Four Tips to Land Your Dream Job

As the Communications Chair for Ad 2 San Diego, I regularly meet new members at our events that are eager to connect in hopes of landing their dream job but only a handful are able to close the deal. It used to be that if you had a rock solid resume with proven work experience you could send out your resume online and wait by the phone. If it was only it was that easy!

The times have changed and with unemployment at an all-time high, competition for that hot new Account Executive position at the agency downtown is definitely going to be tough.

So how do you beat the competition and stand out from the rest?

Enter Christine McDannell, Co-Owner & Managing Partner at Social Starfish, a full service Social Media Marketing Firm. Christine held a workshop at last month’s Social Media Camp San Diego (#SMCSD) on “How to Land Your Dream Job,” where she shared tips and tricks on how attendees could land their dream job fast.

Four Tips to Land Your Dream Job

1. Follow directions. You just found the perfect opportunity that suits you to a tee but before you attach your resume and send it off into cyberspace, take a deep breath and carefully read the directions. Are they asking for a cover letter, links to your online portfolio, both? What exactly are you supposed to type in the subject line when you email your resume?

I can say from my past experience as an HR Recruiter that candidates that can’t follow directions are screened out automatically. So don’t spazz out and hit that send button so quickly. Take a deep breath and carefully read the directions.

2. Submit your resume online, then snail mail a hard copy. I thought this tip was pretty clever. Email overload is common especially in fast-paced work environments and your resume can easily get lost in the shuffle.

After you submit your resume online, take the time to snail mail a hard copy. Let’s be honest, getting a letter in the mail is still kinda fun – well, not if it’s a bill.

Plus, it’s a lot easier to delete an email than to take a crisp resume and crumple it up and toss it in the trash.

3. Don’t forget the follow up. Reinforce your interest in the job by following up via email, over the phone, and IN PERSON (that’s the catch).

In my opinion, this can work to your advantage OR get you profiled as a stalker. Let’s be honest, if you swing by the office and get past the receptionist and land face time with the recruiter, it’s the perfect time to make your first impression.

If you can’t get past the receptionist, remain positive and polite. Be aware that the receptionist may pass along to the recruiter how you reacted when your impromptu request for face time was denied. Keep calm and carry on.

4. Invest in your own personal business cards. Highlight your skills and qualifications on a personal business card. You can easily get a custom design or template printed from VistaPrint or order Moo cards. Get creative!

At past Ad 2 San Diego events, I got a few business cards with QR codes on the back that led me to an “About Me” page but the cleverest use of QR codes was on the back of Chaunce Dolan’s t-shirt at Social Media Camp San Diego. Everyone stopped him to take a pic of his QR code – it was so cool but I digress. Learn more about clever uses of QR codes at 3 Ways to Spark Your Job Search Using QR Codes.

Overall, I thought the tips were refreshing to hear. I would definitely add one more to the list and that would be to get involved in your local marketing and advertising community.

If you’re located in San Diego, I’d like to personally invite you to the next Ad 2 San Diego event which is next week on May 19th 2011 at the La Jolla Brewhouse. Attendees will get to be a part of a Q&A Session with the President Emeritus of the San Diego Ad Club, Greg Joumas.

For more info, check out the event details at Ad 2 San Diego Q&A Event with Greg Joumas.


[Image courtesy of SOCIALisBETTER @ flickr]

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  • Daniel Hoang May 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I love getting snail mail. I would buy anything or hire anyone through snail mail.

    • Stephanie Garcia May 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

      I agree, with snail mail you can get creative with the type of Thank You cards you choose (i.e. letterpress).

  • Chaunce Dolan May 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Great article!

    Thank you for the mention. I have always liked the idea of having a QR code on a shirt. It gets tricky when you are trying to be clever with the design. The code needs a high amount of contrast to work properly. The next version of our shirt will have better contrast.

    • Stephanie Garcia May 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

      I remember when we met you had mentioned that you had the shirt printed locally in San Diego, was that right?

  • Andy May 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Great tips. I was fortunate enough to sit in on Christine’s panel. I recently tried one of her follow-up tips: sending a video.

    Anything to stand out, right?

    • Stephanie Garcia May 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Nice! What video platform did you use to upload your video (i.e. YT, Vimeo, Viddler, etc)? Any response yet from your video submission?

      • Andy May 24, 2011 at 8:33 am

        i was in a time pinch so i merely held my iphone and recorded me, and then uploaded to youtube.

        they loved the video. still trying to secure the job tho.

        • Stephanie Garcia May 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

          Nice, good luck! Would love to see the video if you’re able to share.

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