How To Get A Job In 8 Essential Steps

interview for job

Having worked in corporate America for over 15 years now, I have and continue to be on both sides of the table. I have been a hiring manager, as well as a job seeker. I’ve learned countless lessons on what works and what doesn’t work when trying to land a job.

How to Get a Job Fast

The tough answer here is that its not that easy to get a job fast. You can get a job with the right amount of preparation and consistency. You can learn from the mistakes you make when you don’t get an interview or when you are not qualified enough. Take those as lessons and slightly change course to adjust to that feedback. That is the fastest way to put you front and center for the job you want.

How to Get a Job With No Experience

If you are someone that has no real world experience, you can still list your skills and passions that make sense for the job you are seeking. Use the same skills and list them as bullet points in your resume of what you know and how you would apply them to a job. And when applying for various jobs, list out (in both resume and your cover letter) how you skills apply to the requirements of the position. You will be shocked to find out how much recruiters and hiring managers respect the hustle more years of fake experience. 🙂

Steps to Find Your Next Great Job

The following 8 steps cover the ultimate essentials in getting you that job. It all however lies within your preparation and gumption to do so.

1. Resume

You will need a resume for any job you apply. And first and foremost make sure you are telling the truth. There is no morality in fluffing up your resume just to get the job. If you do get the job in the end, you will put yourself in a position of comprise and also waste the time of those who gave you a chance.

  • Make sure all the information (including your contact information is accurate, clear and concise.
  • Don’t make your resume too long to read. Chunk it out enough that someone reading it can find the words they are looking for. According to LinkedIn, a recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds on average looking at a resume. Make those 6 seconds count.
  • Your skills and expertise should be top or center of the first page.
  • List your education and certifications in a very short and summarized manner at the end of your resume.

2. Cover Letter

While cover letters have been optional, it is in your advantage to create one. Make sure you are being specific about how the position you’re applying to is related to your previous experience. And make note of how you can help grow or advance the business. The cover letter is not a letter-form of your resume so do not regurgitate your resume. And never add your salary or compensation requirements in a cover letter. That leaves a bad taste for recruiters and definitely hiring managers. There are many online examples of cover letters and also professional services that can assist with both resumes and cover letters if that is not your strong suit.

Related: How to Negotiate Your Salary

3. List Your Resume on Job Boards

Make sure you have posted your most recent resume on all job boards. To get it exposed on various boards puts you a better position to get noticed and contacted. Also, make sure you have your profile made public. Job boards give you an option to be made public or private depending on what your needs are. If you are looking for a job, make sure your profile is public or else no recruiter will find you.

Related: 7 FREE Online Job Websites

4. Create a LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn has been swarming the recruiting industry recently. While I have never been a big fan of it myself, I have used it to compare a candidate’s profile to what they put down on their resume. So make sure you have a clean and truthful profile that complements your resume. As with your resume, make sure all the dates, timelines, and experiences line up and are accurate. If you have a photo on your LinkedIn, make sure it is a business casual, or professional photo. No photos of you hugging your pet!

5. Click with the Recruiter

Recruiters are your gateway to the hiring manager. If you are able to get your foot in the door with a recruiter, you will have got through half of the battle. However, leaving an impression on your recruiter is far more important than telling them about your experiences. The reason is because they are filtering through tens of resumes every day (if not more).

While you may have all the qualifications they need for the job, four other people could have it too. To stick out, try to ask them (not in a creepy way, gosh no) about anything non-job related. Make sure the conversation flows for this to happen so you are not abruptly asking them how their day is going while they just asked you why you’re a good fit for the job. This is somewhat of a skill I have used to train candidates who worked through me. It could be something you can practice on with a friend in a mock-interview.

6. The Interview

This is your ultimate chance of making that first and lasting impression. Prepare for this before hand. Do the following:

  1. Know your resume like the back of your hand. During an interview if the managers ask about a certain job a few years ago, you shouldn’t umm and hmm but be able to quickly recall the job and go over the question with ease.
  2. Prior to the interview, learn all you can about the company. Google has made this so much more easier these days, so you have no excuse in finding out everything about the company who is about to interview you.
  3. Make sure you are dressed for the part. No tardiness or inappropriate dress. You can find a few tips here on how to dress for an interview.
  4. Be calm. The one thing hiring managers do not like is the need to calm down their interviewees because they are stressed or sweating like crazy. Before you enter the room, take five minutes to compose yourself. This job would be great but it’s probably not a life or death situation. Stressing out will only cause your mind to be distracted and the interview panel to focus on helping you, versus learning about your experiences and skills.
  5. Do not be over-confident. Candidates who come in with this attitude have lost the interest of the interview panel within the first few minutes of interview. You may know a lot, but you do not know everything and no one wants to work with a know-it-all. You are looking to work with the panel, not entirely the other way around. Be humble, always.
  6. Always greet everyone on the interview panel (I once had 9 people), and always make sure you are “distributing” your eye contact with everyone when answering questions. People tend to look solely at the hiring manger and ignore the rest. That’s one way not to impress a panel of people who have a say in the ultimate decision. Make eye contact with one and all.
  7. Stick to the question. One of the things hiring managers frown on is if you are not answering the question that was asked. If you didn’t understand the question, do not talk your way out of it. Ask to repeat the question. “I’m sorry, I did not understand the question”, makes the panel happier than you blabbering on about something that was not asked.
  8. Keep the answers long enough for completion, but short enough to keep focus. I have seen candidates take over 10 minutes to answer one question. That is a no-no. If you cannot provide a succinct response in about 2 to 3 minutes, you’ve lost their attention. This is key in every interview, for every question.
  9. Always ask questions. The panel will give you a chance to ask questions at the end of the interview. Wait your turn, but always have about three questions you want to ask. Make sure they are related to the company or the position.
  10. Leave an impression. One of the reasons in-person interviews are important is because people get a clear sense of the personality and character of the person. Put your best foot forward, keep it light and make sure you leave the room energized, not drained. People like to work with those who are upbeat. The only way to let them know you are, is to make and leave that impression in the interview.

7. Post-Interview

Within 24 hours of the interview, send an thank you email to each and everyone on the panel including the recruiter who worked with you. If you didn’t get everyone’s business card/email address, send an email to the recruiter and ask them to provide the email addresses of the panel. If they are not permitted to providing email addresses, send the thank you email to the recruiter and ask her to share it with the hiring manager and others on the panel. The reason you send post-interview thank-you’s, is to let them know you are grateful for the time they took on you, and also to leave secondary impression on the panel.

8. The Waiting Game

While waiting to hear back from an interview, make sure you continue sending out resumes and are open to other recruiters for other jobs. Never ever wait on just one position. You’ve heard the saying about putting all your eggs in one basket. So don’t. Make sure you are actively looking for other positions that you want. And if it’s been a week since you heard back from the recruiter, send them a note asking if there is an update on the decision. Professional recruiters wont keep you waiting, but sometimes you may need to chase after them a few times before you hear back.

In Conclusion

At the end of it all, know that if you do get the job, congrats. If you do not get it, then it really truly was just not right for you and that something better will come along. With persistence and patience, and practice of interviewing, you will be on your way to landing that next great job. Good luck!

Have you done any or most of the steps above?

Featured photo courtesy of pexels.com

Article last updated on September 13th, 2021

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