Summer is here! And what better time for a backyard BBQ?! And since we are always career-minded here at the Career Center – I often like to compare the elements of a backyard BBQ to a job search:
1. Who's on the guest list/in your backyard? (your established contacts). This would include people in your social circle, relatives, friends, professors, old bosses or co-workers. Have you told them you are looking for an internship or job? Do they know (if) you graduated?
2. Your tools - (in this case a resume, cover letter, linked in profile, portfolio, website) Only instead of a spatula, tongs and forks and knives - make sure you have all of the job essentials . You want to be ready if Aunt Bess tells you to send your resume to her boss.
3. The grill - what's sizzling? (what's new and exciting in your career path, area of study or on your resume)? Do you have adequate gas for your grill? What are you doing lately to demonstrate that you are engaging in your career pursuits – are you a writer? What are you writing? Are you a bio-chem major? What are you researching? What are you making? What's a new and hot topic to discuss with a potential employer?
4. The menu – what are you serving? (skills and abilities). A variety or the same old, tried and true menu items? Is everything fully cooked or are things still too rare in need of some more time/effort/refining/refreshing?
5. Who can help? – do you need a side dish, bag of ice or dessert? (a contact name at a company, interview practice, a ride to the bus or train station or to borrow a suit)? There is no shame in asking for a hand.
6. Decorations – are they modern or are they vintage? (how are you presenting yourself)? Simple, classic, contemporary or elaborate - or are you maybe too fancy or ornate for a job interview?
7. Entertainment - band, DJ, Pandora or Uncle Harry playing the harmonica? (are you entertaining your guests/the employer during your interviews with stories and examples of your work)? What is going to set you apart from the other candidates?
The key ingredients for a successful backyard BBQ (and job search) should be planned out and prepared in advance. This should hopefully be a fun and memorable experience for you and your guests! So ready, set, take a deep breath, be yourself and have fun. And thank your guests for coming and for all of their help.