Article by Nikki Childers | esPResso Staff Writer
The job application process can be hectic, but knowing how to properly job prospect and prepare for an interview is all part of the secret. Having a solid resume is just the first step of the job application process. It is vital to not show up to an interview with just copies of your resume. Having a portfolio, or additional pieces of work that you can proudly talk about, is what will set you apart from the competition.
If your resume is longer than two pages, make sure to condense it into one. That is, unless you’re a seasoned executive, then by all means show off your experience. These seven tips below are based off personal experience and links from industry experts.
Prospect, prospect, prospect.
Having a good idea of what sector or industry you would like to work for is a great place to start. No goal is too lofty, but do not limit your job search. Apply to multiple companies for best results. The reality is, most people will not land their dream job upon graduation. Communication jobs can potentially be slower than other fields.
It is okay to hear the word ‘no’.
Do not become discouraged by hearing the word ‘no’. Let this act as a motivator, because each interview opportunity serves as a learning experience. Remember to still show professionalism and thank your interviewer for their consideration. Hiring managers within the same industry communicate, and the last thing you want to do is tarnish your personal brand out of bitterness.
Do not just sound great on paper, know how to verbally pitch your self-worth.
Have an elevator pitch, and be ready to sell your personal brand in a matter of 60 seconds or less. The possibility of running into a future employment opportunity could happen anywhere and at any moment. Often times people will memorize their resume, but fail to be able to translate that into a persuasive and quick overview of who they are to another person. Remember, this answer varies slightly from the one you would give in the beginning of an interview. An elevator pitch can sometimes be the one shot to land that perfect work opportunity, without having the intention. For further tips, check out mindtools on how to craft an elevator pitch.
Show your interviewer enthusiasm.
You received the call for an interview, and now here is your chance to shine. Now and again, nerves can take over, and our natural response is to either talk too much, or not at all. In the case of an interview, it’s important to stay composed with your interviewer. That includes: knowing about the company, making sure to smile and maintaining eye contact.
Always have a weakness and ask follow-up questions.
When asked, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Never say you do not have any weaknesses. The best solution is to mention your weaknesses, then verbally illustrate how they can be turned into a strength. Most interviewers will end the interview with asking if you have any questions, hint, always say yes. Mentally prepare a list of questions to ask prior. If your questions happen to be answered during the interview, that’s okay. As an alternative, ask your interviewer questions in regards to something they mentioned during the interview. This will show retention and alertness. For further tips on interview etiquette check out: vanderbilt.edu.
Always send a thank you letter after an interview.
Time is of value to everyone, but writing a handwritten thank you letter is more personable and memorable than an email. Bring a blank thank you card with you and after the interview go to a nearby café and fill out the card. Job search websites like Monster, can help craft that perfect letter. Be sure to include something you took away from the interview, to show you were listening and interested. Then confidently place the card in the nearest postbox, for guaranteed speedy delivery.
Congratulations, you received an offer, now what?
When a job offer presents itself, give careful consideration, and inform the employer that you would like some time to consider the offer. Even if it’s not your first choice, or even fourth choice, be careful with turning down one job, to wait and hear from another. You would not want to burn multiple bridges. Overall, simply be confident and follow these tips, and the right job will come along.
Photo credited by Wikimedia.