At some point in our lives we all look for a job. Whether it is a job with a new company, the same company, our first job, or our tenth job. We have all looked for one at some time in our lives. We all know the “rules” and things we are supposed to do.
Make sure you resume is up to date and keep it to one page. Keeping your resume up to date is important, and it’s easy to do. Keeping a resume to one page can be incredibly difficult. Especially if you have been working as long as I have in a professional environment.
I have created a one page profile that summarizes my career. But I always feel like it doesn’t do me justice. So I just use the two page version. Of course, even with a two page resume I still have several jobs that are just the company and title. And it seems to work, and get the attention needed.
Now you have a good resume, with an eye catching summary paragraph and you get the call. You may even get several calls from different companies, which is great. But a lot of the initial calls are from human resources and they all seem to ask the same questions.
One thing I have learned is to really get to know your resume and your career. Sounds silly, but just like your actual job you have to know who you are and what you do. You have to be able to speak to it, so that each time you are asked about it you can answer it as easily as if you were drawing a box on a piece of paper.
Now you actually get to the interview and you are prepared. You know all about you, since that part is easy. Especially since some hiring managers are coached by human resources and have a standard list of questions. Don’t “interview” me, let’s talk about the job and what it will take. You will hear more about my job and what I can do through conversation than just asking questions.
Plus, a large part of the actual job interview should be personality. You may get a great job at some point, but if you don’t get along with your new boss then the job won’t be great. In fact, it will likely get old real fast. And then you will be back in the grind again.
Another important thing to remember about the job interview, aside from knowing your skills and how they will blend with the new job. You also have to know about the company and how the new job – and more importantly your new boss – fits into the company. You have to research the company and know what it is going on.
That way you can be intelligent about the job and ask questions about how it will fit into the company. This is important because it shows the hiring manager that you are interested in more than a paycheck. So, find out how the new acquisition, the new merger, or buy-out will impact your future.
So, here is my bottom line advice for landing that new job. Make sure your resume sells you and your skills and experience. Make sure it is up to date and that you can explain easily what your career is. It shouldn’t take a lot to explain your career and make sure you can sum it up easily.
Know the target company, and if you can use LinkedIn to learn about the prospective manager. Be honest about your skills because if you get the job and can’t do it that will be worse than anything.
And don’t be shy telling your prospective manager that you want the job. If you don’t ask for it you won’t get it. And don’t ever forget to say “thank you”. A simple email back to the hiring manager for their time, let’s them know you appreciate it and again – ask for the job.
Last thing – good luck. It’s not a lot of fun, especially if you are out of work or really not happy in your job. But, remember (okay really the last thing) it’s a job finding a job. But – most important – just be yourself!