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Crack the Job Market and Open the Doors to Your New Career
Unemployment rates are lower than they’ve been for the last decade. But, just because there’s plenty of jobs available doesn’t mean you won’t have to put in some work before the interview. Keep reading for a few practical tips on how to get your foot in the door and walk out with a job.
Don’t limit yourself to one resume
You may have only held one type of job at this point in your career, but that doesn’t mean your potential employers are all looking for the same skills. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for. Indeed stresses the importance of a polished resume by emphasizing that it’s your “first and best chance to get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.”
In order to create a customized resume, pay attention to the job description. Look for keywords to identify skills your future potential employer desires. Different companies have a different vision of what the ideal employee looks like—even if these employees share a title. For instance, if you’re looking for a job as an IT team lead, some companies are going to place a heavier weight on technical skills, while others are more interested in your ability to manage multiple projects.
Off the Clock Resumes offers full-service and DIY options that can help you create a resume that will stay at the top of the pile.
Take extra precautions when applying for a remote position
Remote work and flexible schedules have become the norm in many industries. Work-at-home jobs are in high-demand; there are often more applicants for these coveted careers than those that require a commute to a brick-and-mortar location. You’ll need to take extra care during the remote-work interview process, which will likely take place online.
SkillCrush.com asserts there are several unique questions that may come up during a remote-job interview. These include queries about how your day will be scheduled and how you plan to handle projects that require input from people scattered across multiple demographic regions. One thing employers look for specifically is whether or not you have a functioning home office. Your interviewers can tell within just a few moments of a Skype or GoToMeeting interview whether your office will afford you a proper work structure.
There are a handful of things you can do to enhance your office space: invest in a comfortable and ergonomic chair, position your desk to take advantage of natural light, and invest in the best internet connection available. An adjustable desk—one that allows you to either sit or stand during work hours—can improve your focus and keep you from sitting stagnant all day. This, in turn, can increase your productivity. Perhaps most importantly, your home office should be distraction-free. While your interviewer will understand that you have to utilize available space, if your kids’ video games are audible from your office, you likely won’t be able to concentrate on work.
Make an impression at the interview
If you’re lucky enough to land an interview, you should be ready to back up the information provided on your resume. Your interview is your first opportunity to make a lasting impression, so be prepared for a bevy of questions—and have a few of your own ready.
Prior to your interview, take the time to research the company, as well as the people you’ll be speaking with. Dress appropriately for the position, but allow some of your own personal style to shine through. Avoid an overabundance of jewelry and cover any inappropriate body art. When it’s time to make introductions, establish a solid foundation with a firm handshake and verbal introduction. Maintain a consistent volume, which shows excitement, enthusiasm, and respect.
Don’t go into your interview blindly. Spend a few hours clicking through the company’s website. Here, you have an opportunity to get to know key members of the organization and get a feel for the company’s values, goals, and mission. Stay abreast of news relevant to the company by simply plugging its name into Google. You’ll need to have an idea of the types of products and services they provide, as well as the kind of clients you’re likely to encounter.
College Recruiter offers advice on what to wear to entry-level interviews in the legal, IT, marketing, and public relations fields.
Look for hidden opportunities
Sometimes, the right job isn’t out in the open. You may have to put a little work into finding your dream career. If you’ve been on interview after interview to no avail, it’s time to change your job-hunting strategies. As Forbes’ Nancy Collamer explains in this article, there are six key ways to find unpublished opportunities. Start by changing the way you network. Don’t rely simply on your Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections. Get out into the world and make face-to-face contact with those who may be helpful in your employment endeavors. Join a professional networking group and don’t be afraid to reach out to employers directly. Google News is also a great place to scout for potential jobs. You may see a news story about an upcoming expansion, which can only mean one thing: The company in question will need more employees.
It’s also possible to find advancement opportunities within your own company. If these have not been presented to you, there’s no shame in asking colleagues from different departments what they foresee becoming available in the future. Most businesses give preference to internal applicants, so this may be your best chance at climbing the career ladder.
Even in a thriving economy, competition for the best jobs remains fierce. Open positions don’t always go to the most qualified candidates, but the one who made an impression during their interview. Give yourself the best chance at becoming your preferred employer’s number one pick by highlighting your most relevant experience, dressing for success, and, if applying for work at home job, having all the tools at your disposal to get the job done.