You’ve made up your mind: It’s time for a career change. If only applying for jobs were as easy as making that decision.
The job search process can be confusing and intimidating, to say the least. But the good news is that there are some little-known facts that can clear up a lot of that confusion and make the process a little more approachable
Start with self-assessment.
Before starting your job-search, take time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you like accomplishing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you’ll find a new job that provides you with greater satisfaction. To find out your strengths take this personality test.
Most Jobs Are a Secret
OK, they’re not a secret, per se, but 80% of jobs never get posted and are only found through networking.
Knowing Someone on the Inside Can Get You Hired
Only 7% of job applicants get an employee referral, yet referrals account for 40% of all hires! So, basically, having someone put in a good word will give you a serious leg up on the competition.
Information is the true secret of a successful job-search. Gathering information on types of jobs, job openings, and prospective employers provides critical information for tracking down real job leads, and helps you in tailoring your resume and preparing for the job interview.
Recruiters Don’t Really Read Your Resume
Well, they do, but they don’t. Recruiters spend, on average, six seconds reviewing your resume. Translation: A resume alone won’t get you a job, but a bad one can ruin your chances.
Hundreds of People Are Applying for the Same Job
Did you know that a typical corporate job posting will attract 250 resumes on average? I know, that number’s scary. But it’s a good reminder of why you do need to tailor your application and put in that extra energy.
The Job Search Drags on (for Everyone)
On average, it takes about 52 days to fill a job opening. that’s something to keep in mind when you see an opening that looks amazing. It’s better to take a few days to submit the perfect application than it is to fire off your materials right away without customizing them at all
Your Embarrassing Email Address Will Disqualify You
Hey, email@example.com, unfortunately you and your friend Ih8work@aol.com, will fall into the group of 76% of resumes that are thrown out simply because their email address was unprofessional.
Create your online career brand.
The job market is slowly evolving from a paradigm of job-seekers and employers using job boards to find each other to one in which employers find job-seekers online — whether through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the job-seeker’s personal Website. Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web could find it — and removing any unsavoury — digital dirt — you can find
Before you start applying for jobs, going to job fairs, or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job-search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many
Attempt to complete job-related goals daily.
It’s a bit of a cliché now, but in all clichés, there is truth — and that truth is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job-search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.
Develop anecdotes and stories that showcase your skills.
People remember stories over bullet points, so your goal should be developing a set of anecdotes you can use in networking and interviewing situations that clearly demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and passion for your work. Using stories may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself Use these stories to showcase your achievements on your CV too!
Excel in the job interview.
Research the employer and interviewers, know your route for getting to the interview, dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.
Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers.
A quick note (by email and/or postal mail) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from most job-seekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy. Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job.
n a tough economy where one open position can attract numerous qualified candidates and you’ve been job seeking for some time, on occasion it might seem difficult to hide your feelings of desperation. Although deep down you may be at the end of your rope and tying knots to just hang on, the odour of desperation is readily discernible from your demeanour, words and attitude. And an aura of “giving up” turns off prospective employers like nothing else can, thereby blowing your chances at what could be the job of a lifetime (or at least a steady pay check). Rein in your desperateness and show that potential employer your real worth instead!
Dress well, even if the potential workplace consists of people who don jeans every day. Contrary to a desire to “be yourself” through appearing “casual as”you can’t afford to give any impression of sloppiness, as it imprints “desperate” across your forehead. Be sure that your clothing is neat, ironed if appropriate for the fabric, adjusted to the standard of the workplace you’re hoping to join, tucked in where needed and that your hair is one hundred percent dry (wet hair suggests you only just made it out the door).
Have a firm handshake. Not too strong, not too weak––a handshake speaks volumes about your self-confidence. A floppy handshake will cause the interviewer to feel that you aren’t really into this interview from the start.
Things go wrong at work
for everyone at times. Sometimes, they are wrong enough to cause you to want to leave a job or to end up in being fired. Yet, a potential employer isn’t going to feel reassured if you explain that the reason for no longer being in your old job is because “X did such and such to me”. Once you start placing blame or making excuses, you’re going to look weak, lacking in the ability to be either a team player or to lead/manage, and you’ll most likely come across as desperate. Avoid placing blame on someone else. Regardless of the situation, never tell your interviewer that you lost your job or a project fell apart due to the incompetence of another person. Instead, be confident when you state the facts and explain what it would take to create a successful situation
Don’t just blame the economy or the job market. Once again, blame is typically frowned upon during an interview as it’s an indicator of a wider tendency to place blame rather than accept responsibility––something few employers want to see in their employees. Your interviewer knows that the economy is down in the dumps and that jobs in various industries are scarce, so pointing out this obvious fact, or making it the reason you’re unemployed, will only have a negative effect on your interview.
Never badmouth another person or previous employer to lay blame for a mistake. Employ the cardinal rule of “never burning your bridges”, no matter how much another person tormented you or perhaps even sabotaged your life. If you badmouth another, you may end up looking like a whiner, bad guy or worse… a victim.
The best way to approach feeling nervous, being asked challenging questions and worrying about your general prospects, is to remain calm and cool during your interview. Don’t dwell on problems in the past. Instead, punctuate your strengths and play up what you can bring to the potential employer’s company now and for the future.
In preparation for an interview, write out your strengths on paper.
This will help you to identify them, as well as giving you the chance to focus on those that truly stand out for you in relation to the job you’re interviewing for. Read through these strengths many times and elaborate on them out loud, as if talking to the interviewer. The more that you know this aspect of yourself inside out, the easier it will flow for you during the interview.
Stop yourself from saying that you’ll “do anything” to land the job. As opposed to having the right experience or education to handle the job, telling the employer you’ll literally do anything to land it may turn him or her off. It suggests that you no longer have credible skills or value yourself enough.
On the other hand, don’t oversell yourself. Identify your strengths, but be humble when talking about your accomplishments. If you come on too strong you’ll look desperately aggressive––and possibly a little scary. Nobody wants to hear a narcissistic rant about how brilliant you are or how you single-handedly saved the company; keep it realistic and always remember that it takes a village as far as the interviewer is concerned.
Sometimes desperation shows in the trivial things you after a perfectly well-presented answer––things best left unsaid. For example, you might have just explained why you want the job to the interviewers and really impressed them. And then, you add a final comment like “because my current job is just crazy and I don’t really know why I’m still doing it.” You’ve just undone all the good that came from what you said!
Once again, the rules of dating apply. Without stating that you’re interviewing with other firms, give your prospective employer the impression that other companies––possibly competitors, are pursuing you (even if they aren’t).
Bring your planner to the interview (that should be filled with “appointments”) to make sure your interviewer doesn’t think your dance card isn’t filled.
If the interviewer calls you back, don’t jump to answer the phone on the first ring. In fact, let the first call go to voicemail, listen to what the interviewer must say and then call back within a few hours. If you do answer the phone, always ask for time to consider their offer.
Give the impression that you’re fielding offers. Listen intently to what the interview must offer and say. If he or she makes you an offer, thank the interviewer and ask if you can call him or her back later that day
Don’t wait too long or else the employer may think you aren’t interested!!!!