Starting a job search can be a daunting process and mastering the necessary skills requires practice, focus, and determination. Whether it be creating a standout CV, utilising social media, mastering job boards, handling feedback, performing at the interview, negotiating offers or finally resigning, there are many potential obstacles on the way to that exciting new role. Once the job has been secured the skills you used can often be gradually forgotten as the pressures of daily work life take over.
Rather than take yet another look at how to improve job searching and interview techniques we thought it would be useful to look at how you can use these skills in your daily work life once you have found that job.
Presentation – Dressing appropriately and professionally for an interview is essential. Not only does it give the right first impression, but it also instills confidence and mentally prepares you for the interview. At an interview, it is important to put external stresses to one side, such as a bad journey to the interview and focus exclusively on the task in hand. This goes further than just being well dressed it is about your entire presentation and appearing calm, attentive and in control.
Recalling the interview day is a fantastic benchmark to remind yourself of the expected approach to presentation for your workplace. (i.e. more formal in a traditional employer) Acting in a focussed, professional and diligent way will instill confidence in your ability amongst your employer and co-workers.
Preparation – Entering an interview with little knowledge of the company or not having an understanding of the job description and how you can fulfill the duties of the role will probably lead to a negative result. However, being poorly prepared is a common problem both at interview and in the workplace, taking the time and effort to prepare and doing it well is essential.
Work pressures often mean preparation time gets sidelined leading to poor performance. Setting time to prepare and managing how and when to do it is often as vital as the finished work itself.
Understand and sell your strengths – Looking for a job is all about YOU, it is vital that you sell your capabilities through a strong, clear and concise CV and at the interview. One technique to achieve success is to use a technique like the STAR method for structuring your answers.
At work being able to sell yourself is an essential part of teamwork. A team which works effectively is one in which each member works towards a common goal and understands their individual strengths. Knowing what you are good at, communicating clearly your ability and allocating work to the right people in a team will ensure success.
Clear communication skills – It goes without saying that being able to succinctly convey your knowledge and experience at interview is vital. However, once we start work the daily routine can often mean we are distracted when it comes to communicating with colleagues. Taking the time to remember the skills used at interview could be highly useful.
In meetings, it comes down to being prepared, knowing your audience, considering possible questions before you respond and being confident in reply. Simple techniques useful at interview could be used such as taking a brief pause before speaking, slowing down or giving yourself time to think (for example by acknowledging their question and talking briefly around the question before answering). Be natural but taking a confident and assertive approach will help guide conversations to a positive conclusion.
Confidence – Being emotionally intelligent is vital at an interview, delivering answers that demonstrate your experience and ability without appearing self-important or self-obsessed is key. In work, managing relationships are as important as your technical skills. It is well known that people respond negatively to arrogance but by instilling confidence in your ability you will win the support of colleagues.
Listening skills – Listening needs to be active listening and that means showing that you understand what is being said. It is important to remember that interviewing is also a skill set that many companies often get wrong, work with the interviewer by ensuring you are paying deep attention to their questions and adopt open body language with good eye contact. This shows you are attentive and engaged.
Once again, this is a great skill to adopt in your everyday interactions with work colleagues. An open, attentive and responsive approach even in difficult situations will lead to positive outcomes.
Social Media and Job Searching – There has been a move away from traditional web-based job boards over to social media platforms. For the pre-millennial generation, this means learning new techniques for networking and job searching. Understanding and utilising the greater inter-connected business community online opens up great opportunities when you start work. From increasing your contacts in the industry to raising market awareness and creating techniques for accessing new business opportunities, social media is a cost-effective marketing tool business has embraced. Employees need to be part of this now established 21st century business tool.
It is possible to view all the major skills required in a successful job search as being great skills that can be applied your everyday work life. Maybe by viewing every day as an interview day the recruitment process can be used to remind us how to invigorate, re-motivate and fine-tune our work skills.
We would value your insight too. Are there are any other important skills you have used during an interview or job search that you still apply during your working day? We would love to hear about them. Do you have any interesting stories or experiences from your job search that others can learn from? Do share them with us here or contact us via our Facebook page.
We are always available to answer any questions on job searching or interview techniques. When you are ready to look for a new role (Senex Recruitment’s job search is always available, or you can call us on 01424 211872) you will be armed with the key skills for success.