Looking for a new job in 2017? Here’s a few simple, but overlooked do’s and don’ts I’ve picked up in my last few years as a 20-something recruiter in Charlotte.
Do: Apply to experience-appropriate positions – slightly below your skill level, right at your skill level and above your skill level. This’ll generate some interview momentum.
Don’t: Apply to every job, ever. Most companies can see when you’ve applied for 10 of their 11 open jobs, 1 of which you’re qualified to fill.
Do: Work with TRUSTED staffing agencies recruiting firms. Ask what types of positions they’ve filled lately and don’t forget to Google them to check their reputations. Contract to hire positions have tons of potential to turn into great careers. Agencies work hard to have direct relationships with hiring managers at well-known organizations all over Charlotte. If they like you, they’ll get you in the door.
Don’t: Sign up with every agency that calls. Some companies are just out to make a placement fee and don’t have your best interest in mind.
Do: Follow up. In the age of social media and email, PICK UP THE PHONE! Or show up to the front desk of the company you’re applying to (in a suit) and drop your resume off, after you’ve applied.
Don’t: Not follow up. It’s that easy. Every conversation pertinent to your job search should have a follow up action whether it’s a thank you letter or a simple Linkedin connection.
Do: Go on every interview. You’ll thank yourself later and I promise, you’ll learn something at each one.
Don’t: No-show interviews. This is terrible; if you aren’t interested, qualify that up front before agreeing to interview.
Do: Graciously accept declines. They are a fact of job search. Appreciate the consideration you received and stay in contact with anyone you spoke with.
Don’t: Burn bridges. I have seen countless instances of the runner up being brought back into consideration after initially being turned away. Leave a lasting, classy impression and you’ll stay top of mind for the next hiring opportunity.
When you do land the interview, here’s are the key questions for the hiring manager:
Is there anything about my experience that would prevent me from succeeding in this role? This gives an opportunity to explain how you plan to overcome experience shortcomings and forces them to think of you in the job; best case scenario – they can’t think of anything and you’ve helped them realize why you’re a great fit.
What factors will make someone successful in this role? Take notes.
What is the timeline for hiring this position? Helps establish follow up timeline and manages your own expectations.
Where do you do your networking? Naturally, so you can go network in the same community.
All of these steps lend to building and harnessing your network along the way – a key point I’ll highlight in all of this. My first opportunity with an Inc. 5000 recruiting firm and my current position with a top-20 public accounting firm in the U.S. are products of networking; specifically, through second tier connections (my network’s network). Both landed me with locally and nationally ranked “Best Places to Work.”
Job search will not be easy in any case, but your best job change will be a product of working hard and smart with your network and plenty of patience. Best of luck to each of you in 2017!
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