The Overachiever’s Guide to Job Hunting

In my final semester of school, I juggled four classes, three jobs, and an internship. Did I mention that I also had a social life?

Hi, I am an overachiever and unemployment is crushing my soul. How are you?

Lucky for me, my job search has become a great way to channel my inability to sit still. As it turns out, I am not the only grad in America who needs a job.  So, I thought I would share these five tips to overachieving in your job search.

1. Network like a boss.
Unfortunately, I do not come from a “connected” family. I don’t have an Uncle at a marketing firm—in fact, my Uncle thinks SEO is a disease. So, I have to create all of my connections. How does one do that? I tell everyone what I studied in school and what I want to do with my future. I request to connect on LinkedIn and I find professionals on twitter. I attend workshops and then ask the speaker out to lunch. I find people with connections and ask them to introduce us. Then, I offer to take them out to lunch too. If you’re doing it right, you should be going out to lunch several times a week.

2. Practice, every damn day.
While my twitter account may seem like another youngster on the twitter, it is not. I take my tweeting very seriously, because it could land me a job. Every tweet I send, every article I read, and each blog post I write contributes to my professional credibility. I even offer free help to local businesses. That’s right, I actually go into businesses and provide PR and social media advice free of charge. Because, you know what? They might know someone who is hiring.

3. Do like the mob: get organized.
I was a mess when my job search first began. I would open a million job tabs on my browser then become overwhelmed and close my laptop. Now, I have an excel spreadsheet. I repeat, I have an excel spreadsheet to help me keep track of potential job prospects. The spreadsheet also includes what positions are available and the date I applied if qualified. I even have a color-coded system for my favorite companies. This thing is nuts.

4. Revise, Rinse, Repeat.
My resume has gone through more revisions than I can count, and I can only imagine how many more it will endure. I have been revising my resume since my sophomore year in college and it is still changing. No matter how many times I fix it, there is always something that can be done or said better. For the love of God, please reread your resume before you send it! Even after ten people read my resume, I found little mistakes.

5. So I creep, yeah.
This last tip is borderline stalker status, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Okay, so there is this feature on LinkedIn that allows you to see who has looked at your profile. While not all users have this option on their profile, many do. I intentionally look at people’s LinkedIn profiles in hopes that they will get curious and look at mine. It’s like staring at someone; eventually they are going to stare back and ask, “What’s your deal?”

So at this point you are probably saying, “Cool story bro, but aren’t you still unemployed?” Very good work my dear Watson, but that is not entirely true. I have just secured a contracted position. And I swear to you, it took every single step above to land this position. Hopefully, my next post will be “How to go from contract to hire.”


Lauren Palazzo: Write words for the right people. Recent #PR grad (Summa Cum + 4 internships). Public speaking coach and #SocialMedia ballerina. Will work for peanut butter.

Twitter: @laurenpalazzo
LinkedIn: Lauren Palazzo

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Journalism, publicity and scandals

10 responses to “The Overachiever’s Guide to Job Hunting

  1. Ken

    Great tips for those of us in a similar situation. Good luck with your job search.


    • I hope it helps! Shortly after I started my contracted position, I was offered a full-time position in PR. I went from unemployed, to working seven days a week. There is light at the end of the tunnel!


  2. Zoe

    This article is great! And a good reminder that finding a job is a job within itself!

    P.S. I absolutely love the mini-resume in Laurens signature. Witty, a little comedic, but still professional. Definitely different.


  3. ptyjournalist

    Awesome article! I’m sharing it with my journalism comrades!


  4. Good luck with your contract job!


  5. I found myself in a similar place last year and eventually found a contract job. Like you, I had to use all of the above tactics to get the job. In my case, I actually formed my own LLC because I was fortunate enough to land a long-term subcontracting PR job with my state. Upsides: Huge hourly rate, 37.5 hours a week, significantly more take-home money than previous job, doing identical work to what I’ve been doing for the last 13 years. Downsides: Uncertainty of contract after 12 months, no benefits (but I mooch on my wife who works; I’m fortunate for that), among others. In the end, my wife and I concluded the benefits were greater than the negatives.


    • That is awesome! I love hearing about other people’s experience with the job search. I see the benefits to both and I would love to start my own company someday. And I’m sure your wife doesn’t mind–you can put away the dishes or something ;)


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