To master the art of the job search, get up to scratch with these 4 absolutely critical job seeker skills.
The job market can be a daunting place, particularly for those who have been out of the loop for a while. The game has changed and either you’re ready to adapt to the new experience, or you’re gonna struggle. Before we get into the critical skills you need to master the art of the job search, there are some things you should be aware of straight off the bat. Firstly, hiring takes much longer than it used to; don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back straight away. Second, the competition has hotted up. With more & more graduates looking for work plus more experienced professionals spending less time with one firm, you’re gonna have to do something special to stand out from the crowd.
With an understanding of these two key points, let’s get into the skills you’ll need to successfully job search…
“So tell me about yourself?”. Your brain instantly goes into overdrive thinking about what they want to hear. Do they want to know my job history? Where I studied? What my dog’s name is?
Answering this question in any type of interview is often the hardest part; and more often than not, it’s the very first question. But getting this right can be the difference between a job offer and not even getting a callback. Your elevator pitch should, in no longer than 30 seconds, explain who you are, why you’re unique and what your goals are. What it isn’t, is an opportunity to tell your life story or list off your qualifications. The elevator pitch should be compelling, engaging and it should make the other person intrigued to know more about you. But don’t make this up on the spot, spend some time writing it down and saying it aloud in preparation for any call or interview.
This question will undoubtedly come up in almost every interview scenario. It’s an opportunity for the interviewer to decipher how honest and self-aware you are; two desirable traits that are applicable to every single business.
Do not answer this question with a completely un-subtle self-compliment like “I work too hard” “I’m a perfectionist” or anything along these lines; you’ll come across as insincere and it will be an instant red flag for any interviewer. Instead, talk about a time where you identified your weakness and took clear actions to overcome or compensate for it. This shows an interviewer that you are both self-aware and motivated to take ownership of your own personal development.
This is possibly one of the most underrated and underused aspects of a successful job hunt. Because many of us don’t like to be seen ‘needing help’, we ignore the benefits of using our existing contacts to find opportunities. Tapping into your network can be the difference between applying and actually getting your foot in the door.
Actively working on building your network is done by sharing your goals and interests with your peers and developing strong relationships with people in your wider team, university friends, and contacts within your industry; quality over quantity is crucial here. You can build and nurture your network in the real world by taking a greater interest in challenges outside of your day-to-day role, and online by making better use of social media groups.
Alleviating your fears of presenting is absolutely essential to improving your job search skills. To set candidates apart, hiring managers are more often asking candidates to prepare short presentations on a chosen topic. One, to see if they understand the industry/business, and two to see how confident they are speaking in front of people; a critical skill in so many professions.
By taking the time to understand the presentation brief, creating an engaging pitch and preparing more than just slides (read: handouts!) this will work to show the employer you’re organized and passionate about the role, even if you are nervous about the presentation itself. Our blog post here will help prepare you for the presentation element!
Get these crucial skills right and you’ll be ready to make lasting first impressions, build relationships and ultimately, land the job you want.
You may notice something important missing from this list, CV skills. We’d hope that this element of the job search was pretty self-explanatory, but if you do need some extra help improving your CV, we can help. Check out this post we wrote on how to develop your CV in 20 minutes or less.