Are you currently job seeking, or are you hoping that 2015 is the year that you finally break out of the job that you hate and into one that you love?
Regardless of where you are on the corporate (or un-corporate) ladder, how high your ambitions are, or what your salary requirements might be, there are certain things that every job seeker must do in order to make themselves attractive to a prospective employer.
The following career tips are not exclusive to someone looking for a beverage job, be that a craft beer job, wine job, or working in distribution. They apply to all job seekers in any industry. Also, none of the following tips alone are necessarily difficult, but together show an effort put forth that an employer will appreciate and consider as someone taking their job search seriously.
1. Update Your Resumé
This is a crucial step in any job search. While it should be considered that you may want to make sure that your resumé is always updated, the start of the new year is a great time to give it some extra love.
What did you accomplish in 2014 that should be added, and what career milestones did you reach? As you add achievements to your resumé, you may also need to look at what things to remove. Keep your resumé short (one pagers are ideal), so trim the fat and keep your resumé clean, clear, and concise!
When you update your resumé, focus on sharing things that can be quantified or highlighted as being a success. Did you exceed your quarterly sales goals, did you meet your membership objectives, did you open new markets, or did a wine you make win an award?
Remember – your resumé is your calling card to getting a job, so make it shine!
2. Nurture Your Relationship with References & Keep Your List of References Updated
Your references are your career allies. If nurtured, a reference can last a career. If left un-nurtured, you may be shocked as to how quickly time goes by and how quickly a reference can become outdated.
This is especially true if you are a job seeker who is not in a position to be forthcoming with your current employer about your intentions to move on. References from two or more years past may not be as relevant to a prospective employer today, and they’re going to want to speak with someone with a more current perspective.
The best way to overcome this hurdle is to keep in touch with your references of the past. Not only will this benefit you, but as your relationship matures and grows with these career allies, you will likely become a reference for them as well.
3. Consider Creating a Personal Website
More common in the tech world, but not exclusive to it, is for job seekers to create an extension of their resumé in the form of a personal website.
If you’re in marketing, you could use a website to highlight projects and campaigns; if you’re in production, you could use a website to highlight recognitions and awards; if you’re in sales, you could use a website to show achievements in the form of graphs and data-driven results; if you’re unexperienced, you could simply use a website to express your passion and dedication.
The rule of thumb when creating a personal website for your job search is to remain professional, yet authentic to who you are. You’ll represent yourself best if you let your personality come through some, so take a little liberty to be creative with what you do.
Creating a personal website is now easier than ever through the use of various online platforms (WordPress.Com, WIX, and Squarespace to name a few), and there are steps that you can take to ensure that your personal website is only visible to those whom you invite to view it.
When it is to your advantage to keep your resumé short, having additional information on a personal website to share with an employer can be a compelling way to share more of your story with those in a position to hire you.
4. Network on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is considered the professional’s social network, so if you’re looking for a job, it would behoove you to spend some time networking on the platform and grow your list of industry connections there.
Many companies have profiles you can follow, which is a great place to start if you have some organizations in mind that you’d like to work for. Most companies don’t do a very good job at keeping their company profiles updated, but what does happen is that employees of the company end up connecting with their employer on the platform. This offers you a great way to find out who works at the organization and who you may want to reach out to.
Another great benefit of LinkedIn are the numerous groups available for you to join. LinkedIn groups can be started by any user, and there are LinkedIn groups for just about any profession or industry. You can find a group to join by searching within the group feature on LinkedIn. A word to the wise: a group is only as good as how well it is moderated, so it is worth you joining several to find out which ones have meaningful content (and therefore meaningful connections to make) and which ones are just full of spam. Engage in the groups you find valuable, and you’re likely to see your professional network grow quickly.
5. Network in Person
If you live near to a company you’d like to see yourself working at, find a way to get to know the people who work there in person!
If this is a brewery or winery with a tasting room, make sure you visit and introduce yourself to the managers. Tell them you’re interested in working there. If you’re interested in sales and distribution job, ask if there was a way to have a tour of a facility and an opportunity to ask questions about processes.
This step will will require you to be outgoing, but if you know what you want, go get it.
6. Understand the Company You are Applying For
Before you change employers or careers, it’s important to do some due diligence and make sure that you agree with what the company stands for and that you’ll fit into the company culture. Sometimes this is harder said than done – especially in the courting phase where the job you’re applying for seems ideal and where you seem like the ideal candidate to the employer. You may both seem like each other’s fairy-tale, but there can be underlying conflicts in personality, philosophy, or ideas that you may want to try and flush out before committing yourself.
Some obvious ideological conflicts can center around politics, economics, or certain business practices. If you’re a fiscally conservative CFO, you’d better make sure you don’t end up working for an eccentric founder who doesn’t like the constraints of a budget!
8. Do the Unexpected
The job market is a competitive space, and you’re likely going to be one candidate among numerous other viable candidates for any job you apply for. In each situation, you’re going to serve yourself well by making yourself stand out.
Standing out does not mean spraying your resumé with perfume or sending chocolates to the HR department. Standing out with the intention to get hired means taking one or several of the job functions and doing something creative to express that you’ve got what it takes to do the job and do it well.
- Are you a brewer? Send them beer.
- Are you applying for a digital marketing position? Create an email campaign that pitches yourself along with your resumé.
- Are you in sales? Send them a power point presentation showing your strategy to 10% growth within 6 months.
Taking the time to express your interest in a genuine and creative way is one way to overcome any lack of education or experience you may have. You may win over the hiring manager with your charisma, drive, and willingness to try.
Do you have any other tips for your fellow Craft Beverage Jobs friends and how they may get hired in 2015? If so, leave your tips in the comments or tweet us at @CraftBevJobs
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