Even in tough times, the goal is to find a job that is the best fit you can find within the time you can afford to keep looking. To do that, you must let prospective employers know what they need to know, and you must learn from them what you need to know. Here are some tips for doing just that.
- Polish your phone interview skills
- Phone interviews are more common now because employers have so many candidates to choose from. Practice answering questions, record yourself, and listen to the recording. If the interviewer isn't a prospective supervisor or co-worker, fret not about the interviewer's manner or style. Reflect on the interview afterwards. What did you learn? Get tips from the Web.
- Polish your in-person interview skills
- Convince the interviewer that you're able and likable. Practicing and reviewing video are very helpful, but preparing responses for anticipated topics is essential. Get tips for enhancing performance in face-to-face interviews.
- Have a dynamite resume
- Customize your resume to every opportunity. Promote your assets, but don't try to defend liabilities. Get tips for resume writing.
- Prepare for interviews
- Most people peruse a company's Web site before interviewing, and some even read relevant news stories, but that's just a start. When preparing, use Web search or business and social networking sites to find whatever you can about the people who will be interviewing you. They'll be doing the same about you.
- Clean up your social or business networking act
- Get a professional-sounding email address: Abraham.Lincoln[at]gmail.com, not HonestAbe271[at]gmail.com. If you already have social or business networking accounts in your name, clean them up to make them professional. Move any unprofessional content behind the "curtain" if there is one, or move it to another, more personal account.
- Clean up your email act
- If you've Customize your resume to
every opportunity. Promote
your assets, but don't
try to defend liabilities.been using a personal email address to contribute personal material to publicly visible Internet discussions, get a new address for job search purposes — something of the form <FirstName>.<LastName>[at]DomainName.com. This might be difficult if you have a common name, but try to avoid cuteness and numbers.
- Use email signatures to state your value proposition
- Use your email signature to broadcast your value proposition. Beyond your contact information, add a line or two about your assets. Have a signature on all devices from which you send mail. Consider having different email signatures for different situations.
During the mutual explorations that lead to the offer decision, instead of communicating your needs, communicate what you have to offer, and try to determine what they have to offer. The time for negotiating arrives when the offer arrives. Trying to negotiate before that — about duties or compensation or almost anything else — makes any offer less likely. First in this series Top Next Issue
Love the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!
For more on finding work in tough times, see "Finding Work in Tough Times: Strategy," Point Lookout for July 8, 2009; "Finding Work in Tough Times: Infrastructure," Point Lookout for July 15, 2009; and "Finding Work in Tough Times: Marketing," Point Lookout for July 22, 2009.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- When Your Boss Is a Micromanager
- If your boss is a micromanager, your life can be a seemingly endless misery of humiliation and frustration.
Changing your boss is one possible solution, but it's unlikely to succeed. What you can do
is change the way you experience the micromanagement.
- Think Before You PowerPoint
- Microsoft PowerPoint is a useful tool. Many of us use it daily to create presentations that guide meetings
or focus discussions. Like all tools, it can be abused — it can be a substitute for constructive
dialog, and even for thought. What can we do about PowerPoint abuse?
- The Hypothetical Trap
- Politicians know that answering hypothetical questions is dangerous, but it's equally dangerous for
managers and project managers to answer them in the project context. What's the problem? Why should
you be careful of the "What If?"
- Asking Brilliant Questions
- Your team is fortunate if you have even one teammate who regularly asks the questions that immediately
halt discussions and save months of wasted effort. But even if you don't have someone like that, everyone
can learn how to generate brilliant questions more often. Here's how.
- How to Find Lessons to Learn
- When we conduct Lessons Learned sessions, how can we ensure that we find all the important lessons to
be learned? Here's one method.
See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness for more related articles.
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- And on May 30: Chronic Peer Interrupters: I
- When making contributions to meeting discussions, we're sometimes interrupted. Often, the interruption is beneficial and saves time. But some people constantly interrupt their peers or near peers, disrespectfully, in a pattern that compromises meeting outcomes. How can we deal with chronic peer interrupters? Available here and by RSS on May 30.
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