I often get emails and calls from youngsters eagerly seeking to enter the job market. Even though most of these enquirers have MBA degrees, finding a job in this market is still challenging for them.
Even though the economy is not particularly strong, one must bear in mind that companies are still hiring people, and these are many avenues for one to find a job.
Getting an interview is only the first step towards getting a job. During the course of several years of voluntary work, I have noticed that a number of candidates get a job interview, but due to lack of preparation, they fail to get the job.
Thus, I have compiled a few tips for those readers who are struggling to find a job.
- Make a list of companies that you would like to work for. Check the career section on their website. (Google alert is a good tool, use it)
- Make a list of companies you have applied to with the respective dates and the job references.
- Be prepared to write a follow-up letter.
- Prepare a master CV and tweak it a bit for each application to reflect the values of the company you are applying to.
- Research the company prior to going for an interview; visit their website, study their annual report, look at their hierarchical structure, and check relevant Linkedin profiles.
- Prepare a list of expected questions and practice answers to these questions.
- Prepare a list of questions that you wish to ask during the interview.
- For hidden job market leads, an immediate follow-up is important.
- Build a network with those searching for jobs. This helps in lead generation.
- Remain in contact with those how have been recently hired; there might be other opportunities in the same organization.
- Check your email at least twice a day and respond immediately.
- Engage in social media such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.
- Register on job portals.
- Dress professionally and appropriately for the position you are applying for -don’t overdress but don’t look informal.
- If you are a student with no prior work history, make a list of your hobbies, clubs you belong to, or sports you’re involved in. Show that you have strengths.
- Visit the company office a day prior to your interview to familiarize yourself with the location.
- Employers want to hire productive, positive individuals. Be positive, but do not play with your words. Always speak positively of former employers and co-workers no matter why you left, even if you were fired from your last job.
- Let the employer lead into any conversation about benefits. When discussing salary, always be flexible and avoid naming a specific salary.
- Close the interview on a positive note. If the employer does not offer you a job on the spot or say when you will hear from them, ask what their time frame is for making a decision.
- I recommend a brief thank you note to the interviewer.
Remember, the process of hiring has changed with the emergence of social media. Be ready to explore all the opportunities that come your way.