Five Tips for Beginning Your Job Hunt
Whether you are new to the job market or looking for a career change, kicking off a job hunt can be overwhelming. Between putting the spotlight on the right accomplishments and maintaining a professional appearance, there are many hidden challenges that can catch you off guard.
Luckily, the right preparation will help you overcome these challenges as you meet them. Today, we will be looking at five ways you can prepare for the job hunt.
1. Save job postings
Job postings are your home-base for information in the application process. As soon as you apply for a position, you should save the posting (even if you must cut and paste it into Word).
Not only will you want to read though the posting before and after crafting your résumé, but you will want to be able to refresh yourself if you are called in for an interview.
2. Create a research sheet
Being well-informed can distinguish you from the rest of the candidate pool. Make sure you research the organization behind each job posting as well as your own prospective position. You can make this process easier by creating a list of standard questions. This list should include questions like
- When was this organization founded and by whom?
- What is the organization’s mission statement?
- What product or service does the organization provide?
- What is the organization’s most notable accomplishments?
- Are there any media publications about the organization?
- How does your position help the organization achieve its goals?
These questions should provide you with a reliable baseline of information. Depending on how concentrated your job hunt is, your research questions may be more specialized.
Answering these questions, however you may craft them, should help you easily describe the organization and your role within it.
3. Prepare your wardrobe
Part of fitting in to a workplace’s culture is dressing the part. In general, it is best to dress a notch above the office’s standard attire when attending an interview. Depending on how wide your job search is, you may have to have a few different outfits to match your prospective employers.
Indeed.com has a great starter’s guide that can walk you through the various stages of business and causal attire you may come across. Whatever outfit you decide on, make sure it is clean, wrinkle-free and well-fitting.
4. Update your LinkedIn
If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure to keep it updated. Make sure the work history and education sections on your profile matches your résumé. If you have completed any relevant LinkedIn Learning courses, ensure the certificates are on your profile.
You do not need to spend your time meticulously crafting the perfect LinkedIn profile. You do, however, want to make sure your public profile backs up the qualifications outlined in your application.
5. Prepare for general questions
While each organization will have its own questions for you, there are some common questions that can catch you off guard. These can include
- What are your biggest strengths/weaknesses?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- What about our position appeals to you?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
Take some time to reflect on these questions and find answers that point to your qualities as a candidate.