USC Upstate via flickr Never underestimate the power of a career fair.
As a job seeker, you'll always have competition — and you may not be the "best" or most qualified candidate for the job. But that doesn't mean you can't get it.
No one knows this better than Nishant Bhajaria, a career coach and product manager at Nike.
Bhajaria landed his first job by going to a career fair in college — one his friends deemed not worth attending — and inquiring about a random financial analyst position, even though he was a computer science major. He thought he might be a good fit anyway, and ended up tweaking the job title and description with the hiring manager.
" At a career fair that allegedly would have no opportunities for me, I walked out with a same-day interview and a job offer for a position whose description I co-wrote," he says in a recent LinkedIn post.
From his experience, Bhajaria discovered several hidden nuances to job searching. Most importantly: you don't have to be the perfect candidate.
Here are five of his biggest lessons about how to get the job, even if you're not the most qualified person out there:
Don't get hung up on job titles.
"Job titles are like Madison Square Garden," Bhajaria says. "The iconic New York venue is neither square nor a garden." The same holds true for several jobs as well. Just because a position doesn't have your ideal title doesn't mean you shouldn't look into it. Dig deeper and ask questions — it might end up being a great fit.
Never stop learning.
Even if you're under-qualified when you apply for the job, remember that you will learn new skills and grow in the role, Bhajaria says. Prove your worth by showing not only how valuable you already are, but how valuable you have the potential to become.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Introduce yourself to as many people as possible.
Introduce yourself to everyone.
It's easy to get caught up in the idea that job searching is all about who you know. However, Bhajaria points out that who you don't know can prove just as important. Even if you're nervous or uncomfortable, introduce yourself to anyone and everyone — you'll impress people and give them reason to remember you. "By asking for someone to give you their time, you are showing them respect," Bhajaria explains.
Make yourself visible.
It's impossible to be in a "right place at the right time" situation if you never put yourself out there. You might not think you're the most qualified candidate for a job, but the position's yours if you're the best of who's there, so don't be afraid to apply for anything you have a shot at. "If you have a tendency to undersell yourself, remember this: you don't always have to be the best to win," Bhajaria says.
Don't give up.
Job hunting is often tough, exhausting, and discouraging, but a little perseverance goes a long way. If you back off at the first taste of rejection, you greatly reduce your chances of luck working in your favor. "You are the sum total of your efforts, not just one failed interview," Bhajaria reminds us. Keep tweaking your résumé, sending in applications, and going on interviews — your determination will pay off.
Click here to read the original LinkedIn post.
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