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Looking for A Job? – 10 Things to Know Before Your Search

Searching for a job is often a stressful process that may take longer than you are willing to endure – especially if you are in a dire situation. Wouldn’t it be sweet if you knew some important preparations to make so your job search has a better of early success and less stress? This article explains 10 steps to take for your job search to be easier.

Develop A Job Network

It has been proven through several surveys that networking is one of the best ways to find a job.  However, it can also be intimidating as sometimes one feels embarrassed to appear desperate or in need of a job, especially if the person you are looking to include in your job network isn’t someone you want to discuss job matters with. But you can still find plenty of people that you won’t feel embarrassed to ask for their help in finding a job.

Sometimes the people you meet, that is, the person that might help you find a job may not be one you ever considered can be a network. Many have gotten a job through people they met for the first time and started a conversation which led to one person disclosing their skills or need for a job and the other remembers to recommend them to an employer when a position pops up.

But if your job search through networking must be effective, you must make a conscious effort to develop such networks. There are many ways to develop a network.

First build contacts like friends, families, colleague alumni, neighbors, and anyone in a position to recommend you. Also, attend as many networking events as you can and make use of the visual networks online to get many contacts right from the comfort of your home or office. Make it a priority to know as many people as possible in your field.  And maintained contact with them through phone or email.  Also, remind your network from time to time regarding your need for a job and they are likely to remember you when a position appears.

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

We spend a huge part of our lives on the internet with some people spending as much as 5 hours or more a day chatting or reading stuff on social media. While social media is fun and brings a lot of convenience to our lives like finding new people, keeping in touch with friends and family, shopping from the comfort of our homes and offices; it can also be a hindrance in a job search. There are many accounts of people who sabotage a job opportunity by acting irresponsibly on social media. Stories abound about people losing jobs after sticking their foot in their mouth on social media.

When looking for a job you need to look at your social media account thoroughly before applying.

  • If there’s an option for that, make your account private. This ensures that you can share content only with the people your trust or want them to see. This feature is available for both Facebook and Instagram but other social media platforms like Twitter do not allow you to make an account private. In such cases, you need to do some deleting.
  • Delete unwanted posts or photos: The process can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort especially if you have plenty of content as you need to follow them one after the other.
  • Google yourself to see what the internet says about you: Search the name you intend to use professionally and go through the results that pop up.
  • Deactivate accounts you no longer use: and also update the details about your active social media accounts that require an update.

Have A Strong Resume or CV

A resume or CV is the first thing employers are likely to request. Depending on what they see in your resume or CV, they may approve or reject your application. You want to have every critical information mentioned in the resume.

The format for CVs change all the time, and just because your CV worked some years ago doesn’t me it’s still optimal today. Many jobs advertised on job boards have CVs or resumes as a requirement among others.

Prepare Well for an Interview

You might work hard to prepare for a job by taking several preliminary steps including the ones discussed above, and then screw up everything in the interview. That’s why you must prepare well for an interview before presenting yourself to an interviewer.

Before applying for a job you must have gone through the job description and satisfied yourself that you are qualified for the position, in education, experience, and skill.  So before going for an interview, make sure to review the job description thoroughly and be certain that you meet the requirements because the more you are familiar with the details the more an employer is likely to be convinced that you are qualified for it.

Job descriptions can give you an idea about the questions that an employer is likely to ask and help you prepare for an answer because you don’t want to go into an interview and stumble over answering questions employers deem necessary for anyone to have that job. Do some extensive research on the role you are supposed to play, like the job positions, and research the company’s values, products or services. It is not necessary to understand every details about each product but you need to get yourself familiar with the type of product and services the company offers.

You might also go the extra mile and request a sample of the products to get familiar with the it from the customer’s perspective. The more you can tell an employer about his product and services and how customers are reacting to it, likelier you are to be favored. Pretty much every company has a social media presence or a blog where they describe their missions and objectives. And this helps you have a deeper understanding of the company and you are more likely to align your goals with that of the company especially if you are asked about it in an interview.

Prepare to answer questions about yourself like who you are, what you do, and what you want. This does not mean that you should try to envision every kind of question and employer is likely to ask, but there are some basic questions that every interviewee should expect at some point. For example, they may ask why you want to work at the company, what contributions you can make, what your strengths are, and so on.

Practice speaking and perfect your body language. The way you speak and your body language can make a positive and lasting impression on an employer. So practice to speak with confidence, a strong voice, and a neutral body language. In many instances, speaking and body language will come naturally to you, that’s if you’re not trying to fake it. You could practice this with some friends or family members you trust in front of a mirror, and pay special attention to your expression, smile, and stride, because the wrong expression can make you come off as insincere, insecure, or lacking confidence. For example, putting up a smile that does not reach your eyes is a clear sign of insincerity

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Be Patient After an Interview

Typically, the way job interviews work is you should expect some delay before a company calls you back even if they promise to do so within a week. Sometimes you may even have to take another interview before they finally decide on your suitability for the job. Some companies even give you a trial before you’re fully employed, where they assess your performance to see how capable you are for the job. This probationary employment can last anywhere from an hour to months depending on what the company feels is necessary to fully test your capability. So you must be patient throughout the whole process even if the company requires you to complete three or four steps of an interview and other screening activities before they finally decide. Do not appear desperate

Keep an Open Mind

Nowadays, the job market can be a bit of a nightmare for job seekers due to the sheer level of competition and the rise of the gig economy. Many full-time jobs are being reduced to freelance or part-time jobs in an effort by companies to cut costs due to intensive competition across all Industries. For example, your major skill might not be given the name you are used to and you might have to even share the task with a team, resulting in Lower salaries.

What I mean by keeping an open mind is that you should expect anything in the job market today – low wages, task overload, or boring tasks.  So having a mindset that there’s a possibility to be landed with a low-paid job prepares you for the worst. With an open wind, you won’t despair about a job, and that opens you up to other opportunities like promotion in the long run or increase in wages. Many times, jobs that appear low-paid at first turns out to be a blessing in the long run.

Expect Competition

Do not go to a job interview with the mindset that you are the only candidate or just a few of you. Sometimes you reach the venue and see a queue of people waiting to be interviewed for the same job you’re applying for.  This unexpected realization can affect your confidence and the ability to perform well during the interview. On the other hand, if you proceed to a job interview having in mind that you could be competing with plenty of other applicants, you are not likely to be surprised by seeing a long queue, and you will probably prepare even better from home, considering that you expect any level of competition. For you to win a competition, you must have prepared better than your competitors and outperform them in the interview

Do Not Take Disappointments Personal

What a lot of people struggle with nowadays is the encouragement to continue searching for a job after a lot of failures.  You must not take failures personal because it is the norm that companies delay or don’t even call you back after promising to do so. And a series of such experiences can weigh down on your confidence and zeal in searching for a job. When you lose confidence in your ability to find a job, you won’t have the strength to continue growing your network or regularly visit job boards for new positions on offer.

Not taking things personal helps you such that if you miss a job, you won’t worry about it and that doesn’t affect your energy to search for the next job. Bear in mind that you are not the only person looking for a job and there are thousands or millions of your type who are in the same position or even worse. The fact that you haven’t gotten a job doesn’t mean you are alone in this or you can never be successful.  As a way to overcome discouragement, keep a set goal of the number of interviews you will participate in before taking a break in the search for a job. For example, you may decide to take 100 interviews before taking a break, but the chances are you won’t make up to that number before finding one.

Learn to Be Persuasive

As a job seeker, you must have strong persuasive skills. That’s because you are going to be competing with others and sometimes your ability to persuade an employer is what gets you the job. If your competitors have better persuasive skills than you, then they are likely to trump you in any job interview, especially if they have the same or better qualifications. Persuasive skills are not only limited to speaking. You will also be able to write very strong cover letters and perform better when negotiating a pay.

Read A Lot and Wide

By reading a lot and wide, I mean going after motivational books and authors, because there’s huge financial intelligence to be picked from these books or websites that publish such content. There are many blogs and websites run by motivational authors and institutions, and provide free guide and advices for entrepreneurs and job seekers. Also keeping busy by reading these resources help to mitigate depression and get you better prepared to find a job of your dream.

Finally, I have said a lot about preparing for a job search and there are a lot of other preparatory steps you can take. But the ones discussed in this article are among the most important and the reason why many job seekers fail. You may take each of these points and expand on them by exploring other sources. For example, about the CV, there are pages of resources to guide you on building the best CV for your qualifications. If you know of any preparatory steps for a job search not mentioned in this article, consider sharing it in the comment with other readers.

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