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There are many considerations when looking for a job. What do you want to do? What are you qualified to do? What additional training do you need? Who do you know in the field or with the company you want to work in? What do the jobs pay in your chosen profession? Where are the jobs in your chosen profession? Will you have to relocate?
Once you’ve answered all of those questions, the fun begins.
Find a company with an open position, then get noticed!
Customize your resume for the position using keywords that align with the job description. Since so much recruiting is conducted online, keyword matches are more important than ever. If you know someone in the field or who works for the company, you can ask them for an informational interview to inquire about the organizational culture and what traits are important for a good fit. Follow the company’s application process.
You have an interview!
Now you must prepare. Learn about the company by doing online research. Read local newspaper articles, shareholder reports, press releases and online reviews to learn more about the company, its culture, history and priorities. Research the leadership team and become familiar with the organizational structure, tenure and focus of leadership. If the leadership team has public bios, read about their backgrounds and accomplishments.
Research the industry. Who are the company’s competitors? Who are their customers? What is their differentiator? Where have they found success and what setbacks has the company had?
LinkedIn can be a great tool for identifying people in your network with connections to the company. Proactively reach out to current employees and ask questions about the organization. Be prepared for behavioral interview questions and practice your answers. Be ready to ask intelligent questions. Plan your interview outfit so you look professional and also fit with the corporate culture.
Ask for the names and titles of those with whom you will be meeting. Ask about the format of the interview and any pre-work the organization would like you to complete.
It’s interview day!
Make sure you know where you are going and plan for any delays so you will arrive on time. Turn your phone off and keep it out of sight. Give a firm handshake and introduce yourself. Speak clearly and make eye contact. Answer all questions honestly and remain positive. Show the interviewer that you are excited about being a part of the team and making contributions to the organization. Be certain to inquire about next steps and the approximate timeline to manage expectations.
You made it through the interview!
Send a thank you note or email to everyone you met. Be sure to highlight your passion for the company and how you can add value. If you haven’t heard anything by the agreed upon timeline, you may want to place a follow-up call just to touch base. There are often delays that impact a decision, so be sure to remain patient and optimistic.
Finding the best job for you includes not only a career that suits your skills and personality, but also finding a company whose organizational culture is a good fit. Authenticity is essential, so be sure to present the best version of you so they will recognize the fit, too.