There’s an incredible amount of information out there about how to improve prospects in job interviews, and by now you’ve probably heard all the tips: dress sharp, make eye contact, be ready to ask questions about the company or specific opportunity, etc. But as any young person seeking employment knows, there’s a lot more than an interview and a resume that goes into the hiring process. Job candidates are researched and scrutinized more today than ever before, and that makes it necessary for you to boost your appeal however possible.
Here are a few strategies to consider, not just when heading into an interview but when approaching a job search process in general.
1. Do A Background Check On Yourself
Most of us are at least in the habit of understanding how we’re portrayed online and things of that nature, but a lot of companies will do full background checks on any potential hires. That means it can’t hurt to dig a little deeper. Writing for Discover Corrections, Jennifer L addressed this process in detail, opining that those looking to become more desirable to possible employers should look into any past criminal or driving records, do whatever possible to improve credit scores, and of course, make sure any social media presence is clean. And don’t forget to Google yourself to see what comes up! This is sometimes the first step for an employer.
2. Maintain A Blog Or Website
It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, and frankly it doesn’t matter too much what it’s about. But having a website or blog to your name—so long as it’s clean, attractive, and in interesting in some manner—can give you a new dimension beyond your resume. The site doesn’t have to be relevant to the career opportunity; if it’s well done, it will give employers a sense of your professionalism.
3. Have A Sense Of Humility
It may sound counterintuitive, but being able to understand and speak about your failures or shortcomings can go a long way. In a different context, this is a point that’s emphasized thoroughly by Alice van Harten of Menlo Coaching, who assists prospective MBA students with their applications. The program stresses the importance of honest assessment of (as opposed to the glossing over of) failures in application essay responses, and the same point is relevant to any job application down the road. Employers are used to seeing people with impressive resumes talking up their good qualities. But you’ll also need to be prepared to humbly and constructively address any shortcomings that might come up.
4. Don’t Stop Learning
You can find a class on anything these days, whether it’s a strictly online program or a college course available remotely. Enrolling in such a course or program shows serious initiative. If at any point during the hiring process you can demonstrate that you’re still advancing your education even after earning a degree, you’re sure to come across as a driven, goal-oriented individual. And it’s a bonus if the additional education you seek is relevant to the career opportunity!
5. Pick Up Some New Hobbies
Lisa Chatroop of Good.co made an interesting point when she wrote a blog post about hobbies for boosting employability. She argued that many companies today are using hobbies and extracurricular interests as indications of personality and culture fit. You shouldn’t go picking up any old activity that you don’t even enjoy, of course, but this is an interesting idea to keep in mind as you conduct your job searches.
****For this unique guest post, Campus to Career thanks Sara Upton!!****