ON THE JOB: Getting the job you want

Understand all the opportunities available to you. Don’t just assume you can only work at the standard place of employment for your area of study. The key to finding a great career is to think outside of the box.

• Get to know a successful person. Your dad’s friend doesn’t count if he doesn’t know you. You must be able to find someone that has had decent success in any field and become their new friend.

• Learn to sell yourself. You have a lot more to offer than you may think. Whether your history is full of experience or education, you are bringing unique qualities to a company. You must learn to express your skills in a succinct and convincing manner.

• Network in professional associations. If you really want to make an impression, meet people that already work in your industry. Volunteer with them for projects and get to know them.

• Network inside the company. If you want to ensure your role at a company then you need to get to know several people in the company. No matter what you may be applying for, you will be competing with others to make an impression with people.

• Bring something to your job. Just like JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” If you have done your homework, you know what the company is doing now, where it is going, and what issues that your department is facing or will have to deal with in the future.

• Get your résumé to the best people. There are several strategies for marketing yourself to the decision makers in a company. Whatever your method may be, it is crucial that you get your résumé to the highest-ranking managers possible.

• Do your homework. You have heard this all of your school career, but it is even more important in the your career search. You can easily blow a great job opportunity by not knowing enough information about the company. Be sure to read industry news and trends to have a better perspective on the challenges and opportunities the company is facing.

• Hit the pavement. Don’t be afraid to show up at the company you want to work for. Nobody can sell yourself like you can. Even if the company isn’t advertising a position, they are almost always looking for great employees to hire.