The first thing you have to come to terms with when you’re on the hunt for a new job is the pool of other candidates you’re up against. There are a lot of talented people in the world, and to beat out the best, you can’t afford to make silly mistakes. Use the following tips to help your qualifications shine through:
Don’t freak out. Getting a good job takes time. Be diligent about checking in, but realize you will likely have little to no influence on the pace of hiring. Employers work on their time table, not yours.
Get organized. Make sure your resume is updated, your cover letter is drafted, your references are lined up and you’ve carefully aligned each with the companies you’re targeting. There’s no quicker way to ruin your chances than sending a prospect a document with the wrong company name on it.
Network! While keeping in touch with a variety of people is ideal, don’t bombard your entire list of contacts for leads. Narrow down your options and pick the best options based on what you’re looking for.
Don’t burn bridges. No matter what happened at your last job, don’t badmouth your former employer. Explain reasons for leaving diplomatically, without pointing fingers.
Follow up. Ask the recruiter or employer you’re in contact with when you can expect to hear from them. If you don’t get a response by that date, check in and express your continued interest. However, make sure you come off as assertive, not aggressive.
Stay positive. Put your best foot forward! Be upbeat during interviews, listen carefully and emphasize your skills, personality traits and accomplishments. This could be the greatest opportunity of your career!