Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4 Things You Must Know Before a Job Search

When you're out of work or desperate to leave your current job, sometimes you're not thinking clearly about what you need to do to get a new position. You just need a new job. Right. Now.

So you fill out a bunch of online applications and throw together a resume by making a few updates on the one you wrote two years ago. (Or was it three?)

Still, by entering your job search is such a rushed way, you're likely to make mistakes. Those mistakes, of course, could cost you a new job.

First, take a deep breath. A well-planned job search will beat a panicked one any day. Take the time to gather your thoughts so that you will craft a resume that will grab the attention of an employer.

The key is figuring out the areas that most employers -- no matter the job or industry -- are sure to look for on a resume and ask about in an interview, such as:

1. Performance. Think about the experiences that have given you important work habits. How are your successes tied to such competencies? What mistakes have you made that helped you improve and led to performance improvements? Are you adaptable -- able to rebound from setbacks? How do you handle pressure so that you remain respectful and don't take it out on others? How do you ensure your opinions are supportive and not personally critical of others? How would you stand up to someone who asked you to do something illegal or unethical?

2. Interpersonal skills. Do you provide support and encouragement to your team? Do you challenge outdated ideas and present new ones in a persuasive way? Are you a good listener and open to the ideas of others? Are you able to accept negative feedback and channel it toward improving your performance? Do you work well with diverse people, and adopt your work style to accommodate any differences? What steps do you take to help clients or customers reach satisfactory outcomes?

3. Habits. Do you have personal accountability, such as always telling the truth and avoiding gossip? Do you make decisions based on an employer's mission statement? Do you manage your time and complete assignments on time? Are you organized and efficient with your time and resources?

4. Tech skills. What resources, information or systems do you know how to use and implement on a regular basis? How have you improved your technical skills?

This should help you see that shooting off a resume with little thought to these areas will get you quickly tossed in the "reject" pile. These are common areas that employers will ask about -- how will you answer?


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