Tips for Finding a Job

Qualities Employers Want

When you are looking for employment, keep in mind that these qualities and skills are sought after by employers.

  • Integrity,
  • Strong work ethic
  • Showing up on time
  • Cooperation
  • Dedication
  • Reliability
  • Being conscientious
  • Productive in every task
  • Working extra hours at times
  • Willingness to work hard, most employers will gladly train you if you are willing to learn
  • Writing skills
  • Communication skills
  • Technical knowledge
  • Time management.
  • Multi-tasking, an individual who can juggle several projects and tasks will be very valuable
  • Ability to work under pressure, to handle all that gets thrown at you
  • Problem solving skills. You must be able to solve conflicts and offer solutions for problems that might arise on a day-to-day basis. Businesses compete for clients, so you should be able to help solve a customer’s problem properly in the quickest possible time.

Searching for Jobs

  • Finding a job may take a long time.  Prepare to search long before you actually need to be employed.
  • You might need to send a lot of applications. You’ll apply for many positions before you get interviews and offers. Many job hunters would consider you lucky if you get a job after 20 applications.
  • Employers often don’t respond to candidates after they’ve been rejected. This means you should look rigorously for other jobs while waiting for a call back.
  • You’ll apply online, mostly. Many companies use electronic applications and require you to enter information from your résumé into their systems. This can be tedious, but giving complete and accurate information is key.
  • Employee networks on LinkedIn and Facebook can help employers find candidates more quickly.
  • Search sites like Monster.com.
  • If you personally know someone at a company, it could help you. Connections really do make a difference. An employee referral puts an applicant in the “express lane.” Who in your network could take your resume to their company’s hiring authority? List as many people as you can think of and the name of the company where they work.
  • Identify companies in your career area. Look on each company’s website for job openings.
  • Don’t dismiss temporary employment agencies. Temp jobs are great for gaining experience and getting your foot in the door with a company.
  • Any volunteer experience can serve as a source of networking contacts. Ideally, volunteer in an organization related to your career choice.
  • Stay connected. Your friends with a job may be able to help you secure one, too. Many companies offer incentives to employees who refer applicants.
  • Make A List of Your Dream Employers. If there are places that you love to shop and companies that you really admire, pay attention to whether those places have jobs available. Check to see if they’re hiring right now. Just put down all those dream employers, or even dream individuals, that you’d love to work for on a piece of paper.
  • Make a list of 50 people who you could call about your job search. These aren’t your best friends, but these are people who you know in your community. They are people from church, your friends, your family, the parents of your kids’ friends. Think broadly. Maybe you haven’t talked to them in a while, but you certainly shouldn’t be shy about reconnecting.
  • Connect with a career center or job board. But don’t spend all of your time on big job. The majority of job seekers spend the bulk of their job search time scouring the big job boards, applying to anything and everything that seems appealing. You can do some of that, but it should account for the least amount of your time. Shift the majority of your time to build your personal brand online by engaging in online social networks. Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Comment on influential blogs in your industry or create a digital resume. Talk to other people instead of simply applying for advertised openings.
  • Talk to people who are now doing something that’s different from their previous career. Also spend time with people who do what you’d like to do. Ask how they got into this line of work. Encourage them to candidly share the challenges as well as the triumphs. By using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can reach anyone these days for advice and inspiration.
  • No matter what the skills, if you need to jump into a new field, there are many affordable options available. Self-paced courses are available for free online or classroom instruction is highly affordable. Check with your public library, mayor’s office, community college, non-profits and Career One-Stop to find out about training programs that may relate to your interests.
  • f you met someone at a cocktail party and they asked what you do, could you answer in one clear, concise sentence? Many job seekers have huge difficulty with this because they’re unsure of their identity now that their paycheck is gone. “Well, I don’t really do anything now — I’m out of work.” Wrong answer. Instead, offer a focused response: “I specialize in marketing for small businesses.” “I’m a Special Ed teacher.” Or “I work in retail sales.” Being out of work now is not part of your opening line. Your response is focused on what you do — and then from there, as you engage in chit chat, you’ll make it known that you’re looking for your next opportunity.

 

Internships (for all ages)

In a competitive job market, you need every edge when applying for jobs, and nothing trumps actual experience. One way to get it is through interning, even as an adult. When giving your time and talent for free, you want to make sure you’re getting something in return. That means interning only in a capacity that’s directly related to your desired paid position. It’s what differentiates this from volunteering and doing good for your heart. As an adult intern, you’re working with an eye on the prize: a paid job. The biggest hurdle: most employers will demand that interns receive college credit in lieu of salary or pay. To get around that, make your case to small and medium sized businesses, professional associations, and even non-profits. Your pitch must be personal: “I’m out of work and I’m convinced that if I had this specific experience, I’d be able to get hired. So allow me to give you my time and talent in exchange for gaining this particular skill to put on my resume.” If it’s clear that you’re benefitting more than the employer and that they’re helping you by allowing you to intern compensation is no longer an issue. There are three main reasons for a jobseeker to pursue an internship:

 

  1. Test drive a job before committing time and money to formal education or training. Margie Lyons, 56, is a mom of three grown daughters who has always worked in the insurance industry, which has served her very well. But with the kids out of the house, she’s considering adding an act two to her plate, ideally tied to her passion. Since she’s always been interested in the culinary arts, Lyons researched the French Culinary Institute but recognized it was a substantial commitment of time and money for a potential career path she wasn’t sold on.
  2. Before diving in to formal training and education, she wanted to “test drive” the profession. She approached the owner of Plates, a restaurant in New York, to ask if she could intern in the kitchen one night a week. She’s getting very hands-on experience from preparing dessert for a party of 50 to learning how to tie sausages. Lyons says the owner understood immediately that you can’t get hired without experience, but you can’t get that experience unless someone hires you, so he’s happy to give her that shot. In the end, she gets more out of it than the restaurant does because the hands-on exposure is invaluable before deciding to enroll in school. Before you think about enrolling and making that commitment of time and money, test drive your desired field by approaching a business for an internship.
  3. Fill a gap on a resume and keep busy while job searching. In New Hampshire, Jessica Hayes, 36, has been a stay at home mom with three kids and without a paycheck for seven years. Prior to starting a family, she worked in client services for a high tech company. Now she’s looking to build on that experience, but she has to freshen up her skills, especially those in social media. She applied for an internship at an employment consulting company where she is able to work on social media outreach. When she left the workforce, nobody was talking about blogging, Facebook and Twitter, but today without that experience, she isn’t being considered for new jobs. It’s also a plus when networking and interviewing to point to what she’s doing right now so she doesn’t have the burden of explaining that as a mom she’s an expert in conflict resolution and management household finances, which are important, but not as impressive as on the job experience in her desired field. Hayes says her current internship is received better by prospective employers than her volunteer PTA work because it’s directly related to her career goal.
  4. Gain a specific new skill that’s needed to land a targeted job Joseph Connolly, 34, worked in information technology and was downsized in June 2009 when the company sold his division. He went to a job search seminar hosted by a technical staffing firm that had just started an intern co-op to help people just like him. Connolly wanted to get into project management because he thought it would make him more desirable to employers, but that’s not where his prior experience was. So he secured an internship as a project manager with a non-profit. Now he’s very optimistic because he sees a slow rise in hiring and he has something more than just IT experience to offer. He has the one-two punch of IT and project management experience, which he says employers are finding much more appealing. Most empowering to him, he says, is the reaction he gets from hiring managers when he answers the question, “What have you been doing since you lost your job?” He says there’s a “visible positive reaction” — one that most jobseekers unfortunately don’t get — because he actually has something valuable to share about what he’s doing right now.

Applying for a Job 

  • Set a deadline to submit applications (i.e. two weeks), set goals for the number of applications to submit a day and the number of follow-up phone calls. It’s important to have some You might join a job club and be accountable to people whom you meet with once a week to be able to exchange leads and talk about strategies. There has to be some kind of accountability on a daily and weekly basis, like creating a job journal, in which every day you write down all of the places you applied to so you can follow up. In this journal, you can track all of the people that you talked to, what they said and when you need to follow up.
  • Finding a job is your full-time job right You can’t have a lag time of someone asking for your resume yesterday and getting it today. It’s got to be instant.
  • Don’t say, “I’ll take ” If you do, you wind up with nothing. No employer wants someone who’ll do absolutely anything. Focus on what you’re best qualified to do — and target all of your efforts around that. Instead of asking, “Hey, do you know anyone who’s hiring?” frame your inquiries around your unique skills, experience, education and interests. If you ask, “Do you know anyone who’s hiring in retail sales?” it’s much easier to receive a meaningful response than if you ask, “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” Help people to help you by being clear about what you do and what you seek.
  • Don’t sit around and This is the “spray and pray” method. You apply to 100 jobs and then you pray the phone will ring. It won’t. You must follow up with a call to make sure someone knows you exist. Don’t call to ask, “Did you get my resume?” Instead, you can say you know there’s an opening, you’re sure they’re flooded with applicants, but you know you’re an ideal match, so you want to make sure to get in front of the right people.
  • Bring a brilliant business idea to a manger or business owner, and you’ll get an I’ve hired many people when I didn’t have a formal opening because they brought me an idea I couldn’t refuse. Small businesses are ripe for this, as are large corporations or nonprofits. The key is having a great idea that you’re uniquely qualified to plan and execute. Explain what you know about the organization and why this is the right time and the right idea. Plus, it’s easier now to land a part-time or freelance opportunity than a full-time staff position, so you’re leveraging this growing trend.
  • Don’t apply for openings at the expense of creating Your greatest competition is for positions that are advertised and yet, that’s where job seekers spend the bulk of their effort applying for jobs. In addition to applying for relevant openings, you should also think about creating opportunities. Come up with 20 companies that you’d love to work for and create a specific pitch about what you could do for them, even on a contract or freelance basis.
  • You Might Not Get Your Dream A situation like this is time sensitive. You don’t have the luxury of waiting for or pursuing that dream position. You’re going to have to be flexible and willing to acknowledge that your dream job might not happen. It doesn’t mean giving up on it, it means making it Plan B. Plan A is to get you a job and get you generating some income.

When submitting an application online:

  • Check and double check for spelling mistakes and poor grammar, then check again
  • Be sure you complete all sections of the application
  • If possible, make a copy of the application before you press send.
  • Read carefully the process for “the next steps”. Will they call you? Are you to call them? When should you expect to hear?
  • Write down the contact information so you can follow-up by phone a few days after you submitted the application. Then don’t forget to make the call.
  • If you have to attach a resume be sure it is saved as either a Word document (.doc) or PDF file (,pdf) so it can be easily opened. PDF is best if you can as you won’t risk losing formatting.

When submitting an application in person:

  • Dress professionally. If you are also having an interview, wear a suit or nice dress; if you are just handing in an application, wear business casual, never go in jeans.
  • Obtain the name of the store manager or supervisor so you can follow-up with a note and/or a phone call. Get the name in writing so you are sure to spell it correctly; ask for a business card if possible, then you will have the address too.
  • Follow-up your application with a phone call to express your interest in the position, ask for an interview with the supervisor or hiring manager and ask about the next steps in the hiring process.

 

Appearance, Manners & Professionalism

The interviewer’s first impression will be formed in the first couple minutes. No matter what people say, appearance, manners and professionalism matter.  Consider these tips:

Appearance

  • Pressed clothes and clean shoes, nothing too tight or too baggy
  • No big or flamboyant jewelry
  • No tattoos or body piercings showing
  • No heavy cologne or perfume, limited makeup for women.
  • Well-groomed hair, no radical style or cuts
  • Shower/bathe and use deodorant
  • Brushed teeth, fresh breath, stay away from onions and garlic the night before. Bad breath is repulsive
  • Clean and trim your fingernails and scrub your hands the night before

Manners & Professionalism

  • Obtain driving directions. If possible, travel to the location before the interview day to make sure you know how to get there.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early
  • Clear your calendar so you don’t rush
  • Be patient if you have to wait
  • Take the interviewer’s hint to leave when an interview is finished
  • Shake hands (firm handshake!) with the interviewer when you arrive and leave
  • Present yourself as a mature, responsible candidate for employment
  • Wait to sit until the interviewer offers you a seat
  • Use good posture, no slumping
  • Speak clearly in a pleasant voice
  • Make eye contact
  • Be friendly but not overly casual.  This is a business meeting
  • Don’t look at your watch during the interview
  • Don’t use your phone while you are waiting or anytime during the interview unless you are asked to
  • Don’t cross your arms as this looks defensive or closed off
  • Don’t roll your eyes. Every word coming out of your mouth will seem insincere if you roll your eyes
  • Send a thank you note, either by email or paper to each person you interviewed with. A handwritten note is the best kind of thank you note.  PROOFREAD for spelling, grammar and clarity!
  • Follow-up with a phone call to the hiring manager and emphasize that you would love the job and ask for the job. Remind them why you are the best person for the job.
  • Within the first couple minutes of an interview, your self-confidence, or lack thereof, is visible. “Fake it till you make it” is a good guideline for showing self-confidence. Just make sure you don’t come across as arrogant. Being nervous during a job interview is normal, but it’s best if the interviewer doesn’t realize just how nervous you are. You can cover up your nervousness by taking a few simple steps:
  • You’re sweating, or you look anxious. Sweating or visible anxiety announces your nervousness. Since they’re something you can’t control, try these tricks:
  • Wet your handkerchief or a paper towel with the coldest water possible from a drinking fountain or the restroom and rub it between your sweaty palms. Tuck it away before greeting the interviewer.
  • Even better, fold the handkerchief or paper towel lengthwise several times and discreetly hide it against your neck behind the collar of your shirt or jacket. This will help you lower your body temperature and help with your anxiety.
  • Deliberately slow your speaking speed. Press a fingernail into your palm to remind yourself to slow down.
  • Be aware of your hand gestures and do your best to clasp your hands in your lap. You don’t want your hands to flap around.
  • Keep your head still most of the time. While nodding in agreement can be valuable, too much head shaking is distracting to the interviewer.

Reference Questions

Most future employers will ask for references.  Be sure you always ask folks if they can be your reference before turning in their names.  Be aware that these are common questions your references will be asked.  Be sure your relationship with your reference is one that can handle these questions:

  1. Would you consider xxxx to be an average or standout employee?
  2. What do you believe are xxx’s strengths as an employee?
  3. From 1-10, how would you rate xxx on his ability to accept constructive criticism?
  4. From 1-10, how would you rate xxx on his ability to listen carefully before talking?
  5. From 1-10, how would you rate xxx on his ability to communicate so he is understood?
  6. From 1-10, how would you rate xxx on holding himself accountable for his mistakes?
  7. Regarding possible weaknesses, are there specific things I should know?
  8. Would you hire Sean again if a position were available that fits his skills?

The Right Answers to Three Common Interview Questions 

You will hear common questions during different interviews, so you should prepare until you can give good answers to the questions comfortably. You are likely to hear these three typical questions.

 WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE?

Right answer: Use words that describe what you like about the company. “The company has an excellent reputation, and people who work here have told me they are proud of the services the company provides.”

Wrong answers: “I need a job,” or “I hear you pay well.”  “It’s close to where I live,” or “I didn’t know where else to look.”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS?

Right answer: Name a weakness that will keep you in consideration for the position: “I’m working on multi-tasking because staying focused on the current task is my strength.”

Wrong answers:  “I don’t really have any weaknesses,” or “I have a hard time working with other people because I like to work alone.”
“I’m late sometimes because I’m not a morning person, but I always make up the time.”

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?

Right answer: Match your strengths to the job description. The trick is to set yourself apart from other candidates for the position and show you are the best person for the job.  “I show up every day, am always on time, meet deadlines, and am a good communicator,” or “I have the training/experience and the attitude to excel.”

Wrong answers:  “I can be trained to do whatever you want me to do.” “I was an honor roll student in school.” “I’m available now and you need someone now.”

Show Your Superiority as a Job Applicant

Are you searching for a job? With a very large pool of candidates to choose from, employers are looking for something that puts you above the rest. It’s going to take more than academic qualifications to land the job you want. The following are ways you can show your superiority as an applicant.

  • Networking. You need to possess the ability to meet and greet people. Employers will want you to share your knowledge in face-to-face conversations, meetings, webinars, industry conferences and other places where customers or other professionals get together.
  • Business awareness. You must know as much as possible about the business where you are hoping to secure a job. Companies want to see that you know their products and services and can describe how they stack up against similar products and services on the market.
  • Problem solving skills. You must be able to solve conflicts and offer solutions for problems that might arise on a day-to-day basis. Businesses compete for clients, so you should be able to help solve a customer’s problem properly in the quickest possible time.
  • Time management. Time is money. If you can’t manage your time wisely, you may cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. A late product delivery or your being tardy for a crucial business meeting can discourage a client from doing business with your company.
  • Multi-tasking. An individual who can juggle several projects and tasks will be very valuable. Mastering multi-tasking will ensure that you are able to get work done on time and fulfill all the requirements of the job.
  • Ability to work under pressure. Most people who make it to the top will tell you that getting there was no walk in the park. One crucial success skill is the ability to figure out what needs to be done first and to handle all that gets thrown at you.
  • Sales and marketing. Companies are looking for individuals who can promote and sell its products. This is expected even in non-marketing jobs.

Create a Resume 

  • There are books and online websites available to help with this, as well as professional resume writing services.
  • Do not use an email address that is inappropriate (i.e. IHateToWork@gmail.com)
  • Don’t include the year you graduated if you’re in your over 50
  • Keep your resume to 1 page, 2 if you have too, but never longer
  • Most companies scan resumes for key words. Pull key words directly from the job description and put them in your resume
  • Do NOT lie about anything on your resume
  • Keep in mind that any job is better than no job at all. An interviewer prefers to hear you are working, rather than hanging out just looking for a job.
  • Have cover letter that captures their interest
  • Review your resume and be ready to elaborate on every line if
  • Proof read! Have someone look over the resume for clarity, spelling, etc.
  • Online examples Mircosoft Sample Resumes and Cover Letters, The Balance Free Resume Samples, FreeResumeSamples.org
  • Don’t focus on your Too many cover letters and objective statements on resumes focus exclusively on what you, as the job seeker, want. “I want stability, I want growth, I want this much money.” All of that is no doubt very true, but that’s not what any employer wants to hear. If I’m going to hire you, I want to know that you have the ability to bring value to my organization. I need to know that you understand the needs of my company and you have the skills, education, experience and interest to make a positive impact. Hiring decisions are about the company’s needs, not yours. Ultimately you’ll have to decide if it’s what you want, too — of course — but your needs aren’t first and foremost when applying.
  • Don’t use one resume for every Tweak every resume to the needs of the position you’re applying to. Don’t assume that someone can read your one-size-fits-all resume and immediately know that your goal is to change fields. You must invest the time to prove that you understand their needs and that your resume is tailor-made for that opening.

The interview

“Practice makes perfect.” Practice, practice, practice the interview, in front of a mirror, with another person or a few different people. Be open to their feedback. Begin practicing several days before the actual interview.

Before the interview, come up with a list of common interview questions you might be asked and then evaluate your answers after each practice. Adjust the answers until they are concise, to the point, and gracious. You need to be able to give an intelligent answer when asked by an employer, “Why do you want to work here?” “What did you learn about us from our website?” Practice explaining why you are the best person for the job. Be prepared to explain, in 30-60 seconds, why you are the best candidate for the job. Click HERE for many more questions.

Then there is the question “Why should we hire you?” The answer can’t be a standard one you give during every interview. You must do your homework about each company and the job, so you can connect your skills and experience with what is needed for the specific position. How will you know what to say? Here are some guides:

  • Listen for cues from the interviewer. As you listen to the job requirements, jot down key words from your background that will help you answer the question. For example, if you learn that customer service is important, you might mention that your boss at your part-time job compliments you on your customer service skills. And if you hear “good organizational skills needed,” describe the software programs you use to stay organized.
  • Communicate that you have excellent soft skills. If you have soft skills you believe will be an asset to the position, such as team player, strong work ethic or reliability, say so. Often, your soft skills trump weaknesses in technical expertise.

You should also come up with questions to ask the interviewer (you can find examples online). Applicants who ask no questions may be seen as lazy, uninterested, not too smart, or overly intimidated by the interview process. Come up with some good questions beforehand. It’s okay to ask a question to which you know the answer from your research, but not one that you obviously should know before the interview (i.e. “What do you sell?”). Examples include, “What do you like most about working for the company?” “Can you tell me more about the day to day responsibilities of the job?” “Is the work environment formal or casual?” “What do you see as the most important qualities for someone to succeed in this position?” “What are the most important things you are expecting the person in the position to do in the first couple months?” and finally “What are the next steps in the interview process?” and “What is your timeframe for making a decision?”

Once you are in the interview remember these tips:

Smile and use the interviewers’ names when you talk to them. You have to get good at remembering names, at least long enough to repeat them during your interview. If you smile and use the interviewers’ names, this will stick out. They will think about you when you’re not present, and that is an incredible advantage. Note: Never use an interviewer’s first name without being invited to do so by the interviewer. Use Mr. or Ms. as a sign of respect.

You have to be a salesman.  This is your chance to sell yourself, similar to detailing and polishing your car before you put it up for sale. Show how your abilities match the job, and sell yourself as the person who has what it takes to do the job best. Note: Don’t sound arrogant by saying you’re the best, but prove it by showing how you can help the company.

Understand the difference between a gatekeeper and a decision maker.  The first round of interviewers is almost always made up of gatekeepers, and the decision makers come in for a second interview. The decision makers trust the gatekeepers to filter out those who have no chance of getting the job, and the gatekeepers want to present decision makers with a candidate they will love. It’s your responsibility, then, to turn the gatekeepers into supporters who will sell you to the decision makers.

You don’t want to be seen as a negative person. Don’t badmouth anyone, but especially your old job or your old boss. Always sound positive and upbeat, so the interviewer sees you as a good person to work with.

Show your excitement and enthusiasm for the position. No matter how good you look on paper, illustrating that you want the job is a key hiring factor. Be careful, though, that your enthusiasm doesn’t slip into the category of desperation. You should convey that you want the job, not need it. If they ask if you want a tour, say yes.

Be as specific, but brief, as possible. A few words of caution: Don’t be long-winded. Saying too much can be just as bad as saying too little, because you may look desperate. Convey confidence without appearing aggressive.

Get business cards, or write the name and contact information (phone number and/or email) of each person you meet. You will need this for the thank you notes and phone calls. If you don’t get the spelling of someone’s name, you might be able to find it on the company website or call the company’s main number to ask. Try not to guess how it’s spelled.

Some common mistakes people make at job interviews:

  • Over-explaining why you lost (or left) your last job
  • Conveying that you’re not over having lost (or left) your last job
  • Lacking humor, warmth or personality
  • Concentrating on what you want rather than what the company needs
  • Trying to be all things to everyone
  • Winging the interview instead of preparing
  • Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
  • Not asking for the job

Bring with you to the interview:

  • At least 3 copies of your resume. Print several copies on high quality paper; store them in a stiff folder so they remain clean and crisp.
  • Something on which to write. Failing to take notes looks unprofessional but don’t use your phone to take notes. Never ask the interviewer if you can borrow a pen and paper.
  • Something in which to carry your items. Bring a binder or folder for your resumes, and something for your pen/paper, etc.
  • Your watch, do NOT show up late; that is a huge negative.

What not to bring to an interview:

  • A bad attitude
  • Anger
  • Excuses if you are late
  • Sad stories about yourself or your life
  • Dishonesty and lies
  • Coffee, alcohol and other drinks
  • You music playing device
  • Children, parents, others
  • A big backpack or shopping bags
  • A big ego
  • Defensiveness
  • Good stories about yourself that are unrelated to the job
  • Food
  • Cell phone, unless it’s put away and the volume is turned OFF
  • Chewing gum
  • Your sports uniform, musical instrument, or other item you need after the interview
  • Concealed weapons

Finally, be a smart realist. While it’s good to be optimistic, optimism won’t get you a job. It’s far better to be a realist. A realist knows there’s plenty of competition for every job and learns not to be insulted when a job goes to another applicant. However, after losing two or three positions to others, it’s time to start looking at what might be the problem and make the needed adjustments:

  • You might be looking for the wrong job or in the wrong places.
  • You are looking for a job above your skill level.
  • You don’t interview well.

Take a Deep Breath. It is overwhelming when it’s coming at you all at once, especially when there is that financial necessity and that big pressure to find something right now. But when you break these things down in small steps, it really is manageable. And anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, now what is it that I am going to allow to guide me? Will it be fear? Or faith? Is it going to be fear that nobody’s hiring, I have nothing to offer, the economy’s dismal, this is never going to work? And those kind of thoughts paralyze you.

Research Companies for Interviews

Once you have an interview scheduled, it’s time to research the company.

  • Do your research, even if it’s boring, research the company and industry, you can find out a lot online. What is their mission? What is the company’s culture? Learn about companies by asking people you know about the company’s reputation and talk to employees if you can. What services or products does it provides, who its customers are, is it a large or small company, do they have many locations or just the one, what do they do to give back to their community, have the company been in the news recently, etc.  Can you find out more about the position you are interviewing for? Knowing a lot about the company can also help you develop questions to ask during the interview.
  • If the company has a website, read it over carefully so you know a lot about the company. Bring up some facts about the company during the interview. This allows the interviewer to see you did your homework.
  • If there is a job description or an advertisement for the job, read it carefully and be prepared to explain how you can perform the duties described in the job description and how exactly you’d be an asset for their specific

Social Media

  • Set up a LinkedIn account, not just a Facebook account. LinkedIn is used by more professionals than Facebook.
  • Update your social media profiles with career information. No matter what social networks you use, even Facebook or Twitter, bring them up to date with your availability for work and the strengths you bring to an employer. You never know who will pass your name along when they hear about a job opening.
  • You may think your Tweets, Tumblr profile, Instagram pictures, and Facebook entries are confidential and seen only by your social network. Not so! Recruiters and hiring managers use Web search tools to check on candidates and what they list on their resumes, to see what turns up. The good news is that hiring managers aren’t screening just to dig up dirt. They’re also looking for information that could possibly give you an advantage. Nothing is ever private on the Internet, despite privacy settings.
  • Many employers screen the social networks of potential job candidates to evaluate character and personality, professionalism, creativity, communication skills.
  • Clean up your online dirt. If you’re looking to be hired for a job, now is the time to take down inappropriate content and replace it with a profile that represents you at your best. Even if you plan to delete your social media account, clean it up first. Employers can find your last social media pages even if deleted. Potential employers look at your social media, so show your best side.
  • Employers have said they have found content that caused them not to hire a person including:
    • Provocative photos
    • Inappropriate information posted on a candidate’s profile.
    • Evidence of drinking or drug use.
    • Bad-mouthing previous employers
    • Bullying and comments related to race, gender or religion.

 

 

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T&E Care is an IRS recognized non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.   The official registration and financial information of Tredyffrin & Easttown Care may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

 

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