Are you one of the 5.5 million people who left their jobs in December of 2018? Are you trying to take advantage of the 7.3 million job openings reported over the same period? Whatever your situation, the fact remains that there has never been a better time to be a candidate. With such a competitive market, workers across the country are leaving their old roles for new opportunities. Before you set out on your job search, it’s best to revisit some basics you may have forgotten.
This one is so obvious it seems laughable, but it goes further than one would initially assume. When you arrive at a job interview, talk with the office administrator or secretary for a few minutes instead of burying your head in your phone. Being open and friendly to everyone leaves a lasting impression. You never know who is watching, or who’s opinion will play a large part in your hiring decision. If you have the skills and experience, any indication that you are enjoyable to be around will set you apart from the competition.
To kick off the actual interview, always shake hands and introduce yourself to the people conducting the meeting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout – even about seemingly simple things. Do you mind if I take off my jacket? Would it be okay if I took notes? Throughout the interview, be sure to maintain eye contact and remain engaged in conversation.
Update Your Credentials
Pay special attention if it has been a while since your last job search. You must re-evaluate your resume. First of all, remove any information that is irrelevant or unnecessary. Items like a personal address or being an expert in Microsoft Word have become dated. (You can read more about what not to put on your resume, here.) You should also update your resume with any new skills or experiences you have obtained since you last searched for a job.
Remember to review any references you’ve listed, ensuring contact information is up to date, and reach out so they know someone may be contacting them. You should repeat the steps listed above online on your LinkedIn account. If you are unfamiliar with LinkedIn, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Click here to learn more about the best practices for your LinkedIn profile. Also, remember to review any other social media accounts. A potential employer will likely research their candidates to the best of their ability, and this often begins with personal social media accounts. Now is the best time to un-tag yourself from that embarrassing photo!
Last, but certainly not least, be you! Be polite, be professional, but don’t be a robot. While relevant skills and experiences are a necessity, your potential employer is searching for other traits too. Companies are beginning to value culture fit and soft skills more and more. Ultimately, your personality is what will likely tip the scales in your favor, and land you the job. It’s one thing to be capable of the work; it’s another to be someone that people want to work with and be around.