Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine
Connie and I may have backgrounds at staid, Fortune 500 firms, but we are also big fans of the Alien movies (ok, 3 and 4 were bad but Alien Versus Predator revived my interest in the franchise). In fact, there are job search insights to be gleaned from AVP (for Alien Versus Predator, not Assistant Vice President). I liken Predator’s versatility to what it takes to be successful off-campus.
Predator can be invisible or not. Sometimes you have to do massive PR for your search, and sometimes it’s better to be invisible. When you meet someone for the first few times and you want to establish an ongoing relationship, make your job search aspirations invisible. When you’re at your dream employer and they ask you to tell them about yourself, remember to turn your visibility back on. Too many candidates disappear like Predator and don’t sell themselves.
Predator’s got the net, the spear, brute strength, a whole variety of weapons. Jobseekers have phone, email, mail, and in-person to communicate; resume, online profile, writing samples, websites and testimonials/ references to market; work experience, classes, extra-curriculars and personal examples to go into detail. Be flexible and versatile in your methods. Pick what’s best for what you want to accomplish, not just what makes you more comfortable.
Predator follows the heat. There is definitely room in the job search for cold calling. It is often necessary and can be very effective. But using referrals and networking to get warm leads is more efficient, especially at the internship and entry levels. So by all means, draw up your ideal company wish list but don’t forget to scout out the opportunities all around you.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Remember that line? For your job search, you should. Buddy up with your classmates in your search. In some ways, you may be competing. But you are all fighting the same fight -- you are all trying to break into the marketplace. You are not going to be perfect for every job, and many times what’s right for your peer isn’t right for you. So help them when you can, you gain a positive reputation, and in turn you help yourself.
AVP On-Campus: Job Search Lessons From Alien
Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio
The strategies used by the Aliens (in the movie of the same name/the 2nd of the 4 part series) can be used by any job seeker.
Aliens work as a team. They attack from all directions including face to face, up from the floor and down from the ceiling (remember Hudson fighting them as they dragged him through the floor?!) Job seekers need to do the same in their job search. Use your Career Services team to attend marketing events, and sign up for interviews. Use your team of professors to see what ties they have to companies, and use the team in the Dean of Student’s office as they know individuals who can help you as well. Your team also extends to your fellow students, as shared learning sometimes gives you the best information.
Aliens are fearless and focused. They don’t care about the firepower they are facing because they are too focused on their target. Job seekers need to be persistent and never back down, no matter what is before them: a bear market, disappearing companies, global recessions. If you don’t do well during one particular interview, ask Career Services for help preparing for the next. If you don’t do well with one particular company or industry, go for another. Your core skills: teamwork, communication, analytical abilities, are valuable to ANY industry so go for it with laser beam focus.
Aliens get smarter with each challenge. They learn how to move through an intricate series of tunnels and they never make the same mistake twice. Learn from Career Service’s workshops, from your colleagues that have gotten jobs and those that have not, and from the employers themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback: perhaps you need to invest in a better quality interview suit, maybe your hair needs some work; maybe your eye contact with the interviewer is not as strong as it should be.
Be a unique breed in this challenging economy. Focus on sharpening each of your job search skills because finding a dream job is not an event, it’s a process. If it takes a bit longer than you expected, that’s ok. The end result is the same. You will be employed, you will bring your unique talents to an organization, and you will progress!