After years of working with people in HR & Recruiting, we often hear the same questions. But the main question we get from candidates (AKA job seekers) is, “What can I do to be more successful in my employment search?”
Am I doing something wrong?
Am I doing something right?
Things that appear to be common sense to most folks can be easily forgotten if you’re nervous, haven’t sought new employment in a long time, or tons of other reasons.
Here are things we want all
canidates to know:
Looking For a New Job Has Become a Full-Time Job
You might be thinking…”Is she for real?”
In this job market there are less employment opportunities which means you need to do all you can to find your next opportunity and edge out your competition. One of my consultants recently confided in me that he is being laid off from his current employer after 15 years with the same company.
When I discussed this idea with him about how looking for a new job should take up most of your time until you find your next one he said he couldn’t agree with me more. Most people in this situation aren’t ready to retire and need to get back to work as soon as possible and considering it a “full time job” to find your next one will help you ensure there is less down time between positions.
Being open to interview times can also give a positive impression to a prospective employer to where you come off as more flexible and more of a team-player compared to other candidates.
You Should Always Have Multiple Versions of Your Resume
What exactly do I mean by this? The average consultant or job-seeker has performed multiple tasks or types of jobs in their career.
For example, if you’ve been an HR Generalist for a smaller company in the past and have worn many “hats” such as handling payroll, handling worker’s compensation claims, and unemployment claims then depending on which type of role you’re applying for in the future, you should customize your resume to those specific job requirements.
Do some people consider this a bit of work? Yes, however having multiple versions of your resume readily available explaining key job duties and functions that you’ve performed can again shorten the length of time between jobs.
Do Your “Homework” Before Going To a Job Interview
Ah yes, what we love to call the dreaded “homework” assignment for any job seekers prior to your
This refers to multiple things such as research everything you can about the prospective employer company (look things up online, talk to current employees, etc) but just remember everything you hear and read isn’t always true so go into ALL interviews with an open mind.
Look up information about the person or persons interviewing you. You can do this if you’re part of a business networking group or site such as LinkedIn (we’ll touch on them again later). The more you have in common with the interviewer whether it be they have a similar work history or you went to the same university, believe it or not it can help give you the edge over a competing candidate.
Also, the more knowledgeable you come off about the company’s history, mission statement, or business practices can also give you an advantage.
Dress For Success And Come Prepared To an Interview
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people do well in their job search up until this point and then things fell apart. When dressing for an interview, always dress professionally in a darker colored suit and tie as well as a lighter colored solid shirt/blouse (or blazer and skirt/dress slacks for women) and be sure your appearance and grooming are immaculate.
“Don’t most people already know this?”
You’d be surprised. If someone hasn’t interviewed in years or knows the company they’re interviewing with is a “business casual” or “casual” dress code environment then you may make the mistake of not dressing “up” enough for the interview.
Remember one thing : you NEVER get a second chance to make a first impression.
You should also come prepared with multiple copies of your resume to hand out, a pad of paper to take notes and write questions on during the interview, as well as pre-prepared questions. The more you research the more you’ll be able to ask intelligent questions that show you did research and shows your level of interest and commitment.
Keeping Up To Date and Building Your Network On Websites Like LinkedIn
She did say she’d get back to LinkedIn, didn’t she? LinkedIn and other business networking websites can be a key to success in anyone’s employment search. Many people out in the market have found their next position because they’ve kept their profile up to date with skills, employer info, and dates as well as multiple recommendations from former managers, business partners, and co-workers.
When someone in recruiting is scanning through your profile for certain keywords or phrases and they find them and reach out to you, this just could be the introduction to the best job you’ve ever had! Or be sure to stay “connected” or “in touch” with former co-workers and managers on LinkedIn because the larger your business network, the better your chances of finding your next opportunity.
As previously mentioned, some of these things may come off as “common sense” but following these 5 simple rules of employment searching can not only be a good “refresher” for those who haven’t sought employment in awhile but can also mean you’re the winner of a brand new shiny job that makes you happy and fulfilled!