Based on conversations with a veteran recruiter, below are eleven job search tips that job seekers should consider. They may seem obvious but they are often overlooked.
Have your name in your email address: Make it easy for the company or its representatives to find you.
State your name in your voicemail greeting: The company or its representatives may be reluctant to leave a voice message if they are unsure they have contacted the right party.
Return calls promptly and be patient: Waiting more than 24 hours to return a call from a company or recruiter may send the message that you are not really interested in the position. Also, resist the urge to call the company or recruiter every few hours if you do not get an immediate response to your return call. Keep in mind that individuals can be in meetings, traveling or may be indisposed.
Be polite/ be respectful/ be positive/ be professional to everyone you come in contact with during the hiring process: It’s essential to create a positive impression even if you feel wronged in some way by the company, the process or by an individual. Perceived disrespect, unprofessional behavior and/ or negativity in any form can be a deal killer.
Be enthusiastic/ show energy/ be confident/ be yourself: Demonstrate through the tone of your voice and your body language that you are excited about the company and the position and that you are confident you have the skills and experience to bring value and results. Be yourself so that when you show up for your first day of work, the company is expecting you, not someone else.
Don’t forget that you’re in an interview: Whether the interview is by phone, video or in person, always remember that you are interviewing. Most companies and their representatives strive to put candidates at ease recognizing that the interview process can be nerve wracking. Don’t misread this. Avoid being overly familiar, and/or debating and arguing for your point of view unless invited to do so. Even if invited to debate, use good judgment, be diplomatic and watch body language. If you are invited to lunch, dinner or a reception, again remember that you are in the interviewing process. You are being observed.
Prepare and be prepared: Start preparing for the job interview while you are applying for jobs. You never know when you will get a call.• Learn about the companies you have targeted and/ or applied to. At a minimum, read companies’ websites and be prepared to knowledgably and succinctly answer questions like: “Tell me what you know about us.”; “Tell me why you would like to work with us.”; “Tell me what excites you about this position.”• Keep a record of the jobs you have applied for. Remember that the hiring process can be a long one and imagine how the company representative feels when he/she calls to arrange an interview and an applicant doesn’t recognize or remember applying for the position.• Understand how you will answer the question: “What is your current salary and what are your salary expectations?”• Understand how you will succinctly answer the question: “Tell me how you see your skills and experience as fit or match to this position.”
Demonstrate agility, organizational strengths and responsiveness from the first contact with a company: For example, have an account for video interviewing and know how to use it before you get a request for a video interview. If you are in fields like marketing and communications, have a portfolio ready to present or pull from should you be asked for samples of your work.
Listen: Make sure you are answering the question that is asked and don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you are unsure what the interviewer is looking for. Watch that you do not interrupt the interviewer and jump in with an answer before the interviewer has finished asking the question. Not only may you end up answering the question inappropriately, this may signal to that interviewer, fairly or unfairly, how you operate in a working environment.
Don’t hijack the interview: The interview and interview process belongs to the company. Taking charge and running the interview will likely be an unsuccessful strategy.
Smile: Smile even if you are talking on the phone. It sets the tone for the interview and immediately creates a good impression.