This is follow-up to author's Examiner.com article, "10 Job Search Pitfalls: #4 Is a No-Brainer"
Pitfall Cure #1:
Today’s job search requires a strategy, that’s undeniable. To drive that strategy towards success you must develop a propulsive plan of: (1) identifying your options; (2) managing your Brand; (3) leveraging relationships. These steps comprise the skill-set necessary for today’s informed job-seeker. To neglect any one of these components sets in motion the foiling of a promising job search. To simply apply for jobs has become the least effective way to get a job today.
Pitfall Cure #2:
There’s a broader issue at stake beyond tangible job search tools in the pursuit of your next job. That you’ve qualified for an interview with a particular Employer means there is a semblance of confidence in your competence already. Competence, however, isn’t the only consideration. In the article, ‘Likeonomics’: Will Being Likable Make You More Employable? the author notes that being likable has become a bankable and powerful commodity in today's technology-driven world.
Keep in mind that the interviewer is assessing - consciously or unconsciously - whether you are someone who can be lived with for eight hours a day. Hiring managers want to like (or at least identify with) who they hire. Wouldn’t you?
Pitfall Cure #3:
Like major companies and products, building and protecting your verbal, written and visual Brand is of foremost consideration. It’s no stretch of the imagination to recognize that Employers have the luxury of choosing from a pool of typically qualified applicants. It is then that considered distinctions tend to come into play. You might think yours is the cleverest answering machine message this side of a James Bond film. The Employer, on the other hand, is probably wondering which one of the characters from Dumb and Dumber is he dealing with? Just because you’re not working does not mean that your professional self is on hiatus.
Pitfall Cure #4:
First impressions are indeed important; you know that. What we sometimes fail to consider is that the email address helps to create the first mental impression the Employer will develop about a prospective job-seeker. That’s a compelling realization, and hopefully potent enough for you to be mindful to own an email address worthy of being taken seriously.
Pitfall Cure #5:
Where and when you “toot your own horn” is the discerning consideration to not coming across as an arrogant blow-hard. When in conversations with networking contacts and potential Employers is the time for promoting your skills and strengths – and how those skills and strengths have impacted companies throughout your career. So, the purpose of the discussion is the driving consideration behind marketing your skills and strengths. If you’re brow-beating everyone at your backyard barbeque about how fabulous you are (and how your company can’t make it without you), that’s bragging. Stop it. Promoting vs. bragging - they’re not the same thing.
Pitfall Cure #6:
Let’s look at the situation from another perspective. What’s the opposite of “research?” Ignorance. Not knowing anything about the company? Same thing.
Pitfall Cure #7:
One particular point in Pitfall #7 is worth repeating: To send an Employer a resume that’s basically a job description of 'I did this' and 'I did that' will get it heaved into the trash faster than a Spritz app. In order to get your foot in the company door, the resume needs to be an accomplishments-driven vs. task-focused marketing tool with content that stresses Action / Results.
Pitfall Cure #8:
To diagnose and align is one prong of the two-pronged objective that you as a discerning job-seeker must not lose sight of throughout the interview (the other prong being to make evident your qualifications for the job). Asking diagnostic questions enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert, with the added value of putting you in shared control of the interview process. Thus, all the ‘power’ isn’t on the other side of the desk. The very act of asking diagnostic questions will elevate your self-confidence and fortify your composure.
Pitfall Cure #9:
This is the indispensable follow-up to Pitfall Cure #8, that you link what you have to offer directly to the identified needs of the Employer. To reiterate, when you hear the question “Why should we hire you?” think “What can you do for us?”
Pitfall Cure #10:
I’m very conscious of the intimidation that sales-related language and comparison might bring into the job search discussion. I ascribe to the thinking of astute sales professionals who hold to the idea that closing a sale should take place only after the customer’s needs and questions have been addressed. Thus, to expend the effort of nailing the interview without closing the deal is enormously counter-productive.
In today’s environment Employers are able to be very picky, very choosy...it is, after all, a Buyer's Market. Employers don’t have to settle for average, and they know that. You would do well to know that too.
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