Last week at the SPN annual meeting in Cleveland, I had the distinct pleasure of talking briefly with the Generation Liberty Fellows about job seeking. I thought it might be valuable to share with you what I told the Fellows about the three common blunders young job seekers make and how to avoid them.

  1. They don’t tailor/personalize their job applications.
    Your cover letter should explain your affinity for liberty, your interest in the organization’s mission, and why you would be well suited for the particular role. The organization won’t know unless you tell them!
  2. They don’t utilize their networks.
    It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know. Utilize your friends, associates, professors, former employers/co-workers, club/group members, etc., as well as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
  3. They want to run the show before they answer the phones.
    Have the humility to understand you’re not ready to be President and be willing to work for free (or beans) for a while to prove yourself. If you create a lot of value, you’ll get noticed and promoted or hired away.

A special thanks to Kurt Weber for inviting me to meet the Fellows. They were a lively and talented bunch, for sure! For more tips on job seeking in the free-market nonprofit sector, visit our website: www.talentmarket.org.