How to get a job: your step-by-step road map to get hired
Welcome to the Employed Historian! A few years ago I faced the same problem that every humanities and liberal arts graduate faces: How to get a job with so little experience?
This road map breaks the vicious cycle of “no experience, no job.” It’s the process I wish I’d had in my time of need.
This one’s for you.
You can’t get a job because you have no experience, but you can’t get experience because you don’t have a job. It’s a classic cycle of hopelessness, and it kicked my butt for 9 months. I needed to know how to get a job but couldn’t find one to save my life.
That’s why I created this road map. When I finally did break out of the unemployment cycle as a recent graduate, I talked to my various bosses about what worked and what didn’t. I put together a formal process of everything I did that worked and then added some things I should have done to improve my odds even further.
You still have to do the work. There’s no short cut there, but I promise that if you follow this road map diligently that you will become a much more promising candidate for employment than before you started.
Table of Contents
Step 1: How to write a professional resume.
Most people just dump a list of tasks into their resume and call it a day—even marketers and seasoned executives! Follow this step to turn your resume into a hard-hitting professional document that quantifies your achievements, setting you apart from every other graduate job seeker on paper.
Step 2: How to create a rockstar LinkedIn profile that gets noticed.
Every recruiter and hiring manager on the planet will check your LinkedIn profile before deciding to contact you, even if it’s near-identical to your resume. Follow these specific steps to create the most professional version of yourself online.
Step 3: Let recruiters and job boards bring opportunities to you.
Most active job seekers spend all of their time combing through online job boards. This step teaches you how to find a job with them bringing opportunities to you. It also shows you where to find recruiters who will job search on your behalf (P.S. you don’t have to pay them!).
Step 4: How to find work experience when you have none.
Even the best resume and LinkedIn profile in the world aren’t substitutes for work experience. This step shows you how to pitch projects to organizations in need so that you can build legitimate work experience, turning yourself into a serious job candidate.
Step 5: How to make a professional portfolio website for yourself.
Most professionals out there don’t have a website to their name. That’s a mistake, even for senior executives. Set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd by showcasing your talent, your insights, and your sheer drive to succeed. People will notice.
Step 6: Following a professional networking strategy to find jobs.
Networking gets a bad reputation because so many people focus on getting something out of it right away. Follow this strategy to win hearts and minds with every interaction you make. Yes, it also includes tips for introverts who don’t like social gatherings.
Step 7: Applying for jobs with the strategy that nobody told you.
The best candidates don’t just go through an application tracking system and then patiently wait to “hear back soon.” They know how to get a job by hunting for the hiring managers they need and strike up conversations, using their portfolios and networking tactics to win attention.
How to get a job in 7 steps
Before you do anything, make sure that you’ve updated everything in your professional arsenal to reflect your skills, work experience, and project history. That includes the assets you’ve created for yourself so far.
Step 1: Writing a professional resume
Here you’ll learn how to get a job by creating the best possible version of your resume with the skills and experience you have right now (we’ll build those two things in later steps). Here’s you’ll do in this step:
Write a killer headline
Make your best skills and experiences the centerpieces.
Quantify your tasks to demonstrate real business value
Use the free resume design template suggestions to stand out
Step 2: Creating a rockstar LinkedIn profile that gets noticed
Presentation is everything when you need to get your foot in the door. Ditch the profile saying “graduate looking for new experiences” and make something impressive. Here’s you’ll do in this step:
Learn the best (and worst) uses for LinkedIn
Get a professional photo (and strategies to barter for one)
Make your job history stand out with data and media
Collect skill endorsements and written recommendations
Curate your profile to follow relevant people in your field
Step 3: Making recruiters andonline job boards bring opportunities to you
You don’t need to waste hours checking a dozen job boards every day. This step teaches you the strategy to have those job postings come to you through recruiters and setting up job boards correctly. Here’s what you’ll do in this step:
Sign up with recruiters (no they don’t cost you money)
Set up an optimized profile on Indeed
Set specific settings and notifications on LinkedIn
Find the specialized job boards relevant to you
Step 4: Learning how to get a job by finding real work experience
With your resume and online presence set up properly, this step shifts your focus toward finding real, tangible work experience that you can use to become the competitive candidate you need to be. Here’s what you’ll do in this step:
Identify the skills you need to develop
Create a list of prospects who could use your assistance
Approach those prospects with a professional process
Get the experience without getting strung along
Get endorsements and recommendations from projects
Step 5: Building a professional portfolio website to set yourself head and shoulders above the competition
After I broke out of the unemployment cycle, my boss told me that a big part of the reason he hired me was because I had a portfolio website. I was the only person out of 200 candidates who did. Here’s what you’ll do in this step:
Choose your website platform from 3 options
Create a resume page with visual flair
Create a portfolio page to show off your experience
Create a blog and three posts to showcase your insights
Set up contact forms to make it professional and crisp
Step 6: Follow this professional networking strategy to infuse long-term success into your job search
People hate networking for two reasons: either they’re introverts, or they feel that everyone else just attends networking events to serve themeselves. This step shows you how to turn both of those problems into advantages. Here’s what you’ll do in this road map:
Get the real value out of networking
Make business cards for yourself (they work)
How to find new contacts systematically and repeatedly
Become the facourite contact with high-value actions
Learn how to handle yourself at networking events
Step 7: Applying for the jobs you want using the strategy that nobody told you about
Having hit my head against the brick wall know as “application tracking systems” for 9 months, I can tell you that applying through them is a fool’s errand. Here’s what you’ll learn about how to get a job in this step:
Network your way into your target organizations
Write cover letters highlighting your unfair advantages
Turn the first interview into a “business consultation”
Create a presentation showing your vision for the role
Turn the second interview into a pitch for your vision
Negotiate proper compensation and accept the offer
Ready to find your next job?