The holidays are over and the New Year is here. This can only mean one thing for the job-seekers among us: Time to get back to work!
Of course, the term work has two meanings here. Although our goal is find full time employment, securing it takes more than a little hard work.
Get back into job-seeking mode with the following tips…
1. Revive your resume. Your resume is the first foot in the door with a future employer. It should reflect how organized and professional you are. Try the following:
- Keep only your most relevant and up-to-date skills; no one cares if you had a paper route 10 years ago – so say goodbye and focus on the relevant!
- Ensure that the layout of your resume progress logically through your education, past employment (most recent first), volunteering, and other related job skills.
- Take a look at the overall formatting of the resume: Is the font consistent in size and type? Do you have page breaks in the middle of descriptions? Is your contact information easily accessible? Does it look good?
- Looking for more resume ideas? Check out Resumebear
Consider having a couple different resumes on hand to help you deal with different job types. I have one that’s geared towards laboratory work (with more specific lab experiences), one geared towards PhD positions (with a full listing of my academic achievements), and one that’s a bit broader for ENGO applications. A more specific resume saves the person at the other end from having to sift through unrelated experiences, and give the impression of a young professional.
2. Practice for job interviews. Even if you don’t have one planned on the horizon. You never know when you’ll be asked to interview with very little notice. Check out the following links and seriously think about how you would want
to answer the questions:
- Job Bank’s Three more important interview questions – deals with the most difficult question of all – “do you have any questions for me?”
- jobinterviewquestions.org – provides a good break-down of the types of questions that you could expect at an interview
- about.com interview questions – a good article filled with questions and ideas for answering
- about.com college job interview questions – more questions that are focused around entry-level positions, perfect for the recent graduate
- The Globe and Mail: Ten must-ask job interview questions – an article that describes how stronger candidates will answer interview questions
I am lucky enough to have a friend in the same job-seeking situation. We’re always discussing job interview tips and do a follow-up after each interview. We challenge each other with new questions and help each other come up with the perfect “Ask me a question” question before each interview. This helps me to better organize my thoughts and keep on top of the game.
3. Learn to follow-up. This is the hardest part of all and well outside most people’s comfort zone, but so important that I can’t stress it enough. It’s one thing to apply to a job and want it, but another entirely to start a dialogue between yourself and the potential employer. Here are a couple of my tips:
- Haven’t heard back after submitting an application a couple weeks ago? Send a short follow-up email or make telephone call. Emphasize that you are still very interested in the position and that you’re hoping tohear back from them. Showing a little extra interest may set you apart from a sea of applicants.
- Send a short thank-you note after an interview to let the individual know that you appreciate their time.
Do you have any good job tips? Please let me know in the comments! I can use all the help I can get.
I wish you all the best as you attempt to revitalize your job search. Hang in there!