Sometimes you have to play the game to win.
Yes, that means you have to play the job search game to win interviews too.
- Is it pretty? Not always.
- Is it fast? It can be, but don’t hold your breath.
- Can you truly get more interviews and job offers? TOTALLY, but you have to follow the rules of the game.
So how do you play to win?
Attitude and Preparation.
I know what you are thinking. How does attitude and preparation help?
How can I get more interview offers and more job offers?
Let’s start with Attitude just to get that out of the way.
We all know that searching for a job is a job in and of itself. Yes, applications are going to take a long time. Yes, it is monotonous. Yes, it is frustrating. Yes, it can make you down right angry. Perhaps you have applied for 100+ positions and have not heard back. First thing most job seekers do is blame recruiters for ghosting them, or they blame HR for not getting back with an offer for an interview.
Blame, blame blame.
I see attitudes go downhill big time when the job search starts getting tough and trust me when I say that is only going to harm your chances of finding the right position and being able to focus totally on being the ideal candidate. Being whiny or complaining on social media, LinkedIn, or even harassing the recruiters publicly or in emails is not going to do you any favors. Do you think that makes you look like someone that companies would want to hire?
So, what are some things you can do to really make sure that your attitude is in check?
Face the fear.
You are going to get turned down. There, I have said it. You WILL get turned down for interview offers and job offers, even after spending countless hours on an application and multiple interviews. As much as that makes you sick to your stomach to think that, overcome that anger and anxiousness and focus on forging ahead. Accept that you will strike out, but one of these times you will get the home run.
You need yourself in tip-top shape more than ever right now. Job searching is mentally exhausting. You need to rest, eat properly, exercise (let those feel good endorphins kick in) and take time for yourself. Be mindful of your time, and others’ time as well. Putting a mindful spin on everything you do in your job search from researching, applying, and interviewing will allow you to focus with clarity and confidence.
Decide to be happy and positive.
I get the most push back from this one. Be happy and positive? Easier said than done!! Not really. You have the option every single day to choose positivity in your job search or let negativity bring you down. As frustrated as you may get, remember, you have to play the game to win it. Positivity is just one part of this. Be bigger than the negative aspects of the job search.
Allowing a bad attitude to control your job search can lead to desperation. Desperation makes you lose out on opportunities and prosperity.
Now that you are mentally ready… let’s look at how to prepare for the job search.
There are 3 types of job seekers. Frantic, Searching, Polished.
Frantic: Oh, I have to think about it, and what I want to do; besides I have a job at the moment, I just know I don’t like it. Let me get back to you.
*3 months later
YIKES I have lost my job and now I need to find a new position ASAP!
Que stress, and random applying that makes you look like you are trying too hard. Oh, and add another layer of stress on for good measure.
Searching: I know I want a new job, because – I just cannot stomach this place anymore – my boss drives me insane – I’m just not appreciated. I’m going to start applying, but I cannot let me boss know, so I am going to avoid fixing my LinkedIn profile, and I am just going to apply to a lot of positions, to see what sticks. Right now, I will take anything that comes my way.
Polished: Currently employed or unemployed job-seeker says, ‘I am excited to start this job search. Now I need to figure out what kind of position I would like to do right now, figure out the companies that will best let me achieve my goals and create the ways to show how I am the ideal candidate for them.’
If you prepare you don’t get so stressed.
Remember how the job search is a game. Practice and preparation help you make the right moves and achieve that end-goal. If a team coach just randomly picked someone out of the crowd and said- ‘ok, go make a home run right now, we have to win.’ How much pressure do you think they will have? Think they will achieve it? What if a player was on the bench with an injury for 3 months, and then the coach said… don’t care if you are ready- it is time- go do it. Think they will play the game at 100%?
Preparation, preparation, preparation.
It is the way to win the game.
How can you prepare for an interview / How can you prepare for the job search?
It all starts with you.
- First, you have to decide: What kind of position are you looking for? Establish the spectrum of positions you would be open to and start researching opportunities available.
- Next, learn about each company and the company culture they have adopted, as well as the company mission. Are you connected with anyone in that company on LinkedIn? If not, reach out to some, learn more. This does not mean to ask a stranger on LinkedIn that works for that company to put in a good word for you. Just start learning about their team and workforce and how you would fit in.
- Create your resume with a focus on how you can benefit that company. Show off your result-based accomplishments and how they fit in with the company objectives.
- Your cover letter should follow suit to those ideas in your resume, but perhaps research some of the great PR/ company news and show that you understand the company, and TELL them how you fit in.
- Work on your personal brand. Yes, this does mean your online professional presence. Are you a job seeker that up until now has always complained online? Go clean it up. Focus your profiles online, such as LinkedIn, to your professional side. Show off your confidence and make sure everything about you shows that you are polished. Be someone that a company would want to represent their company.
- After you prepare, apply and wait for interview offers to come in. At the interview, highlight everything you discussed in the resume in your answers and make sure to intertwine the focus of the company with your background. KNOW the company you are applying for. Be able to name drop and talk about projects, events, and the goals. By doing this, Hiring Managers know you have really prepared and that you are a serious candidate. Not only will it make for a great interview, it will show them that you have put the time in, which is what they want to see.
Oh, and the higher salary part? When you can prepare a resume and cover letter to show off how you have saved a company money, or increased revenue… you have a talking point there. Pretty amazing really!
By researching ahead of time, preparing a custom resume to fit in that spectrum and practicing your interview thoughts, you will be ready to Play the Game.
Get out there and give it all you’ve got. Be focused, positive and prepared and play to win.
If you strike out, keep practicing till you make that home run.