Looking for a job? Then take time to NETWORK. What’s the subtle way to do it? Go out to events, connect with professionals and ask their advice. Find out about their careers. People love to talk about themselves. Take advantage of that. In doing so, share a little about your own career goals ... and watch your network grow! Having a network is one of the best tools you can have in your Job Search Kit!
Many job seekers don’t realize how important it is to perform a search during the holiday season. I mention this now so you can prepare for it. Why is it a good time? There is little to no competition. Companies are completing their budget planning for the next fiscal year, so it’s a great time to get in front of hiring managers. And many executives have to fill openings early in the year or they may lose the budget for that position.
Create an image as a SELF-STARTER. Owners and managers of businesses view self-starters as key elements in a successful team. Why? Because they work hard to achieve their goals, and that’s a big benefit to organizations.
When interviewing, FOCUS ON HOW YOU CAN HELP THE COMPANY become more successful. Avoid emphasizing what the company can do for you. How do you accomplish this? By outlining your strengths and pointing out the specific areas where you can help them solve their problems. Be ready to detail how you have stayed current with technology and industry changes and how the economy has affected the organization.
Older job hunters shouldn’t be afraid to stress to prospective employers that they don’t mind working for a younger boss — or to cite examples of times when they enabled a younger superior to succeed, grow and advance his or her own career. Emphasize that you will help your boss succeed in achieving his or her immediate goals so that he or she will have more time to work on what should be done in the future. Show that you are committed not only to your own success but to the success of the organization as well.
BE DIFFERENT. Show what separates you from the competition. Talk about the dramatically different things you do. Be prepared with some good stories that are exciting to talk about and illustrate your “difference.”
Let the interviewer know that YOU ARE A TEAM PLAYER. Illustrate that you know the value of working with others and have a strong sense of being part of a team. Present yourself as someone who is willing to give credit to others, is a good listener and is willing to take direction. If you are an older worker, let the interviewer know that you lead by example and want to mentor others.
DON’T ACT OVERCONFIDENT. Avoid being a self-promoter. Be confident in what you bring to the table and express the results of your previous work, but don’t be aggressively pushy about them.
Be prepared to ANSWER THE TOUGH QUESTIONS. Decide ahead of time how you will discuss the kind of reference you think your old boss will give you. This gives you a chance to talk about your previous position (if applicable) before the interviewer speaks to your former boss. However, don’t use this as an opportunity to say anything derogatory about your former job! That’s a definite mistake.
In this economy, BE FLEXIBLE ON PAY. To compete with others, especially younger job seekers, executives over 50 should be flexible with regard to compensation. Older employees have an advantage over younger job candidates if they are willing to accept a lower base salary in exchange for a larger performance-based bonus. Companies look for individuals who will take risks to prove that they are worthy of the job.
THE KEY IS TO ACT LIKE A PROFESSIONAL when you are searching for a new job! Happy hunting!
Great Video Information
4 Keys to Jump Starting Your Job Search
» Don’t forget that looks count. While you can’t change your physical being, you can show it off in the best possible way.
» Make sure the job is right for you.
» Use video on LinkedIn pages to show how you are different from others who do what you do!
» Understand that people pay attention to your every social media move.
— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.