TIPS

HOW I SECURED MY NEW JOB + 5 TIPS TO HELP YOU CRUSH YOUR INTERVIEW

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6 months, 37 back and forth LinkedIn messages, and 51 back and forth emails. (Yes, I definitely went back and counted every single message from the start.) This was the timeframe from when I first inquired/applied for the position that I just secured with my new company. The 51st email was the offer for my new Social Media Coordinator position! Let me give you a quick little backstory. I’ve worked in the Luxury Retail industry for one of the world’s most renowned leading brands LVMH for nearly four years. I’ve gained so much adequate knowledge and have made many valuable connections along the way. I am absolutely grateful for where I’ve come from, and even more proud of all of the hard work that got to me where I am now. PERSEVERANCE is my favorite P-word, RELENTLESS is my favorite R-word, and COURAGEOUS is my favorite C-word. I started looking for a new position because I felt at this point in my life, it was meant to be. I have always had a strong interest in the web, creative fields, social media, blogging, and creative directing. When I came across the open positions at my new company, I knew for a fact that I belonged there. This was a sign from God telling me this is it - you got this, Meghan. I just couldn’t believe that I transitioned into a career like this right here in my own backyard of Houston. A couple of years ago, I always had it in my mind that I would have to move to LA for a career like this one. Fortunately, I have been blessed to start my new endeavor here. In the process, I was even told NO not once, but TWICE. But that did not stop me. In this post I will be sharing with you some helpful tips on how I prepared myself for my interviews, and how you can also prepare yourself to crush your next upcoming interviews. Hint: it has to do with the 3 words that I mentioned earlier...

  1. LinkedIn is Your Friend

Before we get into tips for after you’ve landed your appointment for your interview, I wanted to share that I discovered my new job through LinkedIn on my own. I was actually surprised at how many people I talked to said they never really use it. “How did you hear about that job?” LinkedIn.. “Did they reach out to you?” No, I reached out to them on LinkedIn. Y’all, you must realize how resourceful you can be on your own. One thing that I love about LinkedIn is that you can connect with anyone of any position within the company you are interested in. You can connect with the talent recruiter, HR person, hiring manager, and even someone within the same role as you are hoping to get into. For example - I connected with and messaged people that already worked for the company, picked their brain about their experiences, and kindly asked them to pass my information/resume along to the hiring manager. Needless to say, everyone that I contacted was so nice and actually responded back to me. You won’t get a response from every single person that you reach out to, and that’s okay you just have to keep doing your research and find other contacts. I’m sure you already know this, but make sure to keep your profile updated with your current position, experiences, achievements, and of course a decent profile pic!

2. Have a Killer Resume

I can’t stress enough at how important it is to have your resume on point. I’m constantly updating my resume just for the sake of it. Most importantly, I highly highly highly recommend ONLY using resume paper for your resume. At my former job when I’d see people dropping off their resume on regular computer paper (sometimes creased), I cringed a little on the inside. You should always keep your resume short and to the point. Mine is ONE page and I’d rate it a 10! Include only the most key and relevant information. This helps the recruiter/interviewer quickly learn about you, and understand how you would potentially fit into the role that you are showing interest in and/or interviewing for. More often than just sharing your duties like ex.) “Assisted management with filing data” you should solely focus on the proven metrics that you have accomplished and brought to the table. How much revenue did you bring in last year? Did you win Presidents Club? Did you receive any type of award/appreciation certificate? Put that on your resume! Employers really want to see what you have done in the past, and they want to see what you can do for their company if they decide to bring you on. Always have more than one copies with you, and bring a portfolio of your work (depending on the type of position) if it entails.

3. Sell Yourself

You got the interview locked in, now what?! Preparation and focus. Trying to switch careers is most certainly another job within itself. I did a lot of studying and research about the brand and the industry, which helped me understand exactly what they were looking for in the perfect candidate. When you’re truly passionate about the role that you’re trying to fulfill, it shows. I made sure that I knew exactly what the job description was, and made sure that I could confidently sell myself and nail it. Since I interviewed for a more creative position (Editor), I actually printed out two of my blog posts to show my creativity and to show who I am as a creative. I knew for a fact that was something that not every candidate thought of doing, so I wanted to step outside of the box. It turned out to be a great idea! That was sort of like my personal “portfolio.” Check this out, in my second (and last) interview I met directly with the CEO and she asked me to see my Instagram. Inside, I was like “yasssss, here you go!” I pulled up my IG page and handed her my phone. She scrolled, complimented, asked about certain photos, and even mentioned that I had great engagement on my posts (this was great because relevant small talk is a really good sign). But could you imagine if I had something to hide that I would have been embarrassed about? I probably would not have gotten the job. This was a proud moment for me because of who I truly am as a person. I love my feed! It isn’t perfect, but it’s me. Prior to this, she asked if I had a separate IG page for my blog and personal. You guys know I don’t, but a lot of you do! My tip is: If you have a personal life that may not be a great idea to show your future employer, then you should definitely keep that separate because you never know what kind of situation you could be in. Not saying you shouldn’t be who you are - but be mindful about what you put out because a lot of the times when they are considering hiring you, they are probably searching for you on social media to see who you are outside of that building. I have never been asked that in an interview, but I was ready.

4. Have a Strong Follow Up Game

Sending that follow up and thank you email before and after your interview is so vitally important! This shows that you have no problem with being consistent, and keeps you on the top of the hiring manager’s list without them forgetting about you. You always want to send a follow up email confirming your interview, etc, and you most certainly want to send a thank you email within a couple hours after your initial interview. Most people say send a thank you email within 24-48 hours, but I think that sending it within at least 2 hours after your interview shows that you are serious about staying in contact with them. That will probably assure that you stay on the top of their minds and list when closely considering candidates for the role. When I told you that I was told no during the process, I sent a respectful email asking why, and that is what got me the job I wanted after all. Giving up was not an option for me! In my interview, one of the directors mentioned to me that she liked the way that I was always sending nice follow up emails. She said because she had been in my situation too, and she knew that it was not easy getting into the door. I recently mentioned this follow up technique to a friend who had been waiting to hear back from a company that she interviewed for, and it worked for her, too! I told her - you can’t apply and not send follow up emails. This is like letting your application float out in the milky way galaxy with no destination, just thin air. As many applicants that are applying for the same role as you, you have to stand out. Otherwise, you will probably just get skipped over because you aren’t really putting yourself out there for them to recognize you. From the time I got confirmation for my 2nd interview, to the the time it actually took place was about 3 weeks. The hiring manager was going out of town and even though I was confident, I still wanted to keep my own buzz in their ears about me while she was away. Don’t aggressively overdo it to where you annoy them, but just know how to be consistent in a graceful way. Like I said, these are some things that worked for me. We will all have different experiences with this. You can always reach out to me if you don’t know what to say! I’d be happy to help.

5. Be Relentless, Have Patience, & Perseverance

Oh, and of course be courageous! Earlier I mentioned that it took me 6 months to secure my new position. This is starting from the beginning, when I sent the very first LinkedIn message to my now colleague about passing along my information to the hiring manager after I applied. It takes courage to be vulnerable and reach out to people you don’t know for help. This just shows that you are relentless, resourceful, and will set you apart from the other candidates. It just has to come naturally and requires a strong will. I personally have a strong mind, and when I want something - I will do my best to get it. The outcome of success depends mainly on your willingness to persevere and be persistent. I also practiced “manifestation” regularly - and I still do. This means so focusing deeply on what you want, to where you picture yourself having/doing it until it becomes a reality. Can’t forget to mention, lots of praying. This is personal for me. Throughout the whole process of me securing this new position, I had to keep reminding myself that what is meant to be will be. I did my best work and I did my part. The rest, I left up to God to figure out how he wanted this to work for me. My patience was tested, and I won’t lie, I let my light dim a little. I would come home after work and have a pity party because things weren’t unfolding quickly enough. With my support system, I was reminded of all the things that I’m trying to tell you now. Practice patience. Control what YOU can control. That’s all you can do.

I really hope that you found this helpful! I know that it was pretty lengthy, but I truly do believe that all of this is valuable information that will help you in your process, since it has helped me. We won’t have the exact same interview experiences and results, but I can guarantee you that some of these tips will have proven results. I still don’t feel like I shared everything that I wanted to, so I’m thinking about doing a part 2 to this. What do you think?

Shop My Look:

*me kicking my goals in the butt*

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3 KEYS TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING A BLOG

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Alright guys. I want to make this short, sweet, and simple. I can honestly say; this sh*t isn't easy...at all. But if its your passion, and you have dreams and goals as big as the sky, then you can do anything you want to do. *cliche but real* By all means, I am not saying that this is exactly what you have to do to be a successful blogger, I am simply just putting helpful info out there that I have researched and found out on my own. As my blog is continuing to evolve, I will be happy to share any other tips that I may find helpful along the way. 

1. Consistency Is Very Important

As you might already know, blogging takes a huge amount of effort. On a weekly basis you have to work on creating content for your readers if you want to see growth. I struggled with this when I first started my blog back in 2011. I barely took it serious because clearly, I had no idea back then how it could've taken off if I were to really put the work in. Not saying that you have to have a blog post published every single day 7 day a week, but you don't want to have your readers wondering where you disappeared to if you only post every now and then. (mistakes that I've made) Figure out a plan to prepare your posts for the following week. Then move on to bigger tasks like planning your content for the rest of the month. If you feel like you need a break, take one. Although consistency boosts your engagement and follower counts, you should still be true to who you are as a blogger. 

2. Stay Motivated 

Is it as easy as it sounds? For me, it isn't. No kidding, working a full-time job sometimes used to consume me to where I didn't have much motivation if any at all. It's certainly normal to have those brief moments when you need a push. Try something new. Break an old habit. Start reading a book that will be beneficial to you. You know that cute little 2017 planner that you bought? Use the hell out of it to keep yourself organized. Any ideas that you have, jot them down and come up with plans of action that will get you to where you want to be. Keep in mind, do not spend so much time looking at other people's work and wonder why you haven't seen the results you want just yet. Believe me - everyone has started somewhere, and maintaining a blog isn't just 1,2,3, boom, major success! Be committed to what you are investing your spare time in. You can do it, girl!  

3. Take Time To Research 

What are you going to blog about? If you're reading this, I am sure you probably already know or have an idea. Right? Take time to research your favorite blogs or inspiration sources to get an idea of what's out there. What type of blogs are the most interesting to you? Think of ways that you can set your blog apart from everyone else's. Although there are tons of bloggers out there who blog about fashion, you are in control of your own universe. There is enough room for everyone to make it. Come up with a different strategy. What interest you the most about fashion or beauty or whatever it is? Own it.  Find your voice, stay true to it, and people will follow to be inspired. Always be unique. 

 

A NEW START

Hey! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Feel free to stay as long as you please. As you may know, the Style For Breakfast blog has been on a hiatus (which seems like t h e longest time ever) - for the better. I can definitely say during the time I spent away from blogging + my social media, I was figuring out how to balance.  I knew I had to figure out how to rebuild and move forward.  I also had to learn to stop making excuses for myself because that didn't help the situation at all. Just being honest here. During that time I randomly moved to a different city (Austin) and literally had about a three-four week notice. That was crazy! But I did it. 

 

"I knew I had to figure how to rebuild and move forward."

 
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I can say that I did spend my time away being productive. I read books for inspiration, listened to podcasts, read other inspirational blogs, wrote down my ideas and goals, created mood boards, and so on. I figured out my vision and what was going to work for me. Before, I just could not make up my damn mind about the direction I wanted to go in. I switched platforms not once, but TWICE. First I had my blog with Blogger, then I switched to Wordpress, then from Wordpress I switched to Squarespace - which I felt that it fit the aesthetics of my vision better.

I can admit that I did have a lot of unwanted idle time in between, and I let every little thing get in the way of my productive creativity. Sometimes, it is okay to have a break and figure out exactly what you want to do, and how you want it done. I'd rather that, than putting out content that I wasn't too pleased with. I had to make myself realize that being a perfectionist just isn't going to help you get sh*t done. Because you probably won't.

"Sometimes it's okay to have a break and figure out exactly what you want to do, and how you want it done."

 If you could choose something to take away from this post; I want you to remember that being yourself (your BEST self at that) is the MOST important thing you can do. Don't spend your time comparing yourself to others who have a gazillion followers because chances are.......they bought them. Just kidding. But really, growing your business, blog, everything takes time and continuous effort.

Don't think for one second that your work isn't as good enough because you don't have a huge audience. As that should not be your main goal, that will come later. CONSISTENCY is major key. Just continue to work your butt off and stay true to who you really are. People will notice that. Go for it, girl!

"I want you to remember that being yourself is the MOST important thing you can do."

 

Photos by Loren Ferguson