In today’s (or any!) economy, searching for a job can be overwhelming. There are times when it may feel like you are competing against every qualified candidate and there is no way to make yourself stand out. Here are some of my favorite tips for a successful job search in 2012:
-Utilize job sites and social media. In order to get your name and resume to as many networks as possible, and the Internet is the best way to ensure this happens. Job sites give you the opportunity to perform a search specialized to you. Social media websites are also becoming common places for companies to seek out potential candidates. Be sure to keep your LinkedIn account accurate and up to date and keep your Facebook appropriate.
-Proofread your resume. I cannot stress it enough. Your resume is one of the first things a potential employer sees from you, and one careless mistake can cost you the job of your dreams.
-Be early to interviews. Make this saying your mantra: Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. Be sure to allow yourself extra time for traffic or to find parking. Just don’t show up too early- anything more than 15 minutes is as rude as being late.
-During interviews, be sure to dress appropriately. It is important to look your best when meeting a potential employer. In addition, making eye contact and smiling show you are interested in both the employer and the position.
-After interviewing, a thank you email is good but a handwritten note goes a long way. It shows your professionalism and interest, and makes you stand out from your competition. Following up afterwards is important but so is patience. Ask your potential employer or recruiter what their standard protocol is for follow up and make sure you do just that- follow it!
-Forget to research the company or position. It is important to employers that you will be a good representative of their company, so be sure to ask appropriate questions, know their background, and show that you have a vested interest in their future.
-Appear arrogant or uninterested. Turn off your ringer, leave your phone in your pocket or purse, have your resume printed beforehand, and listen as much as you talk. And NO gum chewing!
-Talk poorly about your current or previous employer. It reflects negatively on you, and may concern your potential employer that you could do the same to them in the future.
-Use family or a friend as a reference. It is important to provide a potential future employer with a reference that can attest to your work ethic and job performance. While friends and family most likely know you well, they often don’t know you in the context that a future employer is looking for. And no fake references- employers can easily spot a fake reference and this will make you look unprofessional, dishonest, and is damaging to your reputation.
-Most importantly, don’t give up! It is important to remain confident in yourself and confident in your abilities. Searching for a job can be time consuming and strenuous but remember, as Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”
What are your favorite do’s and don’ts when searching for a job?