5 Tips to a Winning Job-Search Strategy
by Teena Rose
You can win your dream job. All you need are the right skills to do it. Fortunately, these are skills anyone can learn. All the job seeking experts recommend them. If you want to get your dream job, take some time to learn and master these five skills that will set you apart from the crowd and make you a much more desirable hire for any company executive with whom you interview.
1. Learn to Identify Your Main Strengths and Areas of Competence Knowing what you know the most about and are the best at doing is a crucial skill when looking for a job. This knowledge will help you identify the best job opportunities for you. Hiring managers will also usually ask you what your strengths are, and you need to have a ready and honest answer. If you don't know what you do best, going to a job search center and taking some aptitude tests will help you figure it out, and the counselors there will use the results to give you direction in your job search. According to the book, 10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search: Everything You Need to Get the Job of Your Dreams, by Todd Bermont, states that: "You will be amazed at how proud of yourself and more confident in your abilities and opportunities you become when you take the time to acknowledge your positives."
2. Determine Your Ideal Career Path Don't just think about entry-level job opportunities or positions at the same level of the one you just left. Think about where you want to go in your career. Do you want to stay in the same position forever, or do you want to advance to a higher level at some point? If so, what position is your ultimate career goal? Is it even in the same field, or are you using one field as a jumping off point for another. Most interviewers will ask you where you see yourself in five years (or a similar question). Having a ready answer will determine if the job you're interviewing for is right for you, or if the company can offer you what you want at some point down the road.
3. Tell the Interviewer Why You Should Be Hired Companies want to know what you can do for them. Before going to any job interview, find out all you can about the company and the job for which you are applying. Then, come up with a list of all the things about you that will make you perfect for the job, framing the list in terms of how your assets will be good for the company. Have these statements ready at the interview when asked to tell something about yourself.
4. Give a Professional Presentation Looking like you're already a professional gives you an edge in job interviews. Not only should you dress the part, you should take it a step further and have business cards made up with your title on them. Come up with any professional sounding title you like. The important thing is that the title is something that pertains to the jobs you've had in the past and sounds important. Hand these out at interviews and you will be taken much more seriously as a job candidate.
5. Use Gratitude to Your Advantage Many job guides advise you to send a thank you note to anyone who interviewed you. This is good advice, because most people don't do it. It makes you stand out from the crowd. Do a bit more, though, and send a thank you letter. Make it no longer than one page, and use it to express your gratitude for the interview and the interviewer's time and consideration. Also use it to remind the interviewer of who you are by including another business card and listing all the qualities that make you the ideal job candidate once again. This will make you unforgettable to the interviewer and much more likely to be the first candidate to come to mind when they're making their hiring decision.
Teena Rose is the lead resume writer and project coordinator at Resume to Referral, a highly recommended and referred career services firm.