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This is the second blog on the basics of job-hunting. The first blog (link) took you through how to look for a new job and possibly a career shift. All of that will help you get an invitation for interview, but there is a lot more that you will need to get the job. You will need to ace the interview and have a complete follow up plan. I will touch on these next steps in this blog.
A thing that I would like to stress on from the beginning is that most of us feel as if applying for jobs is nothing but drowning in an ocean of rejections. However, you should look at the rejections to be a great reflection into what you need to improve professionally and what you can do to enhance your chances of being accepted.
I have never scheduled my most anticipated workplace to be the first place to give interview during my job hunt. The reasons for that are clear – you can be a bit rusty in the beginning, especially if you are giving an interview after a long time. Try to schedule the less attractive employers first as that will give you room to mess things up and not feel too bad and will give you the opportunity to impress the employers you really like with a more refined presentation of yourself. This little self-made buffer will allow you the cushion to get in the mindset needed to nail the job interviews.
Let us start with building that all-important mindset for job-hunters. You might be unemployed for a while, might be unhappy with your current employers or might be looking for your first job. Whatever the case, you will need to hold these 4 points very close to your heart and mind:
- It All Depends On Your Attitude. Trust me – If you do not do it yourself, it will never get done. Stop lazing around and understand the importance of time. The only thing really holding you back is YOU. Have self-belief and understand that you can actually get hired by the company of your dreams.
- Treat Every Application Individually. Do not just do a simple copy-paste job. Personalize your cover letter for every job application as if it was prepared just for that specific hiring manager. This will show your seriousness. If you will just give a standard cover letter with your resume, you will have to expect a standard ‘No’ from the company.
- Nothing Happens Overnight. I see too many people get hasty and lose hope quite instantly. Patience is the key here, as it can take some time before you see positive results. There is no point in getting frustrated and you just have to persevere.
- Say Goodbye to Being Shy. During my early professional years, I used to be a shy soul. I had the qualifications, the personality and the communication skills to nail any job. However, I was use to get shyness attacks, especially when I had to impress a stranger and it really affected my progress. You need to get the shyness out of your head – exhibit confidence and glow with self-belief and you will see your career progress immensely. You should read our blog post on ‘shyness and how it can affect your performance at your workplace’.
With this mindset, you will apply for jobs and step inside the interviewing rooms. Moreover, remember the following points that will help you ace your interview:
- You do not need to be desperate, as there are definitely tons of jobs out there for you, where you will be wanted and appreciated.
- Rely on your relationships first, as networking can significantly increase your chances of getting job offers. You are not asking for favors – you are just looking for the right people to connect you to the right people and then it is up to you to do the magic. These 10 tips on networking success will help you master your connections game.
- Do not be intimidated if your work experience does not truly synchronize with the job opportunities out there. There needs to be no fear in the interviews for you – you just have to be yourself, highlighting your strengths and showing your willingness to learn. Trust me – nothing turns the HR managers on more than a candidate with a desire to learn.
- Give yourself a break from time to time. Doing job-hunting all the time, round the clock, day after day can weaken you as a person and deteriorate you attention span. Give yourself a timeout and do not schedule back-to-back interviews. You need time to bring back the energy after each interview.
- Always keep a printed copy of your resume and cover letter with you when you go for an interview. It just gives a more pleasant and professional impression to your personality. Make sure the resume is up-to-date and create stories around the work experience, education and skills highlighted in the document that you could share during the interview. Additionally, you should check this blog if you really want to make your resume pop.
- Talking about stories, you should think of possible answers that can come your way during the interview and the answers that you will have to give. Also, think of some possible questions of your own that you can ask the interviewer – I personally always recommend people to ask questions to show the potential hiring manager that you really are interested in the job.
- Do your research on the company and even add or follow the relevant people on LinkedIn to know more about them. This will help you better answer questions like ‘what do you know about our company?’
- If you have the time, I would suggest that you prepare a small presentation on the company interviewing you. Just to give you an example, I usually prepare quarterly marketing strategies or campaign ideas for my potential employers. This can help you massively, as it shows your desire to go the extra mile for the job and allows you to demonstrate your skills (so they can ignore anything about you that they did not particularly like). You can actually beat better-qualified candidates by this one little work.
Additionally, I encourage you to read these 9 Tips for Nailing an Interview to help you better prepare for the interview.
After the interview, it is important to follow up with the hiring manager. Honestly, thanking the interviewer for taking out the time to meet you can be one of the most important actions that you can take in the entire job-hunting process, yet most of us completely ignore this. Instead of a thank you call, you should send out an email, because this will help you highlight how you are the ideal candidate (check out this blog on 7 Keys To Describe Your Achievements – Pro Style for ideas), answer any questions that you feel you did not answer effectively during the interview, as well as provide enthusiasm for the role. At the end of the email, you can mention that you will call the interviewer on a date in case you do not hear from him/her before then.
You can use the follow up time to send a copy of the presentation that you gave or links to your other projects that you have executed. You need to utilize this time to further sell yourself and remove any doubts that might have arisen by any weak answers of yours. Add the interviewer on LinkedIn if possible and stay in touch. If you do not get to hear from the hiring manager by the committed time, give him/her a call. If your call is unanswered, you should immediately send an email afterwards. If after multiple attempts, there is still no response, send another final email, telling them that you think they have made a decision other than hiring you, but end it by saying that you will still love to be contacted if any other opportunities came. Keep it open ended and maybe even follow up with greetings and presentations to remain noticeable.
I remember someone kept ‘annoying’ one hiring manager to the point that he actually had to give him a second chance and he was actually hired! So, do not be shy; keep improving and keep trying. Fall and rise again. Make mistakes and be a better version of yourself. Have the right mindset and keep giving it your all. If you dream of working for someone, struggle hard for this dream and make it happen.
Let me know if you have any tips on how we can all make our job-hunting more effective. Is there any special routine that you follow before the all-important interviews? What mindset do you have when it comes to changing jobs?
Do check out our other blog posts on relevant topics like Career Planning: What to Consider for Future You and Is Your Current Career Cramping Your Style? Make These Changes Now.