An Author and Life Coach who has initiated a career transformation in more than 10000 professionals and students.
Preparation and Practice is what results in an Excellent Performance! This hub will share some tips on how to apply this Mantra to your Job Search.
Strategic Job Search
P - Prepare
As simple and clear as it can be....PPP is indeed the mantra to succeed at whatever you wish to achieve.
Prepare - Its the first step and the hardest to take. But to start a new venture...be it making that first call, facing the first interview, cooking that new recipe...or climbing Mt. Everest, your strength lies in your preparation. You must always research your facts, gain as much knowledge, read a lot, talk to as many people who can help and learn whatever you can about what you are about to undertake. Assign a diary, make cue cards, take notes and stick post its, make a vision board....do all you can to prepare yourself physically and mentally.
So how to I prepare to get my dream job? As they say, finding a job has to be treated like a full time job. It needs a strategy designed for success.
Step 1: Note your strengths- Skills that you have, relevant education, personal traits that you can use and what you enjoy doing tirelessly ( e.g Good communication skills, very organized, I have strong MS Office knowledge, I have an MBA and Engineering Degree and I am very social and I love talking to people)
Step 2: Decide where you want to work- Shortlist some of the Organizations which you have always wanted to work for or are aligned with your Step 1. Do they have roles where you can add value to them. This is very important. You always purchase a product which you can use, suits your personality and adds value to you. So find that fit!
Step 3: Research those organizations in detail. Who? Where? What? How? You should read not just their website, but everything about them in media. Annual reports, who are the Top Management, what are their visions, what do they speak about, any online videos, any challenges they might have faced. This will tell you how to prepare yourself, can you offer a solution to their challenges, maybe you undertook a similar project that the company is looking for or are they engaged in any CSR activities that might interest you. You must also try to research the hiring manager. Isn't it easy to speak to someone you already know something about? Look them up on social media. You might find a few common connections too!
Research the Industry you have chosen as well. ( e.g if you want to work for IBM, then you must read all you can about the IT industry too) Know statictics, whats in news, what is the scope and future of that sector. That also helps you see your future in that industry. Why would I join XYZ Ltd. company if I know the product XYZ is banned in my country and I will lose my job sooner or later?
Step 4: Now write your resume. Tailor it to suit the industry, the job description if you have one and include key words that get you to the top of the pile. Apply the KISS principle- Keep It Simple and Short. Highlight only what is relevant to that role and brings out your distincnt personality. Rewrite it and customize it for every organization to apply to, remember "one size does not fit all". Do not clutter it with your life story! ( e.g, Why enter your passport details, if the job location is local and does not mentioned any travel requirements?)
Make it easy for the HR Executive scanning those pages to grasp just what they are looking for, so your resume gets to the top of the pile!
Step 5: Prepare 'yourself' for the interview. Top to toe, work on your grooming, appearance, clothes, shoes, folder and your introduction. Seek help from experts if required or try to find someone who works in those organizations and can guide you. Work on your language and communication skills. Clean up your act! Review your online social media pages too, personal or professional, they scan it all nowadays! Become that person who is a perfect fit for that organization, after-all it was your dream right?
Watch this video for small insights that can make a big difference to your career strategy.
Practice - Now that you are prepared, its time to take action...Implement your learnings. Read each step of the process and practise it. Learn from the experts, watch demonstrations, copy the best in the business, repeat, repeat, repeat...till you are... exhausted??...No....till you are CONFIDENT!!! Practise makes Perfect!!
You need to practice what you say and how you say it too!
Make a list of possible questions. Practice answers or at least make a note of points you would use in your answer. The most important being "Tell us about yourself?" This one can stump you if you are not prepared. You might ramble out your autobiography till they fall asleep or be so brief that you leave out those facts about how great you are and why they should just hire you!! ( e.g I want that role in Market Research, so I talk about my extensive experience in Sales with Top companies, I mention how well I play the guitar, but forget to mention my internship doing market research for a small firm)
If you get nervous while speaking, work on various exercises before an interview to ease that tension. Record your voice regularly or seek feedback from friends about how you sound, do you speak too fast or slow, is your pitch and tone clear and do you need to improve your grammer. Work on your body language, your gestures and how you sit or stand.
Think of the 20X20 Rule, First 20 secs when you meet, top 20 inches of your body, first 20 steps you take and first 20 words you speak! You may have the most genious ideas, but if you fail to convey them, you will lose out!
Perform - Now you are ready to test the waters. But remember, don't be afraid to fail. Failure is the stepping stone to success. Get up and brush off the dust when you fall and take it in your stride. Ask yourself "So what", ....and by that I mean..."So What NEXT"....you can take on the world...your can cook the best dish...nail the interview...or crack the deal on that call....YOU CAN see the world atop Mt Everest!!! Believe in yourself...you are Prepared..you have Practised...now get on that stage and Perform!!!!
Always remember failing in an interview does not mean you failed to impress necessarily. It could also mean that you were not a good fit for that Organization. So never forget to thank the hiring manager with a note or an email after the interview for having given you an opportunity. Review your interview and introspect. Now you have more questions in your list to learn from. You are more wiser having experienced one failure, and you know what does not work. Realign your goals and start PREPARING and PRACTICING for the next interview!
All the best!
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2012 Snehal Sarkar
Snehal Sarkar (author) from Pune, India on October 18, 2012:
viveresperando from A Place Where Nothing Is Real on October 17, 2012:
This was short and sweet. Loved it, very useful information and inspiring for a procrastinator like me. lol an ex-procrastinator... giggles