career seriously. You’ll also gain access to potential job leads, training sessions and networking opportunities.
Take Extra Courses Taking extra courses or joining professional development seminars will help you stand out from the competition because it shows an employer you want to further your knowledge. Consider, for example, training on the latest software or getting involved in a group that provides training in formal public speaking.
Take Part in School Clubs Join clubs and take part in events that relate to your future goals. If you want to be a photographer for example, join the school’s photography club. Employers will be impressed with your dedication.
Take Part in Internships and Co-ops Secure an internship or co-op at a company you would like to work for in the future, it’s a great way to show your desire to be a part of that organization and improve your chance of being considered for a position. Often employers use internships as an opportunity to test out your skills and fit with the company, so it’s a way to showcase your initiative, work habits and abilities. While researching a company, make sure its mission and values align with your beliefs. This will ensure a nice fit with the company, making it easy to showcase your passion for the organization.
Take Part in Industry Events Most industries have conferences, forums and workshops that will give you the chance to meet like-minded people and gain access to the latest research and new practices. Go to as many of these events as you can to prove to an employer how motivated you are to learn the latest information. You can find out about these events through industry associations, websites and periodicals.
Volunteer By volunteering you are showing you are committed to the field and willing to go above and beyond. Volunteer at a company you would like to work for — maybe at a company event or as a regular weekly volunteer. You never know, your volunteering could lead to a permanent job.
Network Employers like to see that you know people in the field. Do you regularly meet to discuss your industry through online forums or blogs? Have you taken the initiative to gather like-minded people together through Facebook groups or other formal social networking opportunities? Get involved with as many people as you can and show that you enjoy discussing the field.
Do Plenty of Research Take time to research the organization to show you are passionate about working there. Be able to demonstrate you know plenty of details about the job, as well as the company’s clients, successes, history and products. In your cover letter and at interview, show that you have similar values and highlight what you can do for that employer.
Get Relevant Work Experience Find a part-time or summer job that is relevant to your studies and interests. For example, if you want to have a career in retail management, an employer would expect that you have worked within the retail industry. If you take a part-time job in a store, you will develop excellent transferable skills and gain inside information about that company which may lead you to a corporate office position. This shows a potential employer you are passionate about that company and that you want to build your career with it.
And finally... Ask for the Job! Love, jp