Want to get hired? First, you have to get noticed.
With an improved economy, there are many other people – your competitors – looking to leave their current gigs and move onto better opportunities. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
Here are the dos and don’ts for standing out in a competitive job market.. and getting hired!
DO Push Forward In Your Job Search
Especially as spring approached, it’s easy to back off on your job search. Instead of succumbing to the power of longer days and more sunshine, make it your goal to become a networking machine.
Learn to leverage social media to make new professional contacts and communicate about yourself. Aim to meet three new people a week who could help you with your search, and set up informal discussions with hiring managers as often as possible. Even if they aren’t currently hiring, a job could pop up at any time.
Simply put: never stop networking, and never assume someone can’t help you get hired. You’d be surprised at the contacts new connections may have!
DON’T Be Too Pushy
Calling once a week to check on an open position or to inquire about an interview is acceptable, but don’t be too pushy when attempting to get hired.
Emailing or calling more often than that is detrimental to your search because it can make you seem desperate, at worst, and pushy, at best. Remember, companies have their own process and their own timelines; their sense of urgency may not match yours.
Certainly call or email to inquire about the status of your application or open positions, but any more than once a week more than likely will adversely affect your chances of earning a position.
DO Prepare for the Interview
Do your research about the company, and practice the interview beforehand.
Make a practice trip to the location so you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there. Have extra resumes on-hand. If you were asked to fill out an application, ensure it is neat (absolutely not folded), accurate, and complete. Pay close attention to ensure you got the time right; with daylight savings time coming it’s easy to slip up!
You also want to prepare for the interview by dressing properly for the position. It’s usually a good idea to dress more conservatively for an interview. Your research should help you determine the culture of the company so you can dress for success. Of course, plan to arrive approximately 10 minutes early and be personable with everyone you encounter prior to the interview.
DON’T Over-prepare for the Interview
It may sound silly, but you want to do just the right amount of preparation for the interview.
If you over-prepare by memorizing or even over-rehearsing your answers, you will seem insincere. It’s better to practice and be prepared than to sound like a robot. Speak naturally and work your personality into your answers, and don’t worry about saying everything you practiced. You have a better chance of getting hired when you are 100 percent yourself during the interview.
DON’T Be Afraid to Look Into Working From Home
It is becoming more common for people in nearly every field to work from home. And due to the growth of the sharing economy, today, there are many opportunities to be your own boss without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. If you’re great with animals, try dog boarding. If you love writing or have a knack for graphic design, companies, such as Upwork, make it easy to connect with potential clients.
DO Consider Positions Outside Your Industry and Sector
If you really want to get hired, keep your options open.
Consider all of your skills and determine whether you would be a good candidate for sales, customer services, client development, project management, data entry, writing, editing, etc. You may be surprised when you reflect on your skills and experience and realize which other positions may be right for you. Expand your job search to other industries and sectors that match your skills and experience to better your chances of finding a job.
Even with the increase in competition, standing out and getting hired can happen quickly, especially when you know what you should and should not do. This guide should help you hit the ground running and find the job that’s right for you!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Lost Gen Y Girl.
About the Author: Erica Francis enjoys being a part of ReadyJob.org because it gives her the opportunity to help adolescents and teens get started in the job market. When she isn’t writing and working with young people, she rides horses, crochets, and acts at her town’s community theater.