Job Search Tips That Work

by M Taylor

Are you looking to transition into a new career? Perhaps you’re a new graduate just entering the job market. Or maybe you’re unemployed and looking for a job; any job. Whatever the particulars of your situation, the following tips can help you.

Check your resume for mistakes

Before you hand in a resume to a prospective employer, check it carefully at least three times to look for grammar and spelling errors as well as typos. Make sure that you have tailored your resume to meet the needs of the position you are trying to get. If you are going for an accounting position, be sure to emphasize your accounting experience in previous positions. Your resume should be no longer than one and a half pages, preferably one page.

Tackling the interview challenge

A study done by a California staffing and consulting firm of 1,400 CFOs found that there was broad agreement on the common mistakes made by job seekers. The most common were arriving late for an interview, being uninformed about the company (or worse yet, the position applied for) and arrogant behavior in the interview process. Remember the importance of body language in interviews – a firm handshake, avoiding defensive postures like crossing your arms, making good eye contact and showing some (but not too much) confidence are all important. Your clothes are also important; better overdressed than underdressed.

Answer questions smartly

Being nervous can make you perform poorly in an interview; even to the extent of forgetting the questions you have been asked in the interview. You can prevent this by being well prepared for the interview. Do your research on the company and the position you are trying to get. It’s OK to admit that you don’t know the answer to a question when asked – you can tell the interviewer that you will get back to them with an answer. You should always make sure to emphasize the skills you have which the company asked for in their advertisements.

Getting the necessary referrals

A referral from a current employee is one of the best ways to ensure that you are asked in for an interview. Companies receive hundreds of resumes when they advertise a position; but as many as 60% of these vacancies are filled through referrals by employees. If you don’t know anyone who works at the company ask around – someone you know may. If you are referred by a current employee, it greatly increases your odds of being hired.

Online application

An increasing number of companies have begun to ask prospective employees to submit their applications or resumes via the web. This means that you must make a good first impression not in person but with an email. Your email is thus very important and should be treated with the seriousness you would apply to any piece of business writing. When applying online, remember the following:

Complete your sentences and do not abbreviate.

An email which is very casual may cause a prospective employer to pass you by in favor of an applicant with better email communication skills. Even if you are communicating by email, keep your emails professional.

Get directly to the point

Be clear and concise in your email – don’t use stories or other literary devices to try to capture their interest; most employers don’t have time for this and it will as likely as not just annoy them. Instead, use a direct, yet professional approach.

Landing that dream job can be tough but don’t give up. It’s better to wait a while and get a job you really want rather than to grab the first job which comes along and end up unhappy. Make the right decision about your career – then act.

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