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The science of job searching has been computed and documented by career professionals and boiled down into laundry lists of “Tips & Tricks to Land your Dream Job.” But with being in an evolving industry that continually grows more competitive, is there really a cookie cutter approach to finding occupational bliss?
Here’s a fresh list of Tips from real hiring managers we’ve rounded up:
1. Hiring is work. Don’t make me work harder – Follow ad directions, or you show your hopeful boss that you can’t follow simple directions. Employers don’t write up job ads because it’s fun. Their business has a need, and if you’d like to meet that need, you should be able to follow direction from the start with limited improvisation.
2. Show That You Know – You’re a professional at what you do. Whether you’re a database admin or you specialize in quality assurance, demonstrate your expertise from the beginning – in your cover letters, resume, portfolio, etc. Don’t waste time or precious resume space with non-career centric qualities before you establish a message that “I’m the best at what I do and I will improve your staff.”
3. Make Sure You Stand Out – Employers get numerous resumes a week these days, there are a lot of people out there trying to get jobs. It’s one thing to try to stick out — everybody tries to make a resume and cover letter [visually] stand out. But after establishing yourself as a pro at what you do, make sure you find ways to highlight your credential. If you were an athlete or musician in college – use these experiences to explain how you developed leadership skills, learned the importance of constant practicing, discovered the rush of performing under pressure.
4. Check your digital façade – Clean up your social instances – don’t just trash the keg-stand photos from college but make sure you come off as a professional – clean up your spelling & grammar, hide your personal photos and thoughts, don’t blog with deadlinks or “spammy” content. If you’re going to convince an employer that you’re on the cutting edge of today’s digital world, make sure your online instances are clean-cut. For the same reason you wear a suit to your interviews, make sure your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are presentable first impressions.
5. Relaxed workspace doesn’t mean relaxed employer – Just because an office doesn’t have a dress code doesn’t mean they’re asking you to take them lightly. It may be ok to wear jeans and/or flip flops to an office AFTER you get the job, but still dress professionally for the interview. Don’t make assumptions on how relaxed things are and allow your interviewers to make assumptions on how relaxed you are as a worker.
6. I may know the person you’re badmouthing – Chances are, the person interviewing you knows your previous employer – especially if you’ve worked at an IT company in Maryland, Virginia, DC, etc. If you badmouth a previous employer in “Small-timore” Maryland it doesn’t help your case in the interview – your interviewer just may value your former boss’s opinion more than yours.
7. Credentials do not equal entitlement – College is very important, having a degree shows that you made a serious investment of time, money, energy, sweat and tears into learning your craft and bettering yourself. But most employers are more impressed with you applicable knowledge within their industry, rather than WHERE you got your degree. You need schooling but you ALSO need hands-on experience and demonstrated working knowledge. Don’t act as if you’ve already earned the job until you actually get the job.
8. You are not in a position to play hard to get – You need to act as if you want the job for which you’re applying. There is a certain gamesmanship between employer and applicant, but this is more strategic than dating. If an employer calls to give you the job, don’t keep them hanging – you’re not in a position to negotiate by ignoring calls or waiting to answer emails.
9. Don’t just apply to anything – Go for the job you actually want, not just any job that’s open. Don’t just apply for any job that you THINK you can do. There’s nothing worse than stretching your qualifications to get just any job only to soon find out you can’t handle it – even worse, letting your boss find out you’re not fit for the job.
10. Have the right people in your corner – Having a trusted IT Staffing service doesn’t just help you find your dream job, but empowers you with trusted, seasoned recruiters that have a stable of companies that go to them for their staffing needs.