In today’s economic changes and in line with a global economy, climbing the ladder and success in jobs no longer depends on old-fashioned methods. Gone are the days when experience within an organization and qualification were the only success markers and criterion for selection. If you are in the hunt for a new job, today, it is crucial to employ methods that will help you eliminate or keep your competition at bay and attain success.
So, here are some tips that can help you find the right job and handle the interview as you progress to climb the ladder:
1. Get Online and Start Networking
Link with people from your field/industry get going on Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Ensure to create a professional profile (avoid getting social). Social networking is more like a social gathering, so don’t just limit yourself to talking about your accomplishments. Start topics and discussions that will keep people interested. Think of ways in which you can networking reach e.g. by joining related groups.
2. Old Fashioned Networking in Person
As compared to online networking which is relatively new, the old-fashioned networking in person still works wonders. So, don’t be shy. Visit networking events, meet as many people as you can. Increase your area of influence! Although, to begin with, you may not feel comfortable or possess the required skills for networking, as you set your steps forth, your in-person networking skill will improve. More important than being a good speaker, you need to be a good listener. Thus, while you begin networking and gain the required skills, begin by utilizing your listening skills to your advantage.
3. Distinguish Yourself (Stand Out From the Crowd)
Remember one thing – while shortlisting candidates, employers are looking for achievements / differentiation. When you write your resume, always ask yourself one question: “What were my accomplishments within my job that others would not have?” If you are able to find a marked differentiation, that, can also be used as a great talking point within your interviews. Thus distinguishing yourself helps in both: shortlisting & interviews – use it wisely to your advantage.
4. Shush - Be Discreet
When looking for a job while already working, ensure to inform the recruiters that you would like to keep it discreet. While you may use another offer to help negotiate within your current company, it’s best used as a negotiation tactic when it comes as a surprise. Also, keep in mind that, some employers may not like you interviewing with other companies. The spread of such information beforehand can harm your relationship with your current employer and may also result in you losing your current job.
5. Resume Writing - Avoid Pitfalls
While resume writing may be considered more of an art than a science, it’s impossible to create the perfect resume. However, there is nothing better than an up-to-date resume. In order to keep your resume up-to-date, be specific in terms of accomplishments & include mostly recent (last 5 years) accomplishments while replacing older and not relevant ones. Spellcheck the resume and do a basic grammar check as well. Paying attention to minute errors or spelling mistakes and typos is equally important and such errors should be eliminated. Tiny mistakes may sometimes be the only difference between an interview and a rejection!
6. Research for the Interview
If you are shortlisted for an interview, it’s time you take some efforts to prepare for it. At this point, it is a good idea to do some research about the company you are being interviewed by. Any information that will help you better understand the company you are planning to join, their work culture, their past history, key executives and their accomplishments. All this information is not only crucial to help you make the shift decision, it can help you better negotiate the interview. In addition to the company’s information, do take some time to find out who is/are the interviewers and get some background information about them also. The more informed you are the more comfortable and confident you will be.
7. Interview Preparation
Be it a face-to-face interview or more recently prevalent Phone / Skype interview, ensure to do preparation before you barge in. When preparing for a face-to-face interview, most people prefer to do a mock interview in front of a mirror. This helps them both visualize how they look and fine tune the body language while they speak. Doing a mock interview helps bolster confidence and repetitive mock sessions help fine tune and eliminate errors. As compared to unprepared candidates, the ones who prepare for an interview portray calmness, confidence and have a better chance of success. Here, it is important to note that while preparing for an interview, you should have your resume and a pen/paper ready to note down points that you would like to cover within the interview. Doing mock interviews helps candidates give a desired direction to the interview. A well-directed interview has a better chance of success for the candidate.
8. Be As Straight Forward As Possible
When you go for an interview, you may be faced with questions related to familiarization, on job skills, your personal traits etc. The interviewers may ask you about yourself, your weaknesses or any such probing questions: in order to gauge your reaction. While the interviewers want to know you better, they may include behavioral questions in order to evaluate your behavior in various work related situations. A typical open-ended personal behavioral question that we are all faced with: Tell me about your weaknesses?
when faced with such questions, your best reaction is to be as straightforward as possible. Do not try to dodge the question or hide behind politically correct answers. Don’t pretend and try to show that your only weakness is “perfection”. While preparing for the interview, give thought to what your weaknesses are and list out your most common weakness and also pin down a way you plan to address it. This kind of a preparation will help you for the interview in question and for all other future interviews that you may attend.
9. Interview Anxiety & Post-Interview Anxiety
While preparing for an interview helps bolster confidence and helps you in eliminating the anxieties, post-interview anxiety handling is equally important. There a great tendency to call up or email the hiring manager / recruitment agency / company HR to find out the outcome of the interview. It is only natural to have anxiety about outcomes. However, it is always better to manage your anxieties and simply send out a thank-you note and be patient. Remember as you need a deserving job so do companies need deserving employees.