As employers ramp up their 2014 hiring, the question is: are you the one who they are going to hire this year?
In order to make yourself the most desirable applicant in this market there are a few things that you can do:
1) Brush up on your technological skills. Websites like: lynda.com and youtube.com offer great tutorials, as do the Microsoft Store and recruiters who can often provide complimentary tutorials as well. They can all be a great resource for you in enhancing your preexisting skills.
2) Check your attitude at the door. Some of the best applicants I have come across on paper wind up being passed on because of their less than stellar attitudes. Check in with the people around you. Ask them how you occur for them and what their first impression was of you. This is a good way to get a sense of whether you are someone who others want to be around and work with or not. If you are not someone who others respect and want to be around, perhaps look into a self development class such as http://www.landmarkeducation.com or http://www.understandmen.com
3) Work on your presentation. You do not need to run out and buy an Armani suit to impress, but you certainly should have a pressed, polished and professional suit for any interview (preferably in black, navy or grey). Additionally, work with a buddy or coach on your physical presentation during the interview such as your body language and eye contact. Finally, practice those tricky interview questions in advance of the interview and most importantly, remember to breath and pause for emphasis. Toastmasters can be a great resource for enhancing your speaking skills or you can also check out other methods on increasing confidence in your speaking such as: http://www.vocalawareness.com/
Remember that it is your SKILLS multiplied by your ATTITUDE that will land you the job, but what you say or do during the interview, can just as easily cost you the job.
I was recently asked how to be effective at interacting with people who you are connected to on your various social media accounts. Below is a synopsis of the 30/30/30 rule that will have you be more effective at interacting with the people who you are connected to:
Social media is quickly becoming more and more accessible to employers to do their research on you before you even go in for an interview. Technically, employers are not “supposed” to check you out on your various social media sites, but let us be honest, they do!
YES! Many people think that the holidays are the worst time of year to look for a position because everyone is on vacation and/or waiting for their holiday bonus. I have found the contrary to be true. Some of my best months as a recruiter have been in the months of November and December. I attribute this to not “giving up” around the holidays. By giving up, I am referring to the many job seekers and recruiters who give up because they think that it is a bad time of year to look for a new position.
I find the opposite is true because so few people are looking that there is a much smaller and more select pool of candidates who are available to employers during this time, which actually makes it easier to find a job around the holidays. The employers are typically much more flexible about start date, salary etc… because of how hard it is to find good people around the holidays. If you are willing to be proactive and give up some of your holiday parties, which are also a great excuse to get out of the office for an interview, the holidays can be your best ally for finding your next position.
- Refuse to test
- Complain about the application and/or refuse to fill out the application
- No show for an interview without being in communication
- Lie on your resume, on your application or during your interview
- Complain to HR or complain to company representatives about anything related to interview process
- Not respond to phone calls and be hard to reach/only respond via email or text
- Walk out on an interview
- Make unwanted advances/inappropriate conduct towards people in the office
- Yell or scream or cuss at your recruiter or company representative
- Contact a company directly about why they didn’t hire you and/or pester your recruiter or the company for feedback
If you have ever worked with an attorney or known an attorney, you are more than likely aware of how critical evidence is to an attorney’s ability to win a case. I have yet to meet an attorney who was able to win a case without strong evidence. So what does job hunting have to do with evidence? EVERYTHING! Just like an attorney would never base his or her case on a client being a “great guy,” you as a job seeker cannot rely on how hard working or fabulous you are if you are not willing to give evidence to support your claims.
How can a job seeker put together evidence to make their case stronger as to why an employer should hire them?
- A job seeker should begin by putting together a list of their top five to ten characteristics or traits that make them a good candidate for a position. These things could include: being hardworking, good at dealing with difficult personalities, analytical, loyal etc..
- Next, the job seeker should come up with a piece of evidence that substantiates each of those characteristics that would have an employer want to hire them. For example, if you say that you are hard working, give an example of where you worked straight through the weekend.
- Finally, these pieces of evidence should include examples of that job seeker’s PEP (Productivity, Efficiency and Performance-where have they increased their PEP and the PEP of their company and tie in their evidence of where they have enhanced it in the past). An example would be that in less than six months, you increased the company’s revenue by 10% in your region.
As we all know, no attorney has ever won a case without proper preparation. In continuing our conversation of how being effective at interviewing is like being an attorney, we now touch on why preparation is one of the three most critical elements to making your case stronger.
- NEVER list a degree, certificate or other verifiable education related document on your resume unless you can provide an authentic copy.
- TRIPLE check your dates, your title and your work history on your resume and on any application you might fill out.
- DO NOT say or do anything that you cannot support with actions later. If you say you “know” how to do an Excel pivot table, you better be able to produce results the first time you are asked, otherwise, you are asking to be fired.