We polled our consultants and came up with a lengthy list of ideas to guide you as you begin your job search. Many of these ideas apply to ANYONE searching for a job – especially if you haven’t already addressed some of these possible ‘pitfalls’. We narrowed the list down to give you our TOP 5 suggestions:
1. GOOGLE YOURSELF
Everyone Googles everything. But have you ever Googled yourself? Perspective employers will Google you. So to avoid any possible surprises during an interview, it would be in your best interest to find out what pops up when you type in your name five different ways into the Google search field. This search may uncover some results you weren’t expecting – but hopefully in a positive way. If the results are not exactly favorable, better to be prepared to field possible questions regarding prior ‘questionable’ matters.
2. LINK UP TO LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the corporate worlds version of Facebook. Recruiters in every industry and perspective employers are on LinkedIn everyday searching for candidates and checking out your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one. Include clear and concise information regarding your education, previous positions, employers and any memberships in groups, organizations or associations.
Upload a professional picture. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional, but it shouldn’t be a selfie! Use a photo that portrays a little of your personality – not one that reads “mug shot”. Remember, this is NOT Facebook, so leave the friends and the dog and the Stanley Cup (unless you actually WON the Stanley Cup) out of the picture. Your LinkedIn profile is more often than not, the first (visual) impression employers will have of you and, as we all know, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
3. GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ON BOARD
You have your LinkedIn profile all set – the next step is to review your other social media sites. Your Google results are going to bring up direct links to your Facebook page, your Twitter account, Instagram, your YouTube channel, your Pinterest pages and every other site where you could possibly be found on the web. When the hiring managers, et al are done looking at your LinkedIn profile, they are headed over to your Facebook page.
When you were in college or before you started looking seriously for a job, having you and your crazy antics plastered all over your FB page was great! But now you could have a perspective boss looking at those same pictures. Ask yourself, ‘What type of image am I portraying? What would a hiring manager’s impression be of me if he or she were to see my profile picture?’
If you aren’t sure how to answer one or both of these questions, change your profile picture. You don’t have to be wearing a suit, but you shouldn’t look scary or involved a questionable situation. A hiring manager will think twice before reaching out to someone who appears to be lacking in the ‘self-control’ category. But if you have a best friend, or a new puppy or just a nice picture, post it. You’ll be glad you did.
Also be aware of your Pinterest Boards, your Tweets, the pictures you post on Instagram and the videos you post on YouTube…. because ‘they’ will be looking.
4. UPDATE YOUR RESUME
This should be easy if you have already completed #2. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn page yet, go back to #2, set up your LinkedIn page and then come back to #4.
Your resume should give a clear and concise snapshot of your education and any work related experience you may have. A resume is not a novel, nor should it read like one. The length of your resume depends on how many years of work experience you have:
- 0-3 years work experience: one (1) page
- 3-7 years experience: 2-3 pages
- 7+ years experience: you can get away with more than 3 pages, but keep it relevant
Read it, reread it, have other people read it. Why? Because typos are unacceptable! If you aren’t sure how to format it, Google ‘resume template’, and use the simplest one. Your resume should be easy to read and well layed-out with good margins. And check your spelling.
5. KNOW YOUR FINANCES or FIGURE OUT YOUR SALARY REQUIREMENTS
Let’s look at a Job Offer Scenario #1:
You apply for a position, you ace the interview, the company makes you an offer. Fabulous! You take the job and realize on day 1 that there is a strict company dress code requiring you to wear a blue suite with a red tie and yellow shoes every day. Gone are your dreams of khakis and a button down. Big let down.
Now lets take a look at Job Offer Scenario #2:
You apply for a position, you ace the interview, the company makes you an offer. Fabulous! You start getting your bi-weekly paycheck and you quickly realize that with your current salary you cannot afford to pay the rent, buy food and make your car payment all in the same month. Big problem.
Let’s compare the first 2 scenarios to Job Offer Scenario #3:
You find an interesting position. You research the company to discover that you like the overall corporate mission and the company seems like an interesting place to work. You research the position and find out what the average salary is for where you are currently living. Since you know your monthly expenses and what your financial situation is (outstanding debts, account balances, etc.), you have calculated your income requirements, AFTER TAX, that will allow you to pay your bills and still have a life. You apply for the position, ace the interview, the company makes you an offer, you negotiate the offer package which results in your yearly salary being $3k higher than the original offer. Big success!
Moral of our 3 scenarios: Do your homework. Know your financial situation. Proceed accordingly.
We only covered a few ideas from the long list of suggestions that our consultants have. Other recommendations included contacting your references before you start interviewing, invest in a good interview suit, and don’t forget about ‘personal grooming’. But we’ll cover that topic next time.
For more information about KNF&T Staffing Resources, please visit our website www.knft.com.