Things To Take Care Of Before You Apply: A To-​​Do List

30 Rock... full of words of wisdom source:

30 Rock… full of words of wisdom
source: dig​i​tal​fire​fly​mar​keting​.com

This article was written by Lindsey Sampson, a 3rd year inter­na­tional affairs stu­dent at NU as a reg­ular stu­dent con­trib­utor for The Works.

Think of a few things that are the worst: missing your train by ten sec­onds, room-​​temperature milk, and wearing socks to bed. You know what’s prob­ably worse than that? Missing out on a job even though you are the per­fect can­di­date. Get your busi­ness in order, even before you start applying, to avoid those speed bumps that could cost you your dream job.

1. Check your­self out on social media. Google your­self – don’t be shy. Employers are more likely than ever to look you up on Google, Twitter, Face­book, and any­where else they can find infor­ma­tion. It’s your job before appli­ca­tion time to spruce up your social media chan­nels and take care of any­thing that might show you in an unfa­vor­able light. Drunk pic­tures? That’s not cute.

2. Set up a voice­mail mes­sage. Remember when ring­back tones were awe­some? That time has passed. Let go of your I’m-clearly-a-high-school-senior Pit­bull ring­back tone and record a short, clear voice­mail mes­sage. Make sure to state your name clearly, and it’s prob­ably best to listen to it a time or two to make sure no one can hear the oven timer going off in the back­ground. A great voice­mail mes­sage makes you seem more like a human and less like a robot, so get that done.

3. Set up an email sig­na­ture. Because you’re that kind of offi­cial. It doesn’t have to be any­thing fancy or pre­ten­tious – just your name, school name, and maybe cell phone number at the bottom to make it as easy as pos­sible for poten­tial employers to con­tact you.

4. Start brain­storming inter­view “moments.” It’s impor­tant to be pre­pared for an inter­view at any time – an employer might call you the day after you submit an appli­ca­tion and schedule an inter­view with you the next day, and cram­ming for an inter­view is a less-​​than-​​ideal sit­u­a­tion for the nerves. In an inter­view, it’s impor­tant to have “moments,” or quick sto­ries about sit­u­a­tions you have encoun­tered or projects you have been involved in that will solidify your posi­tion as a qual­i­fied can­di­date. If the posi­tion is customer-​​service ori­ented, think of a time you exhib­ited stellar cus­tomer ser­vice skills and try to incor­po­rate it into your inter­view if pos­sible. It will give your inter­view sub­stance and make you a more inter­esting and mem­o­rable candidate.

5. Do your research. It’s obvious when a can­di­date has done his or her research when the time comes for an inter­view. Instead of awk­wardly fum­bling around the com­pany web­site, check out a few other sources. The com­pany pro­file on LinkedIn will give you a list of sim­ilar com­pa­nies in the industry (aka. com­peti­tors you should know about). The com­pany Twitter will give you a sense of the office cul­ture while pro­viding access to industry-​​related arti­cles you should prob­ably read. It’s impor­tant to be well-​​read because

You are a capable and qual­i­fied can­di­date who deserves to be gain­fully employed (repeat that to your­self a few times in front of the mirror before you head to an inter­view). You did the leg­work, got the rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence, and wrote a crazy cover letter. Now it’s time to get your busi­ness in order and avoid the stum­bling blocks on your way to the interview.

Lindsey Sampson is a mid­dler Inter­na­tional Affairs major with minors in Social Entre­pre­neur­ship and Writing. She enjoys writing about Mil­len­nials in the work­place and social media as a mar­keting tool. Follow her blog here.