Today’s blog post is an unusual one because I talk mostly about the job application process, resumes, cover letters, interviews and new adventures that lie ahead.
As you all know from previous posts such as 5 Graduation Dresses – How to choose your perfect Graduation dress, I recently graduated with my Master’s degree in Communications from a university in Connecticut. My focus is on PR which I really enjoy doing. Many of you might ask why a girl from Germany decided to go to America to complete a Master’s degree. Well, first of all, it was always a dream of mine to study abroad. I also liked the practical teaching style at American universities in comparison to the more theoretical one in Germany. I’ve always been a practical girl who lived by the motto ‘learning by doing’. Studying abroad would also give me the advantage to bring my English to its full perfection. It is incredible how much you forget in only six months back at home. Therefore, I am very thankful for these last two years and that I was given this amazing opportunity to study at this wonderful university, meeting many new people and gaining so much more life experience. But now, the gravity of life has begun and the real world is waiting.
But how and where do I begin with the job application process?
Writing a Resume – What is Important?
When you are looking for a job, the first thing you should do is look if your resume needs any updates and if so edit it. You can organize it the way you are most comfortable with. I started first with my education, moved forward to professional experiences such as internships or other jobs I had in the past, and rounded it up by mentioning certain skills such as languages or certifications as well as IT skills that might be relevant for the job. The professional experience should include a couple bullet points describing each job and what you have achieved. Make sure that your resume is clearly arranged and is easily readable. Try to stay within one page, so the hiring manager has a good overview of your qualifications.
Does the Perfect Cover Letter even exist?
I’m not quite sure if the ideal cover letter even exists, so all you can do is give your best. However, there are some points you should include in your cover letter. First of all: Do your research! It is nice to address a person directly instead of the traditional “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. You could find the names of the hiring manager on LinkedIn for instance. Even if it is the wrong name in the end, at least it shows your effort. Researching the company itself is also an important point on the list. In the first paragraph, you could mention what fascinates you about this company and why. The next paragraphs should be about you: Your education and experiences, why you would like to work in this profession and how you will be the perfect fit for the job.
I know, it is hard work and I personally had to spend several hours on writing different cover letter. But in the end it is worth it and you can be proud of yourself. Everybody has a different style, I just explained the way I structured my cover letter but I am sure there a many forms of writing them and every one is unique.
The Challenge of Interviews
When a potential employer has invited you for an interview, something on your job application has caught their attention. To me, the hardest step seems to be getting an interview. As soon as you have overcome that step, you can prepare for the interview. Here again: Research the company, typical interview questions and think of some possible answers.
An aspect I’m always looking forward to is searching for an outfit 😉 Of course, it depends on the job but I prefer dressing a bit more business-like that I would actually dress to go to work there every day. During the interview process, just keep your cool and be true to yourself.
Never Give Up!
Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself. Even with several denials for jobs you thought you were more than qualified for, never give up because the right job is still waiting somewhere to find you. I know, the job application process is very difficult and takes very long beginning from the minute you submit your application to the official job offer. It can take up to months, so be patient and stay positive. Sometimes it seems that even being fluent in two languages, or having five relevant internships on your resume don’t seem to impress future employers anymore. The slogan is: The more, the merrier! 🙂
I can not tell you how many applications I submitted in the last couple months, but when I recently received an offer, I was so stoked I could not believe it. Now, I will be moving from Connecticut to beautiful Virginia, not far away from the capital Washington, D.C.
This new adventure that lies ahead of me generates many emotions – from being super excited to being scared as hell. I will meet many new people, make new friends, and will be in a job I absolutely love. However, especially in the beginning, I am a little more scared because I don’t know anybody and I would also like to prove to my supervisors that they made the right decision in hiring me. Do you know this feeling? It is hard to explain, but it is a challenge I’m very excited about.