Looking for a job can be stressful especially because it seems like a full time job in itself. Setting up your resume, personalizing cover letters, contacting recruiters and applying for jobs is so much work. I believe there is a science behind job seeking; you have to get creative to stand out from the competition. When you don’t have a job it’s even more complicated because you are desperately hoping to get called to interview and that it will be followed by an offer. When seeking a new opportunity, it’s easy for your spirits to come down when you’re out of a job, not being invited for interviews or not receiving the offers you are hoping for. You also don’t want the negativity to affect how potential employers perceive you. If you catch yourself being in any of these scenarios, here are a few tips to keep the “blues” away when you start feeling discouraged.
- Ask for feedback
If you’ve been on the market for a while maybe it’s time to ask for feedback from a former boss or a recruiter you’ve worked with. Ask them for specific constructive feedback and ask if you can practice interviewing with them. I’ve been the interviewee and interviewer enough to know what qualities employers are looking for. Are you coming off too strong? Are you too nervous? Do you lack self-confidence? Are you not asking the right questions? If you are expressing these qualities during an interview, it could potentially cause you from receiving any job offers. When you take the time to practice with someone, they will be able to tell you where you could use improvement.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
Don’t be afraid to contact your network and ask for referrals. I have witnessed many people score their dream job by asking for referrals. Ask your network if they know of any companies hiring in the industry you’re interested in through social media, email or text message. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help and will refer you. Plus, a lot of employers like to hire from within or through word of mouth. If you are coming in to interview with a good referral from their employee you already scored a few points.
- Take time to regroup and change your strategy
Have you been interviewing a lot without much progress? It might be time to change it up. Are you coming across as bored? Is your interview outfit too casual or not work appropriate? Are you rambling through your responses because you are so nervous? Prepare for your next interview with these pitfalls in mind. Start from scratch and work up new potential responses, make sure you have enthusiasm to your voice and use real life examples anytime you can. Also, pick a new outfit to interview in. Little changes like these will help you feel and come across as excited and engaged. Make every interview an opportunity to not only get a job, but to polish your interview skills and build your confidence.
- Set realistic expectations
Look back at the roles you are applying for. Do they meet your experience or are you striving for roles that may be out of your reach. If you are doing the latter it could lead to too much rejection and in turn will make you feel discouraged. Make sure you are going after roles that are an ideal fit for your background that way you will be guaranteed some call backs. If you are ready to make a career change and your background differs from the job you are seeking, do your research and find out what you need to do to attain a job in a different industry. If the new career change you’d like to go into is one you are passionate about, the excitement will naturally flow during your interviews. Employers want to recruit candidates like this.
- Do your research
If you know who will be interviewing you in advance try to find them on LinkedIn and look at their profile. People want to work with people they like, and discussing common interests with your interviewer is an effective and authentic way to start building the relationship. Make sure you read the job description many times and write down how your experience fits that role. Also do your research on the company you are interviewing for. One of the first questions your interviewee will ask is what you know about the company. You will lose points if you have no clue who they are especially because information is now only a click away.
Interviewing is a skill that is developed over time with practice and preparation. Start every interview with a firm handshake, look your best, be prepared with your research, bring copies of your resume, be prepared to ask questions and follow up with a thank-you. Setting yourself up for success is the first step in the process. Remember to stay positive even when the frustration of job searching gets the best of you. All of these emotions are part of the process but always remind yourself that all of those NO’s are only leading you to that YES you are searching for. Good luck!
P.S. What’s a blogpost on TCA without a #beautyhack. If you are someone who naturally has sweaty palms, keep a small bottle of baby powder and tissue in your purse. Right before you walk into the interview pour powder on your hands, rub your hands together to soak up the sweat and clean the residue with tissue. This hack guarantees you won’t feel insecure when you shake hands with your interviewers.
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