BALTIMORE - When it comes to trying to find a job, especially in these tough times, being prepared is always a major key. That includes knowing the four key phases of the job search that could help you get a job a little easier.
Wednesday on Good Morning Maryland @ 9's "Get Back 2 Work" series, career expert Joni Daniels talked about four key phases to keep in mind before you start your job search.
Some of Joni's tips are below this article. You can also listen to Joni's advice by clicking of the video box to the left of this article.
4 Phases of the Job Search
Whether you are graduating from school this spring or entering the job market for the first time, before you jump into the applicant pool, know how to give yourself every advantage during each phase of the search. Whether you are networking or interviewing, you can always put your best foot forward.
1: Get Ready
Use technology to learn, either with your own computer or computers available at the library. Take the time to do some research. Search your name and see what comes up, because that is what potential employers will be doing. Search the companies you are interested in to learn about what they do and if they have been in the news. Spend some time on their web site learning about them. Know some of their history and reputation.
Identify your transferable skills – the skills you have acquired in other jobs or through life activities that can be transported and applied to what you hope will be your next job.
Proofread your resume and have a current, clean copy of your resume ready to provide.
Write down some questions that you'd like to ask about the company (NOT about benefits, salary or vacation). Until a job has been offered it's about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
Know what you'll be wearing the night before you meet with a potential employer. Make sure you clothing is clean and pressed. For most places of employment, minimize piercings and tattoos.
Know where you are going. If you're unsure, make the trip before you need to make the trip! You don't want to be late or get lost. Account for weather or heavy traffic.
Eliminate any and all distractions. (No gum chewing, jangly jewelry)
Show up 5-10 minutes early.
Turn off your cell phone.
A firm handshake, a warm smile and eye contact are a professional beginning and a way to establish initial rapport.
3: Be Professional
Employers want to find good candidates so just be yourself. Even if you are nervous, slow down and talk at a calm and normal pace.
Try to avoid any "umms" or "uhhs" or "like" in your speech.
When asked a question, take a moment and consider it carefully before answering.
Toward the end of the interview, ask those questions you prepared about the position and the company.
When the interview is over, thank the interviewer. Ask them for their card, and remember to shake hands again before leaving.
Think about whether this job is a good fit for you.
Even if you decide that it's not for you, it's always a good idea to send a follow-up thank you note (or e-mail) to your interviewer. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you. If you are interested in the job, ask about the next steps in the hiring process.
Be patient and wait at least 5-7 days before following up again. Although this is very important to you, it's most likely not the only thing the interviewer has to take care of Proactive candidates are great but being a pest is not!