I get a lot of calls from people when they or someone they know are looking for a job. People ask me all sorts of questions about hiring processes, resume writing, as well as questions that they might be asked during an interview. I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a lot on my journey. This blog will be about the things that I’ve learned that I would advise as well as what not to do when searching/interviewing for a job. My opinions and views are not the opinions and views of the company that I work for. They are my opinions and views and mine alone.
Before you apply to any jobs, the first thing that you should do is, make sure that you have a voicemail box set up on your phone. I know that this seems like common sense, but often times people forget to set it up or they didn’t finish setting it up completely. Have you ever called your voicemail to see what it sounds like? Do it! If you’ve applied for a job, and the employer looks over your resume and decides to call you, you’ve already gotten past the first step. If someone doesn’t have their voicemail box set up, it really sets them back. Often times employers have hundreds of applicants apply to one position, not being able to receive voicemails may get your application thrown out.
Creating a proper email address is another thing that I strongly suggest doing before applying anywhere. I like to have an email address that I specifically use for business purposes. The absolute best email address that you can have for applying for jobs is: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com You really don’t want something as simple as an email address to make you look silly. And you know the ones that I’m talking about, “Freshmanhottie@whatever” “Imawesome@whatever” “partygirl101@whatever”. It seems silly and funny but seriously guys, change your college email addresses.
Updating your resume is the MOST important thing you can do before applying anywhere. This is the first thing that employers see before they see your face. You are representing yourself on paper, and you want to represent yourself properly and accurately. My best advice for this, is to do a lot of research on resume writing. Research the best ways to list what you did at previous jobs, research what type of resume format works best for what you’re applying for and what you’ve done previously. Research the best ways to write a cover letter. Make sure that when you apply, you are putting the right company that you want to work for. I see ALL of the time where people submit one cover letter to a position and company, that is NOT the same company/position that they’re applying for. Also, make sure you’re accurate on dates of employment on any applications.
Most people can’t afford to hire someone to write their resume for them, but all it really takes is a little time and research and you will be on your way to next opportunity.
Research possible interview questions to bring yourself up to speed before your interview. Especially, if you haven’t interviewed in a while. My favorite question that most employers ask is, “Why should I hire you over anyone else?” Look for possible questions pertaining to what you’re applying for as well. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
I read somewhere that an employer knows if they’re going to hire you or not within the first 90 seconds of them meeting you. If that’s true then we have 3 minutes to make the best impression as possible.
If any employer asks you to tell them a little about yourself, they aren’t usually looking for personal information. They don’t care how many kids, dogs, or cars that you have. They are looking for content & work history. If you do decide to add something personal, say it first, don’t make it about that, and turn it into something work related. Don’t just go on and on about your family. You could say, I moved here when I was 10, Colts fan all the way, I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, I worked at XYZ company for 2 years after college, moved on to ABC company for 10 years and now here we are, I am looking to expand my knowledge, and continue to further my skillset. Obviously don’t say exactly that, but you get the picture. You could mention your love for volunteer work or your love for succeeding at anything that you set your mind to. You definitely want to set yourselves apart from everyone else but don’t want to go so far away from mainstream that you can’t come back.
When you’re interviewing its a great idea to keep smiling every so often. There are so many people that sound depressed and mono toned while there interviewing with an employer. It makes me wonder if that’s they’re personality, or if they’re just really nervous. It’s okay to be nervous, and nervous smiles are just as good as regular smiles. Please remember that the person interviewing you is a person just like you are. They might have a different “title” than you but that doesn’t make them any better than you.
At the end of the interview, if they haven’t said they want to move forward, they might ask you if you have any questions for them. Even if you don’t have a question, make up one. You still want to set yourself apart from other candidates. “When can I expect to hear something back?” “What’s the next step in the hiring process?”
While you’re waiting to hear back from an employer, don’t call them! It makes you look too desperate. If you’re going to do anything, send an email or a thank-you card, if you haven’t heard anything in a week or so. Then by two weeks, if you haven’t heard anything you can assume they’ve decided to go in a different direction. If you want to do anything at this point, you can see about reaching out for future advice from them. They might give you some pointers or be able to tell you why they went in another direction and what you might be able to do better next time.
Don’t forget that while interviewing, you can be selective as well. As questions about the company to see if you’re really interested. See if you can look around to see what it’s like to work there. Don’t forget that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to! If you want to work somewhere you will! If you want to succeed, set your mind to it and make it happen!!
I look forward to reading your comments.