Receiving the job offer you want is a complex project that involves strategic planning, researching, networking, and patience. As part of your strategic plan you need to ascertain what make you unique and competitive? Who is your target audience? Which prospective employers will gain the most value from hiring you?
Then you need to reach out and market yourself to potential employers. Attend in-person and virtual networking events. Prepare and send professional documents that focus on your value (resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles).
Afterwards, be prepared to exercise patience! A 2015 report from Glassdoor Economic Research found the average interview process increased from 13 to 23 days in just four years! When you finally receive the invitation to interview, be ready to show why you are the best person for the job.
Below are five tips to help you lay the groundwork for a successful job search campaign!
- Research the company
Learn as much as you can about your prospective employer’s business model and company culture. Visit the company’s website and read their mission statement. Identify the company’s products, services and functions.
Be creative in acquiring strategic information (industry trends and best practices) that will enable you to speak knowledgeably and prove you will be an asset to the organization. Prior to the interview gain valuable information by networking with employees and vendors in person or through email and social media. Alumni organizations are another great way to develop helpful connections.
- Develop C-A-R narratives
Your resume contains quantifiable accomplishments that speak to the employer’s needs. Be ready to substantiate those achievements with short narratives that follow the Challenge-Action-Results format. Storytelling is a persuasive skill that illustrates how you met a challenge and its impact to the company.
- Prepare to recognize and engage in various types of interviews
The “prepared” job seeker is knowledgeable about various types of interviews, their characteristics and purposes. For example, a telephone interview differs from a behavioral interview in both format and objective. Telephone interviews are prescreening tools used to determine whether a candidate matches the position requirements. Employers streamline their search by eliminating candidates who do not possess the basic skill sets. The job seeker’s goal is to pass the prescreening process and be invited for a face-to-face interview.
Behavioral interviews are rooted in the belief that “past performance is an indicator of future value.” After identifying which skills and knowledge are necessary to fill the open position, employers then develop and ask questions based on these competencies. The questions often ask the job seeker to tell about or describe a time in the past when they had to respond to a certain situation. Interviewers want to know how you handled these issues and what the outcomes were. Once again, this is the perfect time to use C-A-R narratives.
- Be Eager
Every employer believes his or her company is special and unique and wants to hire the best person for the job. When you are passionate about the company and its products, you convince the employer that you wish to be part of their “team.” Speak about your positive relationship with or belief in the company’s products and/or services. Ask questions that communicate your genuine interest.
- Close strongly
End the interview by quickly summarizing how you can be an asset and/or deliver solutions. Thank the interviewer(s) for taking the time to speak with you. Do not be afraid of inquiring about next step(s). Politely ask for and provide business cards.
It is important to remember that positive results emerge from solid preparation and planning. When you take the time to lay the groundwork, you enhance your chances for success.
Debbie Shalom, founder of Amazing Resumes and Career Coaching Services, is a Certified Career Management Coach, Executive Resume Writer, and Personal Branding Consultant. Debbie also develops and leads workshops for corporations, non-profits, and government institutions. To reach Debbie, please visit www.amazingresumesmd.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbieshalom.