Any savvy job seeker can readily find excellent information on how to find a new job, but what is somewhat scarcer, are the perspectives of seasoned recruiters whether they are internal to a company or are external vendors working on behalf of a company. Recruiters play an important role in the job search process, as they are often the ones who conduct the first round of employment interviews and may decide whether or not a candidate will get a second interview.
A seasoned recruiter – over 30 years experience – shares her job search tips.
Have a career plan and job search plan. Write these plans down, execute against them and keep records of what you have done/achieved and what remains to be done. Set timelines to make sure you achieve your goals. It is apparent in interviews and conversations when applicants are focused and organized and when they are not.
Submit a resume that is specific to the position you are applying for. The days of having one resume that will work for all positions is long gone. It is all about the match – how your skills, experience and results fit the needs of a particular organization. It is also necessary to select key words in the posting and put them into your resume. If you do not, you risk being screened out during the resume review process.
Be able to succinctly articulate who you are professionally (“Tell me about yourself.”), how your skills and experience match the needs of the company, and what benefit(s) and value you will bring to a company. Be prepared to give specific examples of the results you have achieved. Also be prepared to answer questions about your desired career path and how and what you do to stay on top of what is going on in your profession. You can prepare and practice your responses to these questions prior to the interview. Preparation, conciseness, the ability to articulate value, and confident delivery are much more likely to move you forward in the hiring processes.
Educate yourself on the companies that you are interested in and applying to.Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. Know the companies backwards and forward, network with people who work there and learn things beyond the companies’ websites. Be able to intelligently and succinctly answer the question, “Tell me what you know about us.” Surprisingly, people struggle with this question and the inability to reasonably respond to this question may screen out an applicant.
If you are moving into a new industry, learn as much as you can about it. Be able to articulate to a recruiter if asked what you have learned are the challenges and opportunities of that industry. Be able to discuss how your skills, abilities and experience will bring value and benefit to the industry.
Keep in mind that the recruiter/company wants you to be successful in the hiring process. There is work that needs to be done and the company would love for you to be the answer to their prayers. Use this understanding to help you control any nervousness and/or fears during the interview process.
Prepare for the interview while you’re applying for the position.You never know when you might get a call for an interview. There are some pretty standard questions that companies might ask and you can prepare your responses well ahead of an interview. Being prepared gives confidence and confident candidates do much better in the hiring process than those who are not.
Always be positive. Any negativity will likely be a deal killer.
A good rule of thumb is to keep to a 2-minute or less response when answering an interview question.Keep in mind that interviews are scheduled in increments – 30 minutes or an hour for example. Candidates who take too much time responding to questions may not get through the full list of prepared questions. This may put them at a disadvantage with their competition.
Become social media and technology savvy if you are not.Use social media in your job search. List any social media and relevant technology knowledge and/or experience on your resume.
Video interviews are increasing in popularity.Have an account ready so you don’t have to take time to set one up if you are asked to do a video interview. You want to be able to move quickly to demonstrate responsiveness and preparedness and to avoid the perception that you are unfamiliar with or are not tech savvy.
Incorporating these 11 tips into your job search strategy will place you leaps and bounds ahead of competing job candidates.