Finding a job these days is hard, especially in this era where the competition is so high that thousands are finding themselves unemployed daily. In such circumstances, finding a job can be a frustrating and painstaking experience. While applying for a job, it is important to note that first impressions are always the last ones. You also need to do some homework ahead of applying. There are lots of tools and websites that can help groom you for the application and the interview. If you are a job seeker, here are some best tips that would help you land a decent job, if not a dream one.
1. Do your homework
Before you apply in for any job, make sure you do your research about that company. Often times, the interviewers will ask you questions like “what suggestions would you make regarding our such and such service,” or “what new things would you bring to this company,” or worse yet, “what exactly does our company do?” It might seem obvious, but many people don’t know much about the company they’re applying to. For example, a person applying for a sales position in a software house wouldn’t know the exact area of expertise that house has. And interviewers love to ask off the topic questions to confuse candidates.
2. Create a good-looking resume
Now this might seem obvious, but many people over or under-estimate the importance of this step. Some people create resumes filled with colors, boxes, and even graphics. And while your resume needs to look good, it also needs to look professional. You don’t want to make it look like some kid made it for you in his art class. Nor do you want to send in a colorless, bland word document. Make proper use of formatting, and use coloring for maybe the major headings. But that’s about it! Don’t make your resume unprofessional.
3. Include your ZIP code
Sometimes, when applying to a local company, adding in your ZIP could tip the balance in your favors. Companies prefer if the can find talent locally, so that their employees don’t have to waste time commuting, or the company doesn’t have to provide them with residence. Local employees can also be called by phone at any time in case of an emergency. If they see your ZIP code on your resume or contact card, they might set it aside.
4. Build connections
Prior to your interview, it can always pay off if you can build some connections at the company. Dig out your college or high school contact book, and see if someone you know works there. You can also ask your seniors or teachers. Having a connection on your side will be a plus point for you.
5. Get active on social media
Start interacting with the company’s Facebook page and the people who run it. Like their posts, comment on them, ask questions, and so on. This shows that you are really interested in working for that company. And who knows who might be looking at the comments you make? It could be the interviewer himself.
Also, get active on social media and generate a following around you. A socially active person is appreciated by companies, since it can help with the marketing.
6. Send formal emails
Lots of people make this very basic mistake. They aren’t formal enough! They send in casual emails, with smileys and stuff. If you act casual, they will take you for granted and move on. Be formal, and show them that you mean business. Keep a professional tone in your writing, and make sure to use proper language and grammar.
7. Prepare your answers
There are some really common interview questions that every interviewer asks, such as “describe yourself briefly,” or “tell us about yourself,” or “why did you choose this company,” and so on. It wouldn’t do you much good to think of an answer on the spot. So look up some of the most common interview questions, and prepare for them. Also ask your friends or colleagues or someone within the company as to how things are done around there.
8. Arrive a little early
For an interview, you should always arrive early. Punctuality can be a factor when companies are looking for a job. Their view is that, if someone can’t show up on time for something as important as an interview, how are they going to arrive on time daily? Also, interviewers haven’t got all day. They have other people to interview as well. So going late gives a really bad impression.
9. Dress up formally
Always dress up formally. Look professional so that you can build up a personality, which gives a good first impression. Always dress up in neutral colors, nothing too flamboyant.
10. Accept a beverage
Sometimes, before an interview, the interviewer will ask you whether you’ll have a beverage such as tea, coffee or just water. Accept it graciously. These beverages can buy you some time when the interviewer asks you a tricky question. You can think of an answer between sips.
11. Be truthful
Don’t lie in the resume or on the interview about your skills. The hirers will find out eventually, and man you’ll be in a pickle then!
12. Don’t talk about money
Don’t talk about your salary, not at least at the start of the interview. The interviewer will bring it up himself. Until then, don’t seem too eager for the money.
13. Show your devotion
For any interviewer to seriously consider you, you need to show some interest in the job. Show them that you’d do almost anything to get this job, because you are passionate for it. Don’t let them know of any other places you might have applied. Tell them you think of it as a career, not a job you’d leave next year for a better one.
14. Keep your composure
Interviewers try their best to confuse and befuddle the candidates, so they can see how well the candidates performs under stress. Don’t let this get to you. Always keep calm, and look the interviewer(s) in the eye while speaking. Sit straight, and don’t act restless.
15. Follow up
And finally, follow up after your interview. Drop in an email later that day to say thank you, and also send follow-up emails to check on the status of your application.
These were some of the most important tips we had for you. Make sure you remember tham, and apply them to your own job search and interviews. Hope this helps. All the best 🙂