The U.S. economy continues to mend, but not all sectors are showing signs of strength. Even in retail, long time leaders such as WalMart and Target have had to manage expectations, by reformulating their strategies to ensure growth. Regardless of what type of work that you are seeking, the following tips can help you put in a place a successful job-finding strategy.
1. Your Skills. Today, employers want to know what you can do for them. That “doing for them” is based largely on your skills and how well you have kept up with them. For instance, if you are an electrician, then your license should be current and your training must include the current methods for connecting lines or running cables. Evaluate what skills today’s employers want and get trained accordingly.
2. Acquire Information. What do you know about the company? Today, such information is easily available online. Visit the company’s website, read its “about” page and explore its history. You can also learn something about how a company is doing by reading its financial reports. Yes, for most laymen that information is difficult to understand, but the associated certified public accountant statement can tell you much. For instance, you can learn what challenges the company faced, what its growth prospects are and how it measures up to its competitors. Find independent articles about the company too — do not rely strictly on the company’s opinion of itself.
3. Make Application. As it has been for ages, it is often who you know not what you know when it comes to finding work. Still, you will need to follow the normal channels to make application. Compose your application with care, filling out the information as required. Certainly, your resume says much of the same thing, but you cannot assume that both your application and your resume will end up in the same hands and at the same time. If you have a contact within the company, alert this person that your application has been submitted. Your contact can walk your application or your resume to the person that will interview you, and put in a good word about you.
4. Your Appointment. When you have been invited to a face-to-face interview, take note of what you are wearing and how you will present yourself. Allow for enough time to arrive at least 10 minutes early; if you are not sure of the route, then take a practice run first. Road conditions, climatic variations and incorrect directions can make you late.
5. Personal Composure. How you conduct yourself when interviewed will have an enormous bearing on whether you will be called back in for a follow-up interview. Wear the right clothes for the job — if you are business person, that means a suit. Your suit should be pressed, your tie and shirt coordinated as well as your belt and shoes. Beyond clothing, your look should cover up tattoos, remove excess piercings and make modest use of perfume or cologne. Do not chew gum, keep your nails trimmed and clean, and offer your handshake and provide eye contact when you meet up with your handlers. Your body language may unfairly tell some things about yourself that are not trued, but nonetheless can affect perceptions.
6. Follow Through. After your interview, the most important step for you is to send out your thank you notes. These notes, as important today as they have always been should be personally addressed to the people that interviewed. A thank you note goes beyond professional courtesy — it demonstrates that you are a person that pays attention to the little things, the type of employee that is set apart from the pack. Send your notes when you get home; follow up within a week to express your interest in the job. You are more likely to get called in for a second interview and get hired when you follow through.
Alone, these tips cannot get you a job. Together, they can raise your visibility and help you present the best candidate for the job. When you have each of the loose ends tied, you come across as confident. That confidence should help you with your interview, by enabling you to present the best side of yourself when it absolutely matters.