There are thousands of web sites, books and articles containing tips and advice about how to conduct your job search. After you read them, most of the time you will say..”I know that.” Knowing… (lets call it, common knowledge) and doing… (lets call it, common practice) are two different things. The gap between the two could be the difference between success and failure in your job search.
There are many things that you will have direct control over in your pursuit of that first job. Any mistake or lost opportunity in your job search could be the difference between success and disappointment. Here are seven things you can control and will make a difference.
1. Error Free Written Communications.
Any spelling mistake on your cover letter, resume, thank-you letter or email correspondence just tells the receiver you aren’t serious about applying for a job. Carelessness suggests future behavior and why would an employer want to take a chance when they have a choice in candidates?
2. A Targeted Resume.
Not every job you apply for will be exactly the same. One resume will not work for every job. Your resume must reflect and highlight what the employer is looking for. You must make sure your resume emphasizes the skills and interest you have and the ones they will be looking for. If you do your research you should know exactly what they are.
3. Looking Beyond Job Postings and Job Boards.
Statistics vary from industry to industry and business to business, but job postings usually represent only a small percentage of the available jobs in any marketplace. The silent job market (those positions not advertised or public) are the ones you want to go after. They may be harder to find, but your chances of landing that first job will be better if you do your research and networking to find what is available. Find out who is hiring rather than just waiting for a job posting.
4. Showing Interview Etiquette.
The way you behave tells people who you are and shows how you will behave if you get hired. “Please” and “thank you”, are the best two words in the English language and go a long way when employers are evaluating your candidacy. Proper etiquette shows good judgment, which means you will most likely be a good employee. A solid handshake, an appropriate greeting and a smile will always make a great first impression. Do not ever discount the power of proper etiquette.
5. Being Prepared For The Interview.
Every interviewer will be able to tell in a very short time whether or not you are prepared for the interview. If you do not demonstrate very early in the interview that you are serious and have done your research, the interviewer will conclude you are really not interested and move on to the next candidate. If you cannot demonstrate that you know something about their company, there is little or no chance you will get the job.
6. Interview Follow-up.
Your behavior after the interview is as important as your behavior during the interview. If you do not follow up after the interview with a professional “Thank You” letter, the logical conclusion the interviewer will come to is that you are not interested in the job. Always follow-up after the interview, every interview. Always!
7. Networking Follow-up.
Your network is your lifeline in your job search. It is unlikely you will be successful without the help of someone in some way. Build your network carefully and most importantly, keep in touch with everyone on a regular basis. Following up with your network and keeping everyone informed about your job search status means when opportunities arise they just might think of you.
Your job search success will depend on how well you execute every aspect of the job search process. Your cover letter, resume, time management, research, interview and interview follow-up are all important.
Job search tips and advice…Common knowledge? Of course. Common practice? You decide.