By: Ashira Prossack
Successful job seekers have a few things in common. In terms of character, they’re determined and they don’t give up. In terms of taking action, they put in the work to land a new job.
Make a great first impression.
Your absolute first impression on a hiring manager starts well before you meet them face to face. It’s your resume and cover letter that get the true first impression, so it’s important that you take the time to tailor both of these to the job you’re applying to. Avoid using fancy fonts, graphics, or too many colors, as these can be hard to read. Ensure that your resume is easy to skim and important information is listed first. For a cover letter, keep your paragraphs relatively short and put a space between each paragraph for easier reading.
The way you introduce yourself to the hiring manager sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Make direct eye contact, speak clearly, shake their hand, and mind your posture. You want to come across as self-assured and confident, not nervous or standoffish. The first impression will carry through the rest of the interview, so the stronger you can start out, the better.
Follow up after every single interview. This is non-negotiable, something you absolutely must do 100% of the time. It’s a gesture that showcases your professionalism and dedication to the job search. Even if you think the interview went poorly, send a follow up note anyway. Be sure to personalize your note with the hiring manager’s name, the position you interviewed for, and something that you took away from the interview. You can get creative here – follow up messages aren’t limited only to emails.
Ask meaningful questions during the interview.
During a job interview, you want to ask questions that will help you learn more about the role, the culture, the people, or the company itself. Ask open-ended questions that allow the hiring manager to provide you with details. Avoid questions that can be answered with just a yes or a no unless you’re simply seeking clarification.
Asking meaningful questions benefits you in two ways. One, it shows that you’re actively engaged in learning more about the role. Two, you’re learning more about the role. It’s an easy win-win.
You need to research the company you’ll potentially be working for. This is imperative to do before a job interview, but that’s not the only time you should be doing research. Before you apply for a position, it’s always helpful to find out a few details about the position, like potential salary range and company reviews. Sometimes a position isn’t what it looks like in the job advertisement, and by doing a bit of quick research you could save yourself the time of applying to a position you ultimately wouldn’t want.
Before a job interview, you’ll want to scour the internet to find out as much as you can about the company. This allows you to get a better sense of the company culture and what working there might be like. It also helps you think of questions to ask during your interview.
Utilize your network.
Your network is your strongest asset. You can tap into your network to get a direct connection to a hiring manager, help you prepare for an interview, and get advice and feedback. Companies value recommendations, so having someone from your network make a direct connection increases your chance of your resume actually being seen by a person and turning into an interview. You never know who might be able to help, so put yourself out there and ask for what you need.