The job market is a highly competitive area and a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people, however if you’ve got the right CV, the right attitude, the right skills and you’re thoroughly prepared, what is stopping you?
Starting with the all important CV
It’s really important to have an impressive CV. It makes so much difference when a CV tells a good, clear story about your career. Also what a great opportunity to reflect back on all your achievements and be proud to share them! There are plenty of places that offer a free CV service, however if you feel that you want a bit more than a quick over view, I offer a free 15 minute synopsis, or more enhanced service, please get in touch (details below).
Once you’ve got a super impressive CV, it’s all about making sure that it gets to the right people. Many jobs are published in all the popular and obvious areas such as online job boards, recruitment companies, but did you know that only a measly 10% of jobs are advertised? The other 90% are within the hidden job market, and when I say hidden, typically it means that employers fill vacancies through close networking contacts or because a bright spark has taken the initiative to send their CV across on the off chance, what is there to lose?
Before you make initial contact with a company, here are some things to consider:
- What type of job or career do you want?
- What will get you out of bed in the morning?
- How does it fit with your skills and experience?
- What is important to you about your career?
- What are your career goals and aspirations?
It’s really important to be aligned with your values and apply for roles that are suited to the things that are important to you, and similarly, working for a company who shares them too. Most of us have never really taken the time to think about this but it will make a massive impact on your motivation and passion to really commit to doing what you love. In turn you get job satisfaction, fulfilment and a sense of achievement.
To identify your values, write a list of all the things that are important to you in your life.
For example; happiness, success, love, achievement, family, friends, passion, personal development, health, independence etc. Once you have really stretched your thinking, prioritise them with 1 being most important and continue numbering them all, each one….see what comes up, it’s an interesting revelation most of the time. If you would like more help with this, once again I can help you.
Once you get to the interview stage you will of course need to prepare and this starts from in-depth research about the company, and being nicely prepared by practicing a run of questions that you might get asked.
Here are some examples of typical interview questions:
- What three things are most important to you about your job?
- Describe a time when you were criticised for poor performance.
- How do you organise and plan a major project?
- Describe a time when you felt you made a bad decision.
- How do you handle stress?
- Describe the one characteristic which you will bring to this job that makes you successful.
Remember that with any questions where the Interviewer asks you something negative such has “what are you weaknesses?” it’s important to put a positive spin onto your answer. For example; “in the interest of getting a job done, sometimes I carry out the task myself rather than delegate to one of my team members, this is because I am passionate about hitting deadlines and meeting company objectives.” This tells the interviewer that although you have your weaknesses, you are aware of them and take responsibility for them. Awareness is key, as is revealing your learning curves.
Always give an example of an experience when answering interview questions and finish by demonstrating the success of the outcome and how this positively impacted on the team, company, client etc.
When being interviewed, it is extremely important to listen to the question you are being asked and stick to answering it, be clear in your answer and avoid going off track or fluffing it up about a load of stuff they didn’t ask you! Normally you can tell when an Interviewer’s eyes are glazing over, so look out for that one!
Always prepare some questions to ask the Interviewer at the end of the interview, it shows that you take an interest in the Company and you are enthusiastic about working with them.
Personally in my experience of being a manager, I got great pleasure in working with people who showed enthusiasm for what they do. This refers to my point above about really being sure that whatever you put yourself forward for, it’s going to be in line with your values and it’s going to make that journey to work every day, worth every minute. If you apply for something that doesn’t give you fire in your belly, this may come across in your interview. More importantly, should you succeed in getting the job, you will eventually lose motivation and in turn, this may make you feel undervalued in yourself and your capabilities. The job market is competitive, but a bit of initiative and action really will make a difference. But right now you have a chance to really consider what you really want out of your career.
I am a big fan of building rapport when going to an interview, people like to connect. If you connect, they like you, they remember you. Give out a compliment or notice something about the environment around you. Positive body language is also critical. Did you know that 90% of our communication is through body language? The remaining 10% is verbal. Be aware of your posture and make good eye contact.
Finally a little tip; before the interview, make time to visit the loo and wash your hands with the company soap! Apparently this gives off unconscious signals to the Interviewer that you are already part of the team!
And if all that isn’t enough, please see below some recommended resources:
Job search engine: www.indeed.com
Get networking on Linked In www.linkedin.com
Book recommendation: 60 Seconds and You’re Hired! By Robyn Ryan
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