Looking for a job and or career can be one of the most stressful events one may have in their life as it is no longer as simple as walking in getting the job and their there for the next forty years. Nope now as professionals you will need to have a strategy to stand out above the rest.
Some of you may be saying well I got this, I have a job, I know how to get a job that’s easy, but hold on not to fast, in your life you will have different phases of looking for work and believe me when I say you will Not always be with the same employer for life
Get a Job is Getting Tougher
On average we will change jobs/career every five years, which to many that may sound like a lot but there is a reason you change so often. You will find those who stay with companies for long then five years and if those people are content then that is great for them.
Not everyone is so fortunate to want to stay longer then five years for a variety of reasons such as changing management, Changing company culture, minimal pay increases, no professional growth and the list could go on.
The Job Market Will Forever Change
In today’s job market you have incredible value that many organizations will not see and many times unwilling to pay for. For many who are starting in the job market it may be difficult to assess you value when it comes to negotiating pay and benefits, but we are in a new age of information where everything is accessible online to get you paid.
Before you get the point of getting paid, you need to get the job first and getting the job is just as important as the job itself, so you we must strategize. Having been in the work force for close to twenty years I have learned more then a few tricks of trade to get you noticed.
These are some of my strategies and some may seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many still don’t do some of these simple tasks to get you hired.
1. Create a Resume
I know it sounds pretty obvious but so many still don’t know how to write a proper resume, and It’s probably because so many get intimidated but simple aspects such as format, what to put in your resume, the length and just fear of trying different things. Resumes will progress over time, but if you are just not sure you can hire a professional to work on your resume.
2. Cover Letter optional or is it?
For many who knows what a cover letter is? Yeah, I thought so… Cover letters are one of additional documents you can provide with your resume that basically highlights your interest in a position and why you would be an ideal candidate.
Some organizations require cover letters, and some make it optional. In additional there are also what is called Pain letters, which are different than a cover letter which are very specific to a company and their needs being meant. Pain Letters are generally sent to the hiring manager of the department/division you wish to work in and its exactly like it sounds like a Pain Letter in the sense of the pain an organization can experience searching for the right candidate.
3. Business Cards
These I consider to be optional, but a real eye catcher to any employer presenting you as a professional regardless of the field you are in. Now let’s say you don’t know what exactly to call yourself, whereas most business cards have a title, but don’t stress about that. Your name, phone, email address and please be creative in a professional way.
4. Get Proper E-mail Address
Something you may have heard before, but as a professional you want to present yourself as one, so put the personal e-mail to the side for a moment and create a professional sounding one as such Joseph.Meyer@xxxx.com. You want one that has your complete name, it can have numbers but trying to get a neutral email that when employers see it will not automatically toss your resume in trash.
5. Create a Mini-Portfolio
As a professional on an interview this is your chance to shine, to stand out above all the over candidates. I personally like to provide a mini-portfolio. You may ask what is that? Well it’s basically a group of documents that showcases your skills, work samples, information that a hiring manager can view about all your skills. Although the hiring manager has your resume this would be an additional document to bring it home who you are. I like to provide the following:
- PowerPoint Cover with company Logo, Name of Interviewer, Name of position you are applying for and the date of interview.
- Work samples (Such as projects either from school or work, accomplishments
- Your skills and talents such as leadership skills, soft skills, skills Not on your resume.
6. Thank you Card
Always say thank you not just by saying it but showing it, purchase a small box of simple thank you cards and personalize each card for those you will be interviewing with. If you are not sure the names ask HR or the person setting up the interview so you can you create the cards in advance. I assure you not everyone will do this and it’s a great personal touch.
7. Dress For Success
This goes without saying, but all to often I hear employers say how often they see those who interview not dressing the part. I understand that clothes can be expensive, but you don’t need to break the bank to look professional. Mind you I understand not all industries care how you dress when you work there many jobs are casual in dress but when it comes to the interview you want to look your best.
We all have our own style to how that looks. As a male I am more traditional in my slacks, button down shirt and tie with black or brown dress shoes. Women are a little different, so I will not pretend to tell women how to dress, but I would research acceptable styles for interviews.
No flip flops, don’t pile on the perfume or cologne, clean shaven or neatly tried hair which includes facial. I know there can be a lot of rules to dress for an interview, follow the simplest and least costly approach no one is saying go spend a few hundred on a suit no need.
Make it Your Own
Some of what I may be asking you to do you may say wow this is overboard I will not do this and in certain situations you may not have too, but I recommend it for any job so you stand out hopefully bettering your chances of snagging that job. Now I must warn you these not guaranteed because it do this today and there may be times you will not get the job for other reasons outside your knowledge, but that shouldn’t matter, just be you and do everything you can to stand out.
Of course, having the actual interview is important where you will communicate your skills, your personality and what you have to offer along with these tips bettering your chances and who wouldn’t want to improve your chances for snagging that position.
My Experience is Part Of my Strategy
I have been do these practices over 10 years and in most cases employers for impressed with my preparation and time spent creating all of these for the employers benefit displaying my professionalism.
You will in time find your own ways to make yourself stand out in the job interview and the job market something that is unique for anyone, but be consistent, keep doing it, improving your approach and in time you will perfect your own style of job searching.