If you’ve been working hard on your resolution list, I’d be willing to bet that finding a new job has a place on it. Use this time to really reevaluate how you’ve been searching, applying and interviewing for jobs. We spent a lot of time in 2014 talking with our employers to see what are some of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make, and what their best advice would be to find a job in 2015. To make it easy, we made a list of 15 ways to nail a job in the new year. Check it out!
1) Avoid the biggest job search mistake
Believe it or not, spelling and grammatical errors are the most common mistakes that job seekers make. Employers really don’t like to see mistakes like this on your applications, it shows that you might be a little lazy and aren’t taking your job search too seriously. Your best bet is to triple check your application, read it out loud to see if it makes sense and then have someone else look it over to see what you may have missed. It sounds like a lot, but trust us, it will be worth it.
2) Application checklist
Rushing through application after application can get a bit repetitive and can cause little mistakes, like putting in the wrong phone number. Have a job application check list by your computer when filling out apps and before you click that ‘submit’ button, go through each item to be absolutely sure everything is correct. We’ve even put that list together for you here. Think this is silly? We heard from a member once who accidentally put his friend’s phone number down…and the friend got hired.
3) Staying organized
If you’re actively looking for a job, chances are you’re applying to many, many openings. Make it easy on yourself and create a job-search notebook. This way you can track what job you applied to, when the application was sent, when you followed up, who the contact person is, when the interview is, etc. How embarrassing would it be if an employer calls you and you don’t know what they’re talking about. This simple step can save you a lot of confusion and panic (and will help you feel more accomplished).
4) Following up
I know I say this a lot, but following up on your applications is so important and the next step after submitting your application. Make sure you double check the job posting to see if they say anything about following up. While most employers tell us that they want you to reach out, some postings will request that you wait for them to contact you. But, if you don’t see anything on the posting then it’s game on. Wait about three to five days and then go in person, call or email to ask about the status of the position. Be prepared to possibly be interviewed on the spot!
5) Volunteer for experience
If you’ve never had a job before or if it’s been awhile since you’ve worked, think about volunteering as a way to get something on your resume. Volunteering does count as experience and it also shows the employer that you’re well rounded and committed to the work. In addition, volunteering is a great way to gain valuable references and contacts in the community (not to mention the warm fuzzy feeling you get when it’s done).
6) Reach out to a job search coach
Finding a job might not always be the easiest thing in the world, but we are here to help. Our job search coaches are on hand and ready to help you get hired. You can reach us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. There’s no reason not to get free help! We have inside information from employers on what they’re looking for and are always keeping an eye out for the latest hiring trends.
7) Think about 2014
If you spent some time looking for jobs in 2014, but didn’t find a lot of success, think about any lessons you can take into 2015. Did you forget to follow up? Got interviews but didn’t seem to land the job? Never prepared for interviews? Forget about spell check? Spend some time reflecting on last year’s job search and where you think you could improve. It may not be the most fun thing in the world, but going over past mistakes and vowing to make 2015 the year you find that right-fit job can make a big impact on your search.
8) Turn your search into a team sport
If you’re like me, you don’t like to do things alone, so why take on the job search by yourself? Turn your search into a team event but putting together a group of people you think can really inspire you and help you get hired. Get people who you know can look over your resume, help you prepare for interviews and are always on the look out for openings for you. The more people you have looking out for you, the more opportunities that will be available. They may know of a position that hasn’t been posted yet or have an interview secret that is sure to help you stand out. Surrounding yourself with a positive, helpful team will also make you more accountable for your job search and keep you on track.
In addition, these will be the people who will pick you up when things aren’t going your way, and who can celebrate with you when you nail that big interview. Be sure to let them know how much they mean to you and show your appreciation when that first paycheck comes in!
9) Be flexible and available
Want to really stand out to employers? Take a look at your availability on your Snagajob profile. Employers are often looking for people who can work those hard to fill shifts, like nights and weekends, but find that many job applicants have hard schedules to deal with. Do you really need to take Friday night off? Keep in mind that employers can search for you on our website and by showing them that you can work when they need you, you’ll be able to put yourself in front of the competition. In fact, employers have told us that having a flexible schedule is even more important than having a lot of previous experience!
10) Preparing for common interview questions
Your application is in great shape, you’ve followed up on the posting and you’ve now landed that big job interview. So what now? We’ve found that many job seekers think they can go into the interview and just wing it. Not okay. Preparing for a job interview is extremely important and will show the interviewer that you really want their job and not just ANY job. Lucky for you, we’ve put together videos going over the most common job interview questions and how you should (and shouldn’t) answer them. Study these and be prepared. In addition, having your answers ready will help give you confidence going into the interview and make things a little less scary.
11) Conducting mock interviews
It’s one thing to have your answers to common job interview questions ready to go, and it’s another to practice on an actual person. Doing a mock interview before the big day will not only help with the nerves, but will also give you feedback on how you conduct yourself in an interview. For example, maybe you awkwardly twist your hair around your finger without realizing it (or at least that’s what I found out when I started mock interviewing). You can’t be too prepared for a job interview and by practicing with someone you trust to give you constructive feedback, you’ll be ready to go in and nail the interview.
12) Interview thank-you cards
Think there’s nothing you can do to help your chances after the interview is over? Think again. Sending a thank-you letter to the interviewer is one last step to really show them how much you want this and how dedicated of an employee you will make. Be sure to write these as soon as you can after the interview itself and feel free to throw your personality in it. It’s becoming more and more common to email the thank-you note, but I’m a big fan of sending hand-written letters. Just another way you can really stand out from the other applicants.
13) Make finding a job your job
Casually looking online for jobs isn’t a way to help your chances of getting hired. Get into the mindset that searching for a job is a job itself. Block time off on your calendar to apply. Schedule time for your mock interviews.Pick a day where you go and follow up on all your applications. Repeat. This is not the time to slack off, this is the time to put a game plan together so you are constantly being productive with your job search.
14) Never give up
We’re working on ways to make your job search faster and quicker to land a job, but we realize that this doesn’t always happen. One of the worst things you can do is to simply give up and stop searching for jobs. This doesn’t help anyone. If you’re frustrated, take a step back to breathe and think about trying a different direction or career path. Look up local nonprofits and agencies that have local job placement connections, join professional associations, volunteer to see what type of job you will excel at. It can be easy to get down on yourself and feel like stopping your search, remember that we are here for you and committed to helping you land a job. Reach out to us with any concerns, or if you are just looking for a little motivation!
15) Uploading a video to your Snagajob profile
We heard from job seekers that they wanted to show off more of their personality to employers, and we heard from employers that they wanted to learn a little more about you other than what’s on your resume. So, we’ve added a way for you to upload a video to your Snagajob profile to show employers who you are and let them know what makes you stand out from other applicants. Remember, if an employer is searching through profiles on Snagajob, they are four times more likely to reach out to you if you have a video. Don’t be nervous! We made a video with some tips on how to make yours count. This is your time to shine!
Make 2015 the year to remember by taking our advice and getting hired to that job you’ve been striving for. What other tips can you add? Tell us below!