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This past weekend I attended the Principled Business Leadership Institute, or PBLI. I attended mainly to get closer with my brothers, and maybe pick up a few tips along the way from the guest speakers. As I was choosing which speakers to go to, I came across one titled “How to Ethically Cheat the System to Land Your Dream Job,” and the brief description below included a blurb about social media. Facebook? Dream job? I was in. The speaker, Andy Drish, opened his presentation with telling us that he was going to tell us how to outshine other job applicants; and how he got the job over a 3.97, All-American, quadruple business major with his 3.6 and a degree in marketing. Hooked? I was. Here’s some of the advice he gave us to do the same:
We all know that it is important to have an internship, to test the waters and to get your foot in the door. But he said something that made a lot of sense, he told us to make friends with the people that hire college students in the company. A lot of the time, your boss at an internship usually doesn’t have the funds to hire you for a full-time position; and even if he does know the guy that can hire you, that guy doesn’t know you, so he has no emotional attachment to you and therefore is less likely to hire you. So his advice was to go out and get coffee with the people that hire college grads, rack their brain, ask them questions; it’s going to open doors for you.
He had us do an exercise where he would call on someone in the audience and have them tell him what their dream job and company is, and then he would ask if there was anyone in the audience that knew someone that worked for that company or in that field. Every single time, and he did this about ten times, someone knew someone that worked for the company or had a job similar to their dream job. Now, this was in an audience of about 70 people, and if you think about it, there are almost 100 people in our chapter AND countless other people that you know that can make those connections for you. All you have to do is ask. Then he tied LinkedIn into the whole scenario. On LinkedIn you can search for a company that you want to work for, and it will show you who works for that company, or is connected to that company somehow, that you personally know. Send an e-mail out, and boom there’s your connection.
Again, stressing networking, he talked about the best way to meet people that can help you get a job. Where are these people at? Well, a lot business people go to conferences to listen to guest speakers, and the more expensive the conference is, the higher the caliber of people there. But, the only problem is, some of these conferences cost upwards of $300….I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of cash to throw around. So why not take a page out of the book of Wedding Crashers and conference crash! His suggestion was to e-mail the person in charge of organizing the conference and ask them if you can volunteer. A lot of the time these conferences are short on volunteers, so they will happily let you volunteer and in return you can attend a few of the presentations and mingle with the business people. Pretty good deal.
In this day and age, an interviewer’s first impression of you is not going to be in person or even over the phone, it’s going to be your Facebook account, your Twitter, and your Google search results. Which can be kind of frightening. So how do you give a future employer a good first impression….through technology? Andy Drish’s suggestion was to make your own website and start blogging. If an interviewer sees that you’re already published, and have a web presence, that’s going to look real good. It also let’s you establish what exactly you want them to see and know about you. He says its not so much about the content of your blog, it’s more about conveying passion and dedication to your future employer. He said you can blog about just about anything: an interesting article you read, critiquing a company, or anything else. As long as you blog, that’s going to help create a positive web presence for yourself.
Still wondering how he landed his dream job? Well he may be making a trip to South Carolina soon, so you can ask him then.