Most people approach searching for a new job in an ad hoc manner and consequently the results they achieve are hit and miss. Searching for the right job and ensuring that you are successful in acquiring it requires a systematic approach that gives you a better than even chance of winning.
Once you have identified a job that you are interested in there are a dozen questions that you must be able to answer before you consider writing your Resume/CV, job application and cover letter. They all revolve around the principle of knowledge.
* Know yourself
* Know the job
* Know the company
* Know how to analyze the job advertisement
* Know how to write winning letters
* Know how to fill out application forms
* Know how to write your Resume / CV
* Know the pre-interview checklist
* Know how to perform and sell yourself at the interview
* Know the post interview checklist
* Know how to improve
* Know the to 7 tips to move you forward
You must start with the right Attitude. You must have the Skills needed to do the job. You must have the Knowledge to approach getting the job in a systematic and results focused way. These three “must haves” form the acronym ASK.
Being offered a job that interests you is all about knowledge, from knowing yourself to knowing how to land the job. Using a system is at the heart of success. If you want a successful outcome then follow this simple step by step process.
Know yourself. Many people go to the market not knowing the product being sold. The product is you. Who are you? What do you do? What have you done in the past? How did you do it? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? There are many tools for identifying these such as Strengths Finder from Gallup or simply visit your local book store to choose one that works for you. The simplest approach is to look back on your career to identify the roles you were really good at; the roles you enjoyed; and ask yourself if the job you are about to apply for successfully marries these two essential ingredients.
Know the job. To know the job you are going for is of paramount importance. It never ceases to amaze me that people frequently turn up for interviews and do not know the requirements of the job for which they are being interviewed. You cannot expect to be successful if you have not gone to the trouble of finding out the specific requirements of the job. Make a phone call to the company and ask for a detailed job description before you commence your application.
Know the company. It may seem obvious but many people do not check out the company before applying for the job. Detailed information can usually be obtained on the internet or from annual reports. You can also try to talk to someone that currently works for the company or to former employees. Is the company a fair employer? Does it reward innovation and hard work? Does it treat all employees equally? Is there scope for career growth within the company? Is the company successful?
Know hot to analyze the job advertisement. To analyse the advertisement or job specification you should ask 6 fundamental questions:
* What is being specifically stated?
* What is implied by stating it?
* What is not stated?
* What is implied by not stating it?
* What skills do you have?
* Which of those match those being asked for?
Know how to write winning letters. What is the object of the letter of application? It is to get the company to read your Resume/CV. The letter of application should contain confirmation that you have all of the necessary skills and character traits what are contained in the advertisement and or the job description.
Know how to fill out application forms. What is the objective of an Application form? It is to get the company to call you for an interview. Fill out all boxes and do not leave any blanks. If the question is not applicable, then simply put N/A in the box.
Know how to write your Resume/CV. What is the objective of the Resume or CV? It is to get the company to call you for interview. Thus your Resume/CV must feature an exact match with what was advertised and/or what is contained in the job description. This means at you must write a specific Resume/CV for every job that you apply for. Past performance is an indication of likely future performance. Therefore, your Resume/CV must be in the past tense, and contain a series of achievement action statements. e.g. Developed a unique system which increased sales by 10%.
The top third of page one on your Resume/CV should contain a profile specifically stating the role, the environment of the company, your personality and the skill-set as required. Do highlight any relevant achievements. If you match your Resume/CV with the requirements of the job then you are almost certain to be called for interview.
Know the pre-interview checklist. The interview can be a mine-field, but if you know what you are going to be asked ahead of time it becomes easy to score points. Analyse the job requirements and write down all the questions that you could be asked. For example, you are most likely to be asked: “Why do you want this job and what can you bring to this position?” Or, “describe the system you developed that increased sales by 10% and how you developed it?” Not to know the answer to these questions guarantees failure. Make sure to include personal, character trait, job skill, work experience and achievement led questions. Consider your personal motivation for applying for the job and have a clear answer ready to deliver.
Know how to perform and sell yourself at interview. Your performance at interview will be directly related to the preparation you make beforehand. Rehearse the questions and the answers. If you were going for an audition you would learn your lines. So simply learn your lines for the interview.
The big question is “what is the objective of the interview?” Nearly everyone thinks it is to get the job! But this is wrong. The objective of the interview is to get a job offer. This is vital to remember. You have no decision to make until you get an offer. You have nothing to negotiate until you get an offer. Therefore the salary is not relevant until such time as you get an offer of the position.
Know the post-interview checklist. After the interview it is vital to assess your performance objectively. Were my examples of good quality? Did they have a structure, such as S.T.A.R.R.S.? Situation; Task; Action; Reason; Result; Summary. Did I communicate clearly? Did I answer the questions to the best of my ability? Were there any questions I could not answer or felt uncomfortable about? Was I relaxed? Did I have questions to ask that I did not raise? Do I know the next stage of the process? Sit down quietly shortly after the interview and note your answers to these questions.
Know how to improve for next interview. Any mistakes you make should be obvious to you from your post-interview check list. Take action on the points where you could have done better. There may be something you have to find out about the company? There may be something you found difficult to answer about yourself. There may be something in your Resume/CV that could have been better written. Practise makes perfect. However, it also makes permanent so ensure you practise the right things.
Finally all great actors know their lines and they practise by putting themselves in the role in advance of the audition.
Know the top 7 tips to put you forward
Tip 1. For interviews, practice, practice, practice, know the questions and know your answers. It is simply an Audition for the part.
Tip 2. The basics are the three knows; know yourself, know the job, know the company. How? Ask lots of questions before the interview.
Tip 3. Ignore the title of the position and look at the skill set that is required for the position.
Tip 4. Your covering letter should specifically show that you have the exact skills and character traits that the company is looking for. Then ask for the interview.
Tip 5. Read all instructions first, photocopy the form, and then practice filling the application form in accordance with the instructions.
Tip 6. Your Resume/CV should contain past achievements that are a match with the requirements in the job description. Ideally, it should be just 1 or 2 pages.
Tip 7. The top third of page one on your Resume/CV should contain a profile specifically stating the role, the environment of the company, your personality and the skill-set as required by the job, with any relevant achievements highlighted.
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