Entering the job market can be intimidating at any stage of your career. Thanks to technological advancements in communication it’s now easier than ever to find the jobs you’re interested in and apply, without ever leaving the house.
But technology hasn’t just revolutionized the job market for the workforce; it’s also impacted companies and the hiring process as a whole. Employers have higher expectations now than ever for incoming candidates.
Whether you are working with a recruiter, or hunting on your own, follow these seven job search tips to prepare for your entry into the job market and ace your next interview:
1.) Refresh your resume
2.) Get clear on your deal breakers
3.) Know your worth
4.) Automate your job search
5.) Brush up on your interview skills
6.) Use keywords in your application
7.) Always research the company
Shake the Dust Off Your Resume
Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your resume with your latest skills, awards, and proficiencies. It’s also a good idea to check all the dates listed and revisit your formatting and font choice if you haven’t used your resume in a few years.
Ideally, once you’re done updating it your resume will look clean and organized, and dates will appear in chronological order. Make sure your contact information is current and easy to find. Bonus points for using a sans serif font that’s easy on the eyes.
The top half of the first page of your resume be enough to stand on it’s own – objective, contact info, certifications, accomplishment highlights. When hiring managers are under the gun, sometimes that is all they can look at before deciding to put the resume aside, or read in depth.
Know Your Deal Breakers
Everyone has their own set of deal breakers when it comes to job opportunities. Some of the most common are salary, benefits, schedule, commuting distance and title. What’s important is that you know not only what you’re looking for but also what you aren’t looking for. That way you can more quickly decide which opportunities are worth pursuing and which you should probably avoid.
Research Your Value to Employers
Knowing what your skills are worth to employers is invaluable in assessing job postings (and later down the line, job offers). Identify titles you’re interested in and qualified for and then do a little research to determine average compensation and how your experience level and education stack up.
A recruiter in your field can go a long way in letting you know what the current market is for your skills, and typical recent offers.
Set Up Automatic Alerts for New Jobs
While it’s best to remain active in your job search, no matter how long it takes, it’s also handy to use the tools available. If you’re using platforms like Indeed or Monster, you can save your searches and set alerts, so you’ll be notified when a new job that matches your criteria is posted.
Practice Your Interview Skills
Of course, research most common interview questions for candidates in your field and practice your responses to both generic and technical questions. But don’t forget to also brush up on reading body language (and how mirroring it can benefit you).
Become an Application Jedi
Every resume and cover letter you send should be tweaked to fit the position you’re applying for as well as the particular company. By learning to pay attention to keywords in job postings, you can add an extra layer of customization and stand out to potential employers. Job titles in IT can vary quite a bit for the same function, so it is important to relate your past experience to the current opportunity as closely as possible.
Prep for the Interview Every Time
Being contacted for an interview can be exciting, but don’t get so caught up in the moment that you under prepare. Even if you’re more than qualified, remember the interview is like a sales call. You’re selling this company on why they should hire you and not someone else. And like a great sales person, you have to understand what they need before you can convince them you are the solution, so ask good questions.
Make sure that you research the position, the company, and if possible, the interviewer before you meet them. LinkedIn is great for finding out about both the company and the interviewer.
That way you can clearly articulate how you meet not only the job qualifications but also fit with their company culture and already understand their brand and values.
For the most streamlined job search, work with the professionals like the team at CopperTree Staffing. Get more job search tips, info on employment trends, and find out what employers are looking for on our blog.