You’ve been to interview after interview and still have no job. When your inbox is empty and your phone’s not ringing, it’s easy to feel like the air has been let out of your tires…well, it’s time to get pumped up!
As exhausting as the job hunt can be, it’s your job to stay upbeat and enthusiastic (in the interview chair, at least). After all, all it takes is one fantastic interview to end your savage search. Read on to discover the three steps of landing a job by taking a hiring manager’s breath away:
1) Get Your Mind Right:
Interview after interview you go through the same routine: you shake hands, answer the most common questions known to mankind, you might even wear the same suit. If the process has become routine for you, consider how vanilla it’s become for a hiring manager. With that being said, it’s time to get your mind right.
You’re not going on yet another interview, no way! You’re going on X interview, at X company, which fosters X culture and has an X attitude while holding up X ideals. The inputted variable here is to remind you that while each interview may be the same, each job and work environment is uniquely different. If you want to land a job (any job) then you’ve got to match your attitude, outlook and interview answers to the X job at hand.
Achieve this by taking one hour out of your life to research the job and company for which you are applying. Thanks to the sometimes-beautiful invention known as the Internet, you can find out a lot. Display your learned knowledge during your interview by working into the conversation tidbits about the evolution of the company, its mission and how you fit into it’s future.
2) Customize Your Resume:
Yes, you’ve got a standard resume with a standard objective. Do you know what your hiring manager has? A big ol’ stack of others just like it! By making the extra effort and tiny tweaks to your resume pre-interview, you can not only stand out from the crowd, but you can get the hiring manager to picture you as the position holder. Here’s how…
Before your next interview, open up your resume and get ready to add one very important line to each job experience you have listed. Each line should start:
This position taught me…
…and as you fill in the meat of those sentences apply them specifically to the job for which you are applying. For example, I’m a writer applying to a blogging job and my last job experience was as a special event manager. Completely unrelated, right? Wrong!
My sentence under that job description would look like this:
This job taught me how to stick to timelines and the importance of client-vendor-owner communication.
Interesting – while in my last job I was party planning, the tools I learned there (like sticking to a deadline and communicating well as a middle man) can be really helpful for a blogging position.
Take the added extra step to highlight these lines and provide a fresh copy for the hiring manager when you meet. Not only will the added lines afford those “unrelated” jobs a second glance, they are also a great jumping off point for you and your interviewer.
3) Provide a Plan of Action:
So, when you go on your next interview you’re going to pack a positive attitude, enthusiastic smile and a fresh resume…after all, that’s what most people bring. Hmm, see the problem here? The only way you are going to take a hiring manager’s breath away is if you stand out from the rest in an overwhelmingly positive way. How do you do that? Provide a plan of action.
Between the job description and the research you’ve already done on the company, chances are you can find some areas where you could bring improvement. Continuing with that last example of applying for a blogging position, I might research the current content that the company has produced and come into the interview prepared with formal suggestions of what I would bring to the position. I.e., “I love how insightful and thorough your current blogs are, I might suggest posing a question at the end of each though- as a way to increase audience interaction and in turn, their loyalty to your brand.”
No matter what kind of job you are applying for, with some creativity you can show where your value can and will be (once they hire you) inserted. If I’m going for a social media manager job, you bet your bottom dollar I’ve done my own research on their stats and platforms where they are lacking. If I’m going for a customer service job, you know I’ve already checked out customer reviews to find out the most common and recent complaints. It’s all about being creative, proactive and showing your initiative. No hiring manager is going to hold your hand and try to convince you to take a job. You’re the one who wants it, so get hungry and prove just how ready you are to dive in!
Despite how discouraging the job hunt can be (and trust us, we’ve all cried in our pajamas in between jobs on a Tuesday afternoon) you’ve got to pull it together for the 30-minute interview. Get excited and make the extra effort that will get a hiring manager to remember your face. At the end of his or her day the person who did their research, showed their commitment and found a way to fit in is the person who is going to get a call back. Put in the time and necessary extra work now, and let that person be you.