Looking to stand out from the pack during your job search?
As an executive search consultant and civic-connector, I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews and networking meetings. Here are some of my observations from years on the job, insights you can use to beat out your competition.
Editor’s note: We see a theme in these tips — the importance of saying “thank you.” Gratitude and appreciation go a long way!
1. Candidates in career transition who you take the time to help rarely remember you when they’ve landed. That means if you remember to thank your recruiter, you’ll stand out.
2. Most unsolicited networking requests come in some form of “please help me” or “help someone I know find a job.” How can you network differently?
3. The questions, or lack thereof, posed by candidates are a crucial insight into how they think. Ask smart questions during your interviews!
4. Candidates who use “we” more than “me” have a higher likelihood of moving forward in any search process.
5. Personal, hand-written thank you notes from a candidate or networking contact are memorable, rare and effective.
6. All candidates benefit from showcasing soft skills: curiosity, empathy, positivity, honesty, energy, listening, follow-through, gratitude, vision and mental agility.
7. Think of your resume as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. What matters are the choices you faced, what you chose, why you chose it, what happened as a result of that choice, and what you learned from the decision.
8. Your reputation matters.
9. Thank those that help you along the way. You never know who will ultimately influence a hiring executive in their own assessment of your reputation and candidacy.
10. Leaders in career transition who view it as a period of life to learn, share, grow and help others succeed more quickly, with greater fulfillment, and with more value gained from the experience.
11. Without exception, people help people they like. Be likable. Help others without asking for anything in return. Say thank you. Follow up. Actively listen. Be present.
12. Own your weaknesses and failures as a leader and as a professional. All leaders have them.
13. We live in a 2-degree world. Don’t burn bridges.
14. Take the high road. If you can’t say something nice about a former employer or co-worker, well, you know what to do.
15. Human beings have an incredible authenticity-filter/radar/antenna regardless of formal education/training/job. Be real.
16. We all want to be heard and respected. Listen first.
17. Say thank you to everyone in your circle. And say it a lot.
18. Your email says something about you. Retire the hotmail account.
19. When interviewing, think of it as a conversation, not an interrogation. It’s appropriate, pause, think and reflect before responding.
20. Body language is 80 percent of how we’re heard and perceived, especially in an interview. Be cognisant of your facial expressions and what you’re doing with your arms and hands.
21. Do your homework. It’s your job to be prepared and informed for a networking meeting or interview.
22. You can be too early for an interview. Don’t arrive earlier than 10-15 minutes. Anything more and the interviewer may wonder why you have that much time on your hands.