Senior managers at major international firms were asked to give their top tips for job search. I have blended these together into one single list of recommendations.
- Network, network, and then network some more
- Do research about the industry and potential employers
- Network using all the tools available (personal network, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, attending industry events etc)
- Join professional associations—go to those networking and industry meetings
- Develop an “elevator pitch” to use at career fairs
- Have “informational” meetings with people you know in the industry
- Treat your job search as a full time job
- Be flexible – don’t bank on one particular opportunity. Have options that will allow you to feel in control of your future
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family, and your wider network to ask for help in landing a job
- Customize cover letters for each job you apply for
- Put together a good CV. Customise it to highlight specific skills, depending on the opportunity. Be specific, truthful, and ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. If possible, make it no longer than 2 pages.
Before the Interview
- Spend time preparing answers to questions that you can reasonably expect to be asked in an interview. Study the advert or job description for clues to the kinds of question that might come up
- Prepare stock answers that demonstrate your skills by referring to specific examples, acheivements and experience
- Find out everything you can about the employer before your interview
- If you know anyone who regularly interviews prospective new employees, ask them to give you a mock interview and get feedback on your CV and your interview style. This will improve your confidence and performance in real interview situations
- Develop your interview skills—use positive language, good eye contact, open body language, and show your enthusiasm
- Know how the job you are applying for fits into your longer-term career plans, and be ready to talk about your goals and aspirations
- Don’t be late—arrive 10 minutes early. Practice the route before the interview day if you are unsure where you are going
- Build a list of questions about the position you are interviewing for. If you don’t ask questions, you seem uninterested
In the Interview
- Be prepared to sell yourself—it’s not a time to be bashful
- Dress professionally and act professionally. Remember, everything counts!
- Be passionate! Smile and have good eye contact
- Listen and engage: Don’t just talk at the interviewer
- Be honest. Don’t try to give answers you think the interviewer wants to hear. Be yourself and don’t exaggerate
- Don’t bring up bad experiences or bad-mouth past employers
- Ask questions. You need to interview the company just as much as they need to interview you!
- At the end of the interview, ask the question, “Do you have any questions or concerns that would stop you from bringing me back for a second interview?”
- Demonstrate genuine interest in each job you interview for, finish the interview by expressing your interest in the role, and thank the interviewer for their time
- Afterwards, send a nice thank-you letter or email to the interviewers