All of us, at some point in time, will be looking for a new career, a new opportunity to express our talents and desire to work for a great company. What we often are not prepared for is how to search for that new opportunity. We have been conditioned to immediately go to the internet and peruse the job boards. We find ourselves sending our applications into a “black hole” and are frustrated when we are left wondering why we did not get that call back from the employer.
We need to break that cycle and learn more about how to be effective when searching for a new career.
When searching for a new career, we need to realize that it takes time, our search needs to be individually tailored and that we need to be on our A-game for all of the upcoming interviews!
Identifying Your Career Path:
We all need to start the search by identifying what we would like to do for a career. Think about this in both general and specific terms.
Do we want a career where we work with people?
Great! In what capacity?
Do we crave a position that allows us to use our analytical mind?
The list can go on and on, but it is important to know what motivates you and gets you excited about going into work every day. This is where you need to start and it should help you realize what types of positions you need to go after!
Understanding and Selling Your Strengths:
Once you have this piece established, you need to understand why you are qualified for this type of career. You need to highlight your experience, your core characteristics and any other strengths on your resume or LinkedIn profile. You must show an employer why they should call you. Your resume is your paper sales pitch and it needs to shine with your best experience, actions and successes.
Be Ready for that Call:
Now that you are applying to the right types of careers and have a resume that speaks to your strengths for those opportunities, you should start seeing more activity with your applications. Fielding calls from recruiters is exciting (and a little nerve wracking too!) You need to be ready at the drop of a hat to introduce yourself and give that quick pitch on why you applied to and are qualified for the position.
Most people are not ready for this call; that is a huge mistake.
You need to know where you applied and why you applied to all positions. If you are not ready to answer the call, let it go to voicemail and then return the call as soon as you are ready to discuss the opportunity. This introductory call will be your first conversation with the company, so you need to be poised and ready to sell your interest and qualifications for the position. A great first call will almost always lead to a more structured interview with the employer!
Prepare for the Interview:
Whether you are having a phone, Skype or in-person interview, you need to be prepared and show genuine excitement for the interview opportunity. As a recruiter, I have talked to thousands of candidates and would venture to say that over 30% of people are not adequately prepared for an interview. Lack of preparation will always result in a declination.
You need to make sure to research the company and the position, while at the same time relating your experience to the opportunity. You also need to show enthusiasm for the role and let your personality shine through. You need to do these things because employers hire for job fit, culture fit and motivation fit. This means that we are likely going to ask questions around all three topics. We want to learn about you from your experiences, so make sure to share great stories, great successes and be ready to even share some of your challenges.
Additionally, you need to make sure to have some good questions prepared for the interview. Once completed, make sure to thank everyone involved for their time and follow up with thank you emails or hand written notes – We love it!
We know that the search can seem like a daunting task, but making sure that your search is targeted instead of wide-open will give you a great starting point. You can build your resume and tailor your interviews around who you are as a person and how your experience will benefit the team. Trust in your experience and be ready to sell yourself because if you don’t, who will?
Preparation equals success; and success is yours for the taking!