For job seekers unexperienced in the search for their next position, it can be hard to know what helps and hurts their cases with employers. By avoiding common missteps, it'll be easier than ever to bring your search to a quick and fruitful end.
While your resume is an important part of the hiring process, it shouldn't be the only focal point of your search, according to St. Louis Today. Instead of relying on copies of your resume to find a job, networking and speaking with as many people as possible will give them a more realistic picture of your personality and your abilities. First impressions are vital, and speaking with someone will look a lot better than simply handing them a piece of paper and walking away.
Appearing open to many positions is not a bad idea, but when you're speaking with contacts without a clear goal you're looking to reach, you're hurting their ability to help you. Instead, center your focus and let your network know what you're looking for. That way, you'll know how to approach future opportunities.
Additionally, networking isn't just letting the people you know find the right position for you. Many people who are willing to help will want a two-way street in their interactions with you, so it's important to develop relationships, not just references or contacts, out of your network. Relationships can be mutually beneficial, so there's no reason not to assist others as much as you desire to be assisted.
Use social media the right way
Social media has grown to become one of the most important tools to help you job hunt, but it can only do so much. Many people look to expand their networks without thinking of how different people can help their cause, which can lead to a bloated profile that can't really become as efficient as it needs to be. Instead, shaping your LinkedIn and other profiles to fit the values that suit you will drastically improve your networking abilities, as you'll be able to aim your sights at professionals who can clearly help. Being proactive also beats waiting around on the website. Use your connections instead of letting them collect dust.
Just hearing about opportunities second-hand won't effectively give you any advantages, either, according to The Week. Making connections at the companies you're most interested in working with is vital to attaining a valuable foot in the door. Recommended tactics include attending events the company is participating in, as they'll be less inclusive than large networking events and let you center your approach on one company.
Have an elevator speech
You know your skills can provide invaluable help to the company you're looking to join. Know how to express that. Preparing an "elevator speech," a clear and concise speech that can get your story out in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator, can be invaluable, as you'll never know where an incredible job opportunity will come from and preparation will help you fight any anxiety that raises its head. It can be trying to explain your interest in a job in less than a minute, but practice makes perfect, and perfect lands the position.
At the same time, know your limits. Not every job listing is the right connection for a given person, so using a scattershot approach for applications without carefully checking its requirements and preferred candidates may leave you chasing impossible positions with little knowledge of why you aren't getting called back. Being judicious about which job postings sound right for you will be a big plus when it comes to the next step.