My guest this week is Career Coach Angela Copeland. Join us for an episode filled with useful information about how you can land your dream job and advance in your professional career.
On today’s podcast:
- Try continuous interviewing
- Networking trumps everything
- Keep your resume updated
- How to prepare for an interview
- Should you follow up after the interview?
- What’s the biggest misconception about the job search process?
Try continuous interviewing
We don’t usually spend so much time thinking about the next level of our career. Should we be doing this regularly instead? Yes, we shouldn’t wait to be in a painful situation and then desire change.
Angela believes in “continuous interviewing” aka always networking, always keeping your eyes open, always thinking about the next step.
We have to be our own CEOs and constantly be looking for new opportunities if we want to successfully advance in our career.
Networking trumps everything
What’s the first thing to do when you want to switch jobs? You should study what people in your industry whom you admire are doing.
A common problem a lot of job seekers face is that companies normally say “Apply on our website, and if you are a good fit, we’ll call you.” It sounds so easy, and you just assume that someone will call you and it’s going to be great.
But the thing is that when a hiring agent is looking for someone to hire, they don’t think “I’m going to get some Internet resumes from strangers and look through them”. Instead, they think “Do I know anybody for this job or do I know someone who knows someone?”
Networking trumps everything. Knowing the right person will almost always get you further.
Keep your resume updated
Our resume is our snapshot of who we are as professionals. You should get someone to proofread it, but don’t hire a resume writer, because you need to work on it yourself. It helps you think of the message you are putting out there.
You should carry copies of your resume, either on your phone as a PDF, or as a piece of paper. Your resume should be one or two pages long, ideally.
Be careful to include things that reflect your real experience and your achievements. Interviewing is a little bit like going to a dinner party, and there are certain things you should leave out. For instance, things related to money, or your religious or political views. You can also leave out your references and your GPA.
You shouldn’t dust off your resume when you need it, you should look at it on a regular basis because you never know when the opportunity could knock.
How to prepare for an interview
First off, get some good rest and then go and have a fun time. A lot of interview decisions are based on “Do we like this person? Do we want to spend time with them?”
Another idea to take time to really write your elevator pitch. You can go through and practice other tricky questions, like “What’s your greatest weakness?”
You also have to do your homework in terms of researching the company.
Should you follow up after the interview?
Yes. You should send a thank you email and a thank you card.
Why do both? Because very often the company will decide that day or the next day who they want to give the job offer to. If you only send the handwritten card, they may have already made the decision, and you’re too late.
You do want to send the card though because if you do you’ll probably be the only person who does it. And that really helps to make you stand out. You can throw in your business card along with your handwritten note.
What’s the biggest misconception about the job search process?
When you’re looking for a job, and you find a job description, very often that job description will have a “Requirements” part. So often the biggest reason people are not applying for jobs is because they assume that they are not qualified.
Very often the companies are willing to talk to people who don’t meet all the requirements. Maybe they are actually having a tough time finding good candidates.
If you think that you can do a job, apply and let the company decide.