Ten Rules Job Seekers Are Allowed To Break Now

The working world is changing dramatically around us.

 

The job-search world has changed, too.

You can’t be a complacent job seeker these days. You have to be proactive. You can’t follow the old rules:

 

  1. Apply for jobs online, then wait.

 

  1. If you don’t hear anything, apply for more jobs online.

 

  1. Wait as long as it takes for you to hear back, and one day you’ll get a job.

 

Forget that nonsense! You have to break out of that mold to get a good job these days.

 

You might think it’s too risky to break the old, traditional job-search rules. If you don’t break a few rules, you could wait forever to get your new job!

 

For years, department managers have gone around and outside their organizations’ formal recruiting processes to fill their job openings.

 

They use their networks and their employees’ networks as recruiting sources. They meet people at industry events and keep in touch with them, and hire them down the road.

 

You can tap into the same informal networks to get your next job. You can break the old rules and step into your power!

Recommended by Forbes

 

Here are ten rules job-seekers are allowed to break now:

 

  1. The rule that says your resume must be dusty and formulaic.

 

Don’t use meaningless, robotic language like “Results-oriented professional” in your resume. Tell your human-story in your own words, instead!

 

  1. The rule that says you can’t use the word “I” in your resume.

 

You can use “I” in your resume — it’s your principal branding document! You can use “I” in your LinkedIn profile, too.

 

  1. The rule that says the only way to apply for a job is through the company’s online job application portal.

 

Black Hole recruiting portals are the worst job-search channel there is. Use your network, or reach out to hiring managers directly.

 

  1. The rule that says you can’t reach out to your hiring manager directly.

 

Yes you can!

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4 soul-crushing moments every job searcher experiences

Looking for a new job is no easy task.

The process is fraught with sterile rejection emails, awkward interview experiences, and tricky conversations. Sometimes you may even go months without getting a single interview. At some point during your search, you might hit a road block that is so devastating, you begin to question whether or not you should even keep looking. The good news is that if you can understand why something went wrong and adjust your approach, you can overcome any obstacle.

Let’s take a closer look at four common, soul-crushing setbacks, including why they happen and how you can move forward.

 

  1. NOT HEARING ANYTHING BACK

What it Looks Like

You’ve been scouring job boards and applying to every relevant opportunity in sight, but the only responses you’ve gotten are generic rejection emails. Sure, you understand that it can take time to find the right position, but after a month or two of total silence, you start to lose hope. You know you have great experience, so what gives?

Why it Happens

There are tons of reasons why you may not be hearing back, but your resume is the most likely culprit. First, consider that it’s probably going to have to make it past an applicant tracking system. These systems scan every application for keywords that are specific to the role you’ve applied for. If you didn’t take the time to customize your resume for a particular job, you may be getting rejected before an actual person ever has a chance to lay eyes on your materials.

Another potential resume issue? Content. Recruiters only spend a few seconds scanning a resume before deciding whether or not they’re interested in a particular candidate, so you don’t have much time to grab their attention. Resumes that feature engaging language, relevant content, key achievements, and quantifiable metrics are much more likely to catch a hiring manager’s eye.

The timeliness of your application, the methods you’re using, and types of roles you’re applying to are all important factors to consider. Are you applying for jobs that were posted over a month ago? Chances are, the organization is probably pretty close to hiring someone by now. Are you only using one or two strategies in your search? If you aren’t having any success, it may be time to try out a few different resources. Finally, are you applying to roles that are a strong match for your skills and work history? If you’re a sales representative with two years of experience in the retail industry and you’re applying for sales director opportunities in the tech space, you may not be setting yourself up for success.

What to Do About It

Customizing your resume for each and every role you apply to isn’t as hard as it sounds. Try asking yourself two simple questions as you read through the job description for each role you’d like to apply to:

  • Do I have experience doing this type of work?
  • Is this experience currently on my resume?

If you answer yes to the first question and no to the second, it’s time to update your resume.

Diversifying your resources is also crucial to success. Don’t rely solely on job boards: Leverage your network, identify the top 10 companies you’d like to work for and reach out to recruiters who work there, attend relevant industry events, or consider working with a recruiting agency. There tons of different ways to find new opportunities—don’t limit yourself to just one.

If what you’re doing isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate your game plan. Making adjustments to your approach can mean the difference between an empty inbox and a calendar full of interviews.

 

  1. BOMBING AN INTERVIEW

What it looks like

Interviews are stressful, and, sometimes, things just don’t go your way. Maybe you showed up late, forgot the hiring manager’s name, got stumped on a question, or accidentally let it slip that you can’t stand your current manager. Regardless of the severity of your interview faux pas, you walk away feeling pretty confident that you’re not going to get the job.

Why it happens

Everyone slips up from time to time. When it comes to the interview, there are three fundamental things that can go wrong:

External Factors: These are things beyond your control, like your car breaking down, your bus never showing up, waking up with a terrible cold, or a loved one landing in the hospital. Obviously, the severity of these events range from inconvenient to traumatic, but they all have the potential to throw you off your game.

Lack of Preparation: These are things that are firmly in your control, like getting enough sleep the night before, researching the company, practicing your answers to somecommonly asked interview questions, and brainstorming engaging questions to ask during your meeting. Taking the time to adequately prepare yourself in advance is an essential factor in interview success.

Fate: Sometimes, things just weren’t meant to be. If you weren’t at your best because you were dealing with a rude interviewer, didn’t click with the hiring team, or simply didn’t feel comfortable, you probably don’t want that job, anyway. Don’t forget that the purpose of this entire process is for you and your potential employer to assess whether or not you are a fit for each other.

 

What to do about it

Don’t lose sight of the fact that this happens to everyone. When you find yourself in this position, you have two options: Learn from your mistakes and move forward, or try to salvage your candidacy. If you feel strongly that you really are the right person for the job, you may be able to turn things around by showing that you recognize that you could have done better and then demonstrating your ability to do so. Try sending the hiring manager a message to thank him for his time and work in a few lines about your misstep. Here are a few examples:

If don’t feel great about how you answered a question, say: “I’ve been thinking about my answer to your question about how I would grow community engagement and I wanted to share some additional thoughts with you.”

If you didn’t have any questions prepared, say: “I rarely find myself at a loss for words, but in my excitement, I neglected to ask you a few key questions about this opportunity.”

If you think you overshared, say: “I wanted to clarify my comments about my current role.”

If you were late, say: “I take being on time very seriously, and want to apologize for the any inconvenience my late arrival caused this morning.”

There is no guarantee that this approach will work, but most managers value employees who are willing to admit and learn from their mistakes, so at a minimum, they’ll most likely respect you more for owning up to whatever went wrong.

 

  1. THINKING YOU GOT THE JOB AND THEN GETTING REJECTED

CONTINUE

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resume-overkill 

So, you’ve passed your screening interview with flying colors.

 

Now you’re dreading what comes next…

A second interview is usually the final step in obtaining a job offer – at this point, you might even have a 50% possibility of getting the position you aim for.

Before you head off to your second interview, there are several things you should know:

Two purposes:

In general, the second interview serves two purposes for the hiring company:

Identifying specific qualities and competences – while the first interview serves as a glimpse into your professional standing, the second one is used to determine whether your specific skills match the requirements of what they’re looking for in new employees.

Seeing whether you’ll fit into the company – employers like to test their prospective employees directly in the context of the company. This way they can observe how you get along with other workers and see whether you’re a good fit with their company culture.

What should you expect?

These are some of the typical things that happen

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Interview

Everyone knows that it’s an extremely bad idea to lie during the job search procedure – on your CV/resume and especially in an interview.

However, interviewers aren’t put in the position of having to tell the truth all the time.

What are the biggest lies that interviews tell candidates? Find out below (courtesy of JobCluster)!

Takeaways:

  • “We’ll call you and get back to you in some time”
  • “We will give you a salary considering your work experience”
  • “We are impressed but we still need to interview more people”

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4 Surprising Reasons you Blew that Interview

Many HR professionals have shared with me 5 categories they check off during an interview.

  1. Excitement and interest in the job
  2. Energy
  3. Exchange, the ability to communicate and listen
  4. Effort and ability to connect with those in the room and other potential co-workers
  5. Engage in intelligent dialog regarding skill-set and how you can meet the needs of the job

One of my favorite ways to prepare for an interview is to come up with a list of 10 potential questions, give that list to a friend, and ask him or her to interview me.

At the end of a recent faux-interview, I asked my friend how I’d done. I was pretty sure he was going to say, “Fantastic!”

But instead he responded, “Hmm…I wasn’t very impressed.”

Have you ever experienced the same discrepancy between your evaluation—and the interviewer’s? (And found out when you never got a call to come back in for another round?) Here are the four reasons you might think you knocked it out of the park—when you actually blew it.

 

  1. YOU WEREN’T ENTHUSIASTIC

This was my friend’s number-one gripe: Even though I had clearly done my research, I didn’t seem like I was super-pumped about the company or the position. While I thought I was being calm and collected, he said I came across as “meh.”

 

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12 Ways to Get a Job Interview and One Way Not To

Lou Adler

Nowadays, most of the work I do involves helping recruiters and hiring managers find and hire perfect people for imperfect jobs. In the manual I give them I also provide a bunch of countermeasures for candidates to use whenever they meet interviewers who don’t follow the steps I recommend. Some of these are highlighted below.

Job Hunting Tip #1: don’t apply directly to any job posting. The only exception to this rule is if you’re a perfect fit based on the skills, experiences and titles listed on the job description. If you’re not a perfect, you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your time applying to jobs. However, if you think you can do the job, even if you’re not a perfect match on the requirements listed, there are many things you can do to get an interview. Here are my favorites:

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21 Secrets to Nailing a Job Interview

Interviewing for a new job is always difficult, regardless of how you have fared in past interviews. Every company and every interviewer is unique.

No matter how much you prepare, there is almost always at least one question in every interview that catches you completely off guard, and it can be remarkably challenging to think on your feet when you feel like you’re being examined under a microscope.

The most you can do is rock the things that you can control.

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Interview

A job interview will quickly disintegrate into an interrogation or monologue unless you ask some high quality questions of your own. Candidate questions are the lifeblood of any successful interview, because they create dialogue and help clarify your understanding of the company and the position responsibilities.

In addition the questions you ask serve to indicate your grasp of fundamental issues, reveal your ability to probe beyond the superficial and challenge the employer to reveal his or her own depth of knowledge and commitment to the job.

Your questions should always be slanted in such a way as to show empathy, interest, or understanding of the employer’s needs. After all, the reason you’re interviewing is because the employer’s company has a piece of work that needs to be completed, or has a problem that needs correcting. Here are some questions that have proven to be very effective:

  • What’s the most important issue facing the company (or department)
  • How can I help you accomplish this objective?
  • How long has it been since you first identified this need?
  • How long have you been trying to correct it?
  • Have you tried using your present staff to get the job done? If so, what was the result?
  • Is there any particular skill or attitude you feel is critical to getting the job done?
  • Is there a certain aspect of my background you’d like to exploit to help accomplish your objectives?

Questions like these will not only give you a sense of the company’s goals and priorities, they’ll indicate to the interviewer your concern for satisfying the company’s objectives.

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Interview2

Experienced job seekers know there are four basic types of interview questions—and they prepare accordingly.

First, there are the resume questions. These relate to your past experience, skills, job responsibilities, education, upbringing, personal interests, and so forth.

Resume questions require accurate, objective answers, since your resume consists of facts which tend to be quantifiable (and verifiable). Try to avoid answers which exaggerate your achievements, or appear to be opinionated, vague, or egocentric.

Second, interviewers will usually want you to comment on your abilities, or assess your past performance. They’ll ask self-appraisal questions like, “What do you think is your greatest asset?” or, “Can you tell me something you’ve done that was very creative?”

Third, interviewers like to know how you respond to different stimuli. Situation questions ask you to explain certain actions you took in the past, or require that you explore hypothetical scenarios that may occur in the future. “How would you stay profitable during a recession?” or, “How would you go about laying off 1300 employees?” or, “How would you handle customer complaints if the company drastically raised its prices?” are typical situation questions.

And last, some employers like to test your mettle with stress questions such as, “After you die, what would you like your epitaph to read?” or, “If you were to compare yourself to any U.S. president, who would it be?” or, “It’s obvious your background makes you totally unqualified for this position. Why should we even waste our time talking?”

Stress questions are designed to evaluate your emotional reflexes, creativity, or attitudes while you’re under pressure. Since off-the-wall or confrontational questions tend to jolt your equilibrium, or put you in a defensive posture, the best way to handle them is to stay calm and give carefully considered answers.

Remember, your sense of humor will come in handy during the entire interviewing process, just so long as you don’t go over the edge. I heard of a candidate who, when asked to describe his ideal job, replied, “To have beautiful women rub my back with hot oil.” Needless to say, he wasn’t hired.

Even if it were possible to anticipate every interview question, memorizing dozens of stock answers would be impractical, to say the least. The best policy is to review your background, your priorities, and your reasons for considering a new position; and to handle the interview as honestly as you can. If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say so, or ask for a moment to think about your response.

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interview_questions

Here are eight of the most commonly asked (and basic) interviewing questions. Do yourself and the prospective employer a favor, and give them some thought before the interview occurs.

  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job?
  • What are your personal and professional goals?
  • What do you like most about your current job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What do you like least about your current job?

The last question is probably the hardest to answer: What do you like least about your current job?

I’ve found that rather than pointing out the faults of others (as in, “I can’t stand the office politics,” or, “My boss is a jerk”), it’s best to place the burden on yourself (“I feel I’m ready to exercise a new set of professional muscles,” or, “The type of technology I’m interested in isn’t available to me now.”). By answering in this manner, you’ll avoid pointing the finger at someone else, or coming across as a whiner or complainer. It does no good to speak negatively about others.

I suggest you think through the answers to the eight questions above for two reasons.

First, it won’t help your chances any to hem and haw over fundamental issues such as these. (The answers you give to these types of questions should be no-brainers.)

And second, the questions will help you evaluate your career choices before spending time and energy on an interview. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers you come up with, maybe the new job isn’t right for you.

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