Life As a 20-Something: How to Find a Job – and Land It

In this series of Life as a 20-something posts, we’ll discuss some of the major concerns that life as a 20-and-then-some holds. From dressing the part over boys, men and everything in between to talking business and getting where you want to be: my thoughts, experiences and ramblings combined with your comments and discussions will make for an interesting read I bet.

How to find a job – and land it?

Being in your twenties probably means you’re still looking for that awesome job. You know, the kind of job girls would kill for. Whether you’re still finishing up that degree, have recently graduated or are already dipping your toes in the professional waters: landing a job you love is quite the task. Don’t let what you see in the media fool you: Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port made working in the fashion industry seem so easy, but don’t think that’s the way it’ll be for you. Be dedicated, bite your teeth into it and if at first you don’t succeedn dust yourself off and try again!

Have a talk with yourself

Landing your dream job is all about knowing yourself. You might be one of those lucky gals who have always known what they wanted to be – good for you! I know it really wasn’t the case for me. Sure, there was the teenage dream of becoming the next BitBit Spears, but in reality, I never really had that one line of work that stood out for me. Do you want to work for a boss or start your own company? Become a freelancer? Have a long talk with yourself, write down some sort of life-plan, where you want to see yourself in ten years, what kinds of experiences you want to have had by then. This step might seem obvious, but in today’s culture of “needing to have a job right upon graduating”, it is often looked over.

Use digital networking to your advantage

Nowadays there are so many digital platforms to find jobs on –jobboards such as Stepstone and Vacature bundle all sorts of vacancies, but there are also the more field-focussed sites such as, for example in the fashion field, CareerStyler and FashionUnited. Use them, make them your own and check them on a regular basis. You’ll often find tips on there on how to write the perfect cover letter, get your resume in order and other handy tricks. Update your LinkedIn profile and keep in mind that this is a professional social media platform – so no pictures of you holding booze, in a group or in a bikini. Fill out your page with your education, relevant experiences and interests. Connect with people you know and have worked with in the past, give our recommendations and get people to endorse your skills. Don’t think your future employer isn’t going to run your name through Google, so just be sure there is something interesting to read for him or her when they do.

Be creative and stand out

People around you are all looking for their dream job, so you might have to conquer some competition when sending out your job application. Think about the HR manager you’re addressing, he or she probably has to read a bazillion cover letters, all similar to one another. So what do you do? Stand out! Give your write-up a personal touch, add a company logo or go for your own lay-out: use colours and graphic items, but keep in mind that your letter should be easy to read and pleasant to look at. Also, do a triple-check on spelling mistakes!

Started from the bottom, now we here

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom of the ladder and working your way up. Of course it can be frustrating when you’ve spent the past four years slaving away behind your desk, writing your thesis and studying for exams, but having a degree will not guarantee a spot on the management team right away. Instead, research the companies you want to be working for and send out your personalized resume. You will think you’ve learned a lot at uni, but the real deal is only to be learnt on the work floor. So start somewhere, show initiative and ambition and you’ll get there in the end.

I know, I know, it’s all easier said than done, but I believe that these steps are the perfect company to your everlasting ambition, enthusiasm and perseverance. And combined, there’s no stopping you! I would love to hear how you landed your current job, what your goals are and how you see yourself in ten years. Share your knowledge in the comments below, you might help someone land their dream job!