Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Job Hunting

Dear Juliet,

Yesterday was the most productive day of my job hunting life. I went to three interviews in three different companies in three different locations. It was really exhausting! Just imagine having to take one linguistic-numeric exam and another writing exam in one day. Add to that all the commuting and walking! But at the end of the day, I had a lot to be thankful for. For this reason, I decided to share some job hunting tips for the newly grads and the not-so newly grads like me. So this is how I go about the interviews:

#1. Come prepared! The evening before my interviews, I research the locations of the places I need to go to and make sure that I know how to get there. I am a commuter, so this saves me time. It also saves me from being lost and from endless searching during the interview day itself. Thanks to GOOGLE MAPS, I no longer lose my way! If you're really dumb in geography and directions like me, you can also use the maps application of your handheld phone to search for the interview venue. If you give yourself enough time and travel smoothly, you'll be able to get to the place on time and leave a good impression.

Being prepared also requires you to bring with you all the necessary documents that the interviewers might ask--your updated resume/curriculum vitae, your portfolio, your SSS and TIN numbers, etc. In my case, I place all my documents in a file case and I secure photo copies so that when the interviewers ask for a copy, I wouldn't have to give the originals. 

Lastly, I also review the job description which I applied for. If the company has a website, do visit it and familiarize yourself with the company's background. This will help you understand further the nature of the company and the position you are applying for. Doing this will also help you know if you're suitable for the job and this will give you an idea of how much you're qualified for the position.

#2. Dress properly! I am the non-fashionista type of girl. So when going to interviews, I wear the traditional corporate attire--collared top, black slacks, closed shoes. This is the safest attire as some companies can really get strict as far as dress codes are concerned. There was this one time when I decided to wear my black jeans to an interview. I thought, the employers might not mind if I wear these since it's black anyway. Also, I wore my slip-on sandals with heels. To my dismay, the receptionist did not allow me to proceed with the interview because of my outfit; they require slacks and closed shoes. It was really disappointing because I traveled from home to Makati, which is the other side of the world from where I live, for almost 3 hours just to be told to go home and change. From then on, I was always mindful of what I wear to interviews.

I guess it doesn't really have to strictly be traditional with black closed shoes and black slacks. If you're highly fashionable, there are a lot of pumps and stilettos in nude shades which easily match a colored corporate dress. Just put on a blazer, and you're ready to go. You can also search for a peg on the internet and go for that look; I'm not really good at fashion so better consult Google about it. LoL! Also, I guess you should also consider the company you're applying in. If, for example, you're applying for a position in a magazine, I think the dress code would gear towards the fashionable side of the spectrum. I went to an interview in Makati for a high society magazine. Of course, I wore my traditional corporate outfit and honestly, I looked bland right next to the other applicants who wore colored pencil skirts, jersey blazers, nude pumps, and lots of accessories. Yikes! But, yes. In this particular kind of industry, I think it's okay to show off your inner Tyra Banks.

#3. Sell yourself. Put your best foot forward and be confident yet pleasant in "selling" yourself. Smile, don't sound too arrogant, be respectful, and answer the interviewer's questions sensibly and honestly. Though you are supposed to market yourself, you still have to be truthful in stating your skills and capabilities. Don't promise anything that you can't deliver. Do not promise to change the world; you'll just get yourself in trouble when you don't succeed! Show the interviewers what you've got by doing well in the exam. Again, I'm going to share my experience in the magazine interview I had yesterday. Though I wasn't dressed to impress, still, I was able to impress the editor-in-chief with my skills. Not to brag or anything, but when the EIC spoke with me, she told me that my PR was one of the best she has read out of all the applicants. She said it was maganda and mabilis. She liked it. It was really flattering because the EIC herself said so. See? More than anything else, it is the applicants' skills and capabilities that employers go for, not their outfit. So always make sure to leave a good impression. Remember, the interviewers will sense your truthfulness and will see what you've got in just one sitting. They are psychology graduates, for Christ's sake! They know how to read minds! Hahaha!

#4. Hope for the best. It's inevitable to get rejected. But do not be discouraged. There's a job out there for you. All you have to do is be patient and persistently search for it. To date, I still don't have a job because I'm making sure that my next job would be something I'm going to love. I don't want to hastily jump into a job offer and regret it after a few months. I'm thinking everything through at the moment and hopefully, I'd find the job that will later on be the dream career I've always wanted.

Good luck to all the job-seekers! Kaya natin ito! :)


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