In this economy, jobs are hard to find. It's tough to secure an interview, and if you do, there is still no guarantee you'll get the job.
Lifechangers has assembled a list of simple tips to help you land the job you've always wanted, from the beginning of the job process, to the end!
#1: Understanding Job Descriptions
Job descriptions may give subtle clues about the type of work environment you might find at that company and the type of traits they are looking for in a potential candidate.
Here is a list of commonly used job listing phrases and how to decode them:
"Lots of Growth Opportunity": This statement is a favorite among start-up companies with big dreams and small budgets. What they often don't tell you is that they expect you to work for minimal pay in exchange for the "opportunity" to grow. Before you get sucked in by a phrase like this, make sure that the company is actually one where you can see yourself working for a long time.
"Flexibility on Work Hours": This is another favorite among start-ups (and nonprofits, too). At other times this will mean you'll be expected to pull an all-nighter to finish a PowerPoint deck or come in an hour early a few times a month to prep for a meeting. It varies, but usually when this is outlined as a requirement in the job description, they don't mean they'll be flexible with your schedule. Instead, you're expected to be flexible to theirs.
#2: The New Rules for Posting on Social Media
If you're job hunting, your personal accounts can spell disaster, and if you already have a job, they can even get you fired! Lifechanger Career Coach Maribel Aber weighs in on what you shouldn't be sharing with everyone:
True Confessions: People have come to use their social media accounts as online diaries, confessing everything from "getting totally wasted the night before" to "admitting to cheating on a test or girlfriend." If you're going to do that, you might as well post, "Don't hire me!"
Be Sensitive: Just a few months ago, comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired by AFLAC after posting jokes about the tragic tsunami in Japan on his Twitter account. His offensive remarks created a media nightmare for AFLAC, because a majority of their business is in Japan. Remember: it's not how your statements are meant; it's how they are perceived, and employers will stay far away from someone who might one day be a liability.
#3: Reinventing Your Resume
Resume writing is no one's favorite Saturday night activity, but smart women know that a killer resume can be an incredibly powerful career tool. It's worth a few hours of revising and re-energizing the big R if you want a promotion or a new job.
To help, here are some resume reinvention tips from Lifechanger and Career Expert Nicole Williams:
Include a Profile or Summary Statement: A two-to-three-sentence sales-y statement at the top of a resume is a place to connect your past experiences to the new path you want to pursue, giving your reader an overview of the skills and experience you've listed beneath it. This is especially important if you are making a career change.
Use Keywords: Employers' eyes are naturally drawn to the words they're looking for -- the brand names, skills, and experience they need. The best way to find the right keywords is to look at the job listing for the position you're interested in, then include some of the most prominent words and phrases in the description.
#4: Prep Time for Interview Day
Once you land the coveted interview, preparation is crucial. You are still in competition for the job. And, even if you don't get the job, you still want to make a lasting impression to be considered for future opportunities at the firm. Career Coach Maribel Aber has some tips to get you ready for game day!
Interview Preparation List:
Elevator Pitch: One of the easiest/hardest questions that can make or break your first impression, is how you respond to, "Can you tell me a little about yourself?" Step away from your resume, and take time to write out your 60-second pitch. Think about how you want to be branded. Start by writing a paragraph, then edit that down to two sentences.
Top 3 Interview Questions: Especially in the beginning stages of the interview process, hiring managers will likely ask you to address the following: (1) "What is your greatest strength/weakness?" (2) "Describe a past challenge on the job and how you handled it." (3) "What sets you apart from other job candidates?" The interview is like a first date. You want to have an engaging conversation that weaves in things about you and your experience as it relates to the job and the company with whom you want to enter into a long-term relationship.
Dr. Drew's Lifechangers has partnered with LinkedIn to help put America back to work. We sent hundreds of people on job interviews, and on Monday, February 13 we'll reveal how their lives have changed! Watch a preview of our most life-changing episodeyet, then tune in at 3PM on the CW to see the full episode!
There are still jobs available… apply today!
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