Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Unless you’re in accounting, healthcare, mechanical-repair or proficient in sales, good jobs are hard to find.
Hopefully, you’ve honed your networking skills and are getting interviews.
The first key is to check your attitude.
To avoid feeling and acting as though you’re desperate between interviews, spend your spare time networking, volunteering and exercising.
Don’t be afraid to cold calls to make appointments. You’ll be in a position to size up companies as they do a quick evaluation of you.
Otherwise, merely answering recruitment ads puts you in a cattle call – standing in a long line with all the other job seekers. So cut through the clutter of competition.
Be visible. Daily, dress becomingly as you can.
Get your foot in the door. If you need income right away, consider temp work.
Actually, your sense of self worth will grow immeasurably by working as a temp vis-à-vis being content to merely drawing an unemployment check.
You’ll generate opportunities to demonstrate your worth in three possible ways:
1. Astute bosses will create a permanent job for a temporary employee if they see spot the right talent, experience, and attitude.
2. Many companies like hiring temp-to-perm to check out potential employees who can hit the ground running – without making a riskier, expensive commitment in hiring.
3. A successful temp firm might create an in-house position for you.
Keeping your options open and being passionate about learning are salient. Although they’re not likely to use such terminology, great employers want to know you’re flexible and passionate about continual self-improvement. They don’t want just a job seeker. They want someone who will help them make a dollar.
Don’t be afraid to cold calls to make appointments. You’ll be in a position to size up companies as they do a quick evaluation of you. Otherwise, merely answering recruitment ads puts you in a cattle call – standing in a long line with all the other job seekers. So cut through the clutter of competition.
OK, so now you’ve landed an interview – here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Set the stage.
To be considered for your long-term potential, dress as though you would for your career five years from now. Good bosses often ask their receptionists for their first impressions about applicants. Without gushing, treat them like gold. Show up 10 to 15 minutes early. Remember you’re on display.
If you’re nervous, quietly practice deep breathing exercises. Look alert. Sit upright, smile and review your list of questions – you’ve got an opportunity for professional growth.
2. As an old Irish expression goes, keep the interview “civil but strange.”
Be professional and relaxed. Be prepared with a firm handshake and good eye contact. Unless you’re applying for a prison guard’s job, smile. Don’t get too personal. Commenting on pictures or décor is fine. Don’t comment on the person’s clothing. Particularly commenting on the interviewer’s pictures can help make a connection.
3. Submit your resumé.
As you walk in the room have several copies of your resume ready. Whether you’re being interviewed by one person or a committee – offer to present your resume even if you already submitted it.
Ideally, it presents a picture of your specific examples of accomplishments and your potential to help the organization meet its goals. Look for opportunities to discuss your abilities.
4. Be a chameleon.
Fit in the culture and interviewer’s style. Be enthusiastic without gushing. Don’t try too hard. Take a breath before speaking. If you’re unsure how to answer a question, pause and buy some time by restating the question using the interviewer’s words. Don’t appear to be too quick to react, be facetious or superficial. Use an economy of words – don’t ramble.
5. Demonstrate you’ve done your homework.
The interviewer will appreciate knowing you’ve done your research about the company and its industry. Stay current by signing up for search-engine news alerts about the company and its marketplace. Check out the day’s news events before heading out the door for the interview. Nothing is more embarrassing than not looking up-to-date. Instead, you’ll be prepared for questions and appear to be a great match for the organization.
Ask salient questions about the company, the position and industry, but not about salary. That comes in later meetings – once you know the company is interested in you.
6. Market yourself.
Be prepared to brand yourself – use concise value propositions – the benefits you will provide the company as an employee. It’s important before the meeting to rehearse five benefits you offer the company.
Make a mental note of all topics discussed in the interview. If the meeting appears to be drawing to a close, be politely assertive. Before you leave, be certain to cover all of your salient benefit statements that pertain to the company’s needs.
From the Coach’s Corner, see:
The voyage of discovery is not in looking for new landscapes, but in looking with new eyes.