How do you get a second look from your potential employer? How do you make yourself stand out from other candidates? How do you make social media work for you? In this day and age, social media is viewed for news more than the local news. It seems as though people are turning to the internet for breaking news, unlike 15 years ago.
Everyone is using social media companies, investors, writers, activists, actors, ministers and the list goes on. This advantage we have over the previous generations should not be taken lightly. Use social media to work for you, while keeping in mind lessons to be learned from the “When ____ ____ goes wrong” videos.
Early into your career be sure to make every effort to stand out to potential prospects, by understanding what you bring to the table. My advice to you in the pursuit of your dream position, would be make a list of your skills. In relation to the position you are applying for and how potential employers will benefit from those skills.
Now, research the company you plan to apply with in depth. Learn all you can about their business structure, business goals, and their mission. Why is it important to have this information? Why is it important to list your core skills? Why is it important to have this information memorized before your first interview?
Market yourself on social media
With an increased labor pool, how will you stand out in this job market? One tool I like to use is social media. Now by social media, I am referring to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. Yes, Instagram. Some celebrities have done well posting pictures of themselves, in an attempt to stay relevant.
Social media has become a bigger tool to market yourself than your resume. Average employer spends about 30-second reviewing your resume. I would venture to guess at least 5 minutes is spent on your social media sites.
On Facebook post article related to your field of study. Like articles, photos, videos related to your fields of study. Tweet trends in your industry. Tweet pictures of individuals at the top of your industry. Interact publicly and socially with individuals on these platforms, who are making a difference in this industry.
While LinkedIn offers you a more professional setting, than say Twitter or Facebook. The key here is exposure. While you are marketing yourself be sure to remember potential employers can see what you post. If they choose to, and some choose to. Use these platforms to sell yourself, be honest, and show employers why they would be lucky to have you on their team.
Research, prep, and shine in the interview
Before you meet the person sitting across from you, in the interview, learn as much as you can about them. If you know their name look them up on LinkedIn. Find out a little about them as a person. This may help you relate to them in the interview. It is very important to visit the company website. I cannot stress this enough. Take 10-15 minutes and review the important information they have readily available for you to see.
Find out the mission of the company. Does the company mission line up with your personal mission? Does the company’s short/long term goals, reflect a direction you would to see your career take? Take notes, jot down questions as you view the website. Make an effort to impress in the interview.
Prepare in-depth for your meeting with your desired company. Having prepared tells the employer you are ready. In every company that I have worked for, they all want to you understand the company culture. They want to you be able to fit into that culture and excel.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Have you ever been told, “You are not a good fit for our company” or “You do not reflect an image our company would like to portray”, after the thoughts of suing pass, do you search inwardly to see what they were trying to say?
I believe in these times of self-reflection, we can actually learn why we do not meet some company’s standards. I have been told after an interview, that I was qualified for the hiring manager decided to go a different direction. What does that mean? I do not put much stock into comment as I do with trying to figure out what I could have done differently.
I remember walking into an interview very confident and with a ‘nothing to lose attitude’. Be careful that you do not come across overconfident. Focus your strengths, do not try to sell what you can learn.
By establishing up front your intentions once hired, the employer knows you are a serious candidate. Do not take it for granite the employer has looked over your resume. Tell the employer your skills. Brag a little about yourself, this may be your one and only chance to have the ear of this person. This also makes you feel good about yourself.
Be clear and concise
Challenge yourself, like a physical workout, stretch yourself until you unlock your full potential, in the interview process. Be organized, look the interviewer directly in the eye, sit up straight, be confident, and speak up.
You may find it helpful to Google search most common interview questions. Then, record yourself answering these questions. See what the interviewer sees. Practice your interview skills. Keep in mind the interview is the employer’s first impression of you.
The more you prepare the better you will become at the interviewing process. When asked questions you are not prepared to answer, answer it to the very best of your ability. Trust me, when you prepare you will be surprise what you remember. Be poised, keep your composure, and tell the interviewer how their goals line up with your personal goals.
Have your answers ready, don’t be uptight. Relax and conversate. Be cordial, use the manners you learned to impress. Take every opportunity serious. One opportunity can lead to another. Although this interaction may not be the right fit for both you and the company. Don’t be rude! The employer may know another position you may be a good fit for within the same company and refer you.
Take for instance Stephen Colbert, as the new host to replace David Letterman. Who saw this coming? Opportunities are happening every day. Will you be ready when opportunity comes knocking on your door? My humble advice is to stay on top of your game. This may sound easier than it actually is, but grow and learn as you go.