In some ways, it’s a great time to be looking for work.
The labor market is really tight, and there are more unfilled positions in the U.S. than ever. But don’t be deceived. Part of the problem is that there is a skills gap. Employers aren’t filling a lot of their open roles because they can’t find the right people for them.
Here are some tips to help you understand things from the recruiter’s perspective and convince them you’ve got the skills.
- You’ve Got All of 6 Seconds
That’s about how long your resume gets with a recruiter. Your cover letter is a bit closer to 0. That doesn’t mean spend less time on your resume though. Recruiters are looking to see if you’ve held the right positions, for a long enough time, to confirm you have the necessary skills.
They’re also searching for signs of sloppiness, such as misspellings, typos, grammar issues.
- Make your postions easy to scan. Bold them and put them in bullets.
- Read and re-read your resume. Then ask at least two more people to do the same.
- Match Your Resume with LinkedIn
A big turnoff for a lot of recruiters is when there’s something on LinkedIn that wasn’t on your resume. It makes it look like you’re hiding something. Make sure these square up into a coherent picture of you.
- Get Your Interviewer’s Attention Early, and Study Up
As long as we’re talking about LinkedIn, it’s a great tool for connecting with an interviewer early on – just add them on the network. You can also use it to learn more about them, see what you have in common and look for shared connections.
- First Impressions Might be the Only Ones that Matter
According to at least one study, the decision to hire someone is made within the first 15 seconds of the interview, whether the interviewer knows it or not. Here’s a quick checklist that’ll help you make a solid impression.
- Be early. The only way to make sure you’re not late for an interview is to plan on being early. Being late means you’ve made a bad first impression before they even had a chance to see you. Make it your goal to be 30 minutes early – if something goes wrong, you’ll still be ok.
- Take a hike. Now that you’ve arrived early, throw on some headphones with music you enjoy and take a walk around the block for a few minutes. This will help calm your nerves for the interview.
- Check yourself. Just before the interview, stop in a restroom and make sure your hair is fine, there’s nothing in your teeth, and your clothes are squared away.
- Take a drink. Of water! Bring your own bottle of water to sip on if your throat gets dry. For whatever reason, this seems to be a problem during interviews.
- Give a solid handshake. Don’t break any bones, but don’t give them the dead fish handshake either.
- How to Rock Your Job Interview
Ok, hopefully you’ve made a good impression at this point. Now you just need to bring the job interview home. A couple pieces of advice for making it great.
- Be ready to talk about money. People that have done a lot of interviews, especially recruiters, will be comfortable asking you directly how much you’re expecting to get paid, and how much you made in your last job. Be honest and do your homework. Know what the market rate is for the position, and if you’re at the high end of the market, be ready to explain why.
- Oh, but don’t talk about money too much. Answer their money questions, and leave it at that. You don’t want to give the impression that money is the only thing motivating you.
- Do your research. You should know about industry trends and be prepared to give examples of the best people/products in your line of work.
- Be prepared for the questions. There are common interview questions that get used over and over. Know them and have your answers in mind.
- Be specific. Don’t just tell them you grew sales. Know the exact number you did it by, and make sure your numbers are accurate.
- Be open to negotiation
If the pay isn’t quite right, are there perks you’d be interested in? What about a 4 day work week? A flexible schedule? Work from home days? Extra vacation time?
Of course, you need to be sure you can live on the pay they give you, or the job won’t work out. But if you’ve got some wiggle room on the pay, you might be able to make up for it with some concessions that improve your overall lifestyle.
- Know What You Want
If you’re not quite sure about which role you want, keep that quiet. Candidates who aren’t quite sure what job they want don’t tend to stick around long. Recruiters and hiring managers know this, and if they get the sense that you’re undecided, they may pass.
Ok, I hope that gives you some intel you can use to land your next job. Be sure to go over that first impression checklist right before the interview so that you get past those crucial first seconds, and have a good chance at getting to an offer. Good luck!
****For this unique post, Campus to Career thanks Paul Peters!!****
About: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.