9 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Job Search

job search tips

You work hard to have a successful career and sometimes that means changing jobs.  Doing your homework and preparing for your transition will inevitably include time searching for your new job.  Here’s what you need to know before you dive in.

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9 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Job Search

Landing your next job isn’t going to be easy. But if you learn what human resource professionals are really looking for, you can beat the odds. Human resource professionals have a set of rules, written and unwritten, and the better you learn these rules, the better you can compete and land your next role.

There’s a gap between a job seeker’s perception of the recruiting process and what human resource professionals look for. These gaps are clearly highlighted in the “Active Job Seeker Dilemma” survey, which polled 4,347 job seekers as well as 129 HR professionals. The survey was conducted by Future Workplace, a research firm and Beyond, The Career Network, a job portal for job seekers and employers.

Before you start polishing your resume, these are the things you need to know about how employers think and what they are looking for.

Find someone to refer you. You are missing out on job opportunities by not identifying someone inside the company to refer you for a job. While job boards are the primary source of hiring, 71 percent of HR professionals surveyed rated employee referrals as the best source for finding candidates, yet only 7 percent of job seekers surveyed viewed referrals as their top source for finding a job.

Invest in learning technical skills. Job seekers self-reported that their top weakness was technical, computer or specialized skills. If this is your weak spot too, do something about it, because a quarter of employers rank these as top skills they are looking for. Take an online course to develop the skills you lack or need. More than 40 percent of job seekers have never invested in online training, but it is one way to improve your confidence and candidacy.

Show internships, not GPA. If you are a recent graduate, you may agree with the job seekers in the survey who feel grades are the greatest indicator of your potential. But to employers, experience wins attention. So instead of focusing on your academic achievements, be sure to highlight your internships.

Get ready to take a test. At some point during the interview process, you’ll likely be asked to complete an exercise, assessment or test of some sort. It is just another way to evaluate you. The study found that 57 percent of employers administer some exercise or challenge to job candidates, so don’t let this surprise you.

Master the phone interview. Your first interview will be a phone interview. It was the top method listed for conducting first interviews. But sadly, job seekers don’t feel as comfortable with phone interviews as they do with in-person interviews.

Expect to meet several people during your interviews. It is unlikely you’ll be hired based on one interview. Almost 60 percent of HR professionals said the interview process involves meeting two to three people, and some employers will have you meet with as many as five people during the interview process.

The interview process takes time. One to three weeks: That’s how long it is going to take you to go through the interview process and get an offer, according to more than half the surveyed HR professionals. And, in some companies, it could take five to nine weeks.

Highlight these top three skill sets. Communication, adaptability and results-driven are the top skills HR is looking for in candidates. Unfortunately, job seekers miss the mark. While job seekers did list communication skills as a top skill set, they missed the mark in the other top skills they reported, which were leadership and teamwork.

Here’s how to stand out.
You’ve learned as much as you can about the company, but what else can you do to win over the employer? HR professionals say to bring a portfolio of your work. Yet only 19 percent of job seekers used this approach to stand out in their search.
Wishing you the best in strategic job searching 2016.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

10 Tips to Improve Interview Performance

Interview Preparation

The difference between feeling nervous about your upcoming and confident about it can just be a matter or preparation and focus.  Here are 10 awesome tips for how you can effectively prepare for your upcoming interview.  Best of luck!

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10 Tips to Improve Interview Performance

This is certainly along the lines of what I would advise clients who have landed a great interview and need some tips and tricks on landing the job!

Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for job interviews. Why, you ask? Interviewing is a learned skill, and there are no second chances to make a great first impression. So study these 10 strategies to improve your interview skills.

Practice good nonverbal communication
It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning — or quick ending — to your interview.

Dress for the job or company
Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

Listen
From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

Don’t talk too much
Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position’s requirements and relating only that information.

Don’t be too familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

Use appropriate language
It’s a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation — these topics could send you out the door very quickly.

Don’t be cocky
Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism and modesty. Even if you’re putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.

Take care to answer the questions
When interviewers ask for an example of a time when you did something, they are asking behavioral interview questions, which are designed to elicit a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don’t answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills.

Ask questions
When asked if they have any questions, most candidates answer, “No.” Wrong answer. Part of knowing how to interview is being ready to ask questions that demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what you’re asked during the interview and asking for additional information.

Don’t appear desperate
When you interview with the “please, please hire me” approach, you appear desperate and less confident. Reflect the three Cs during the interview: cool, calm and confidence. You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!