Job Hunting? Polish Your Approach

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Nov 21, 2011 in , , | No Comments

In key areas of the U.S., and in specific industries, employers are hiring.

Solar, wind, computer-assisted manufacturing, education (math and science), health care, nonprofit and government support staff and social services, to name a few, are where job seekers should look. Now is the time to polish your search approach.

The following is a compilation of several expert’s opinions regarding what you should do for a better outcome:

Online Frenemy

You’ve most likely heard this before, especially on this blog, but it’s worth saying again. One job coach had these words of caution: make sure your profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn are exemplary. If your Facebook page is only meant to be for personal contacts, be sure to only add those you know well and trust, and change your settings to private. Even so, others might share something you may not want public, so do exercise good judgment when displaying pictures and creating posts. And if you’re on Twitter, remember cursing, disparaging remarks against women, and Tweets about your last binge drinking experience can blow your chances with an employer, networking contacts and mentors.

Having a complete profile on LinkedIn is preferable, but you don’t need a picture. If you have a logo, or a picture that reflects your industry, that’s fine to put up. Experts warn against a profile picture of yourself, cautioning it gives employers the opportunity to discriminate against you for any number of reasons.

E-Mail Address Nightmares

Your e-mail address should be professional in nature. If the address you have is an old one, it might be time to create another address especially for work related correspondence. Having your college e-mail of “” isn’t going to make the best impression. Include in your new address key words connected to your industry, making it applicable, yet professional.

Their Mistake, Your Win

Find out why your predecessor left before you go into an interview. One HR consultant mentioned that interviewers hire based on the previous employee’s failure to do the job. Did they miss an important deadlines? If so, explain how you approach deadlines–mentioning your pristine track record–give clear examples.

Be sure to Bring It

Go to an interview prepared with a portfolio and specific points to mention about your accomplishments. This is your time to shine! Lasting first impressions are made within a few seconds. You seal the deal when you show interviewers you have what they want.

Do extensive research on the company, the position, and even the interviewers (if you know who they are) before an interview. This knowledge benefits you in a multitude of ways: lends opportunity to ask good questions about the position, lets the interviewer know you’ve done your homework, and shows you take the initiative.

Body Language Speaks

Remember consistent eye contact, a smile, and confident handshake, are body language cues which knowledgeable interviewers notice. Be sure to sit up in your chair, hands comfortably resting in your lap or gently folded on the table.

If you have a tendency to use your hands a great deal while talking, make every effort to limit that in an interview–too much can be distracting.

Nervous? Leg wiggling, hand wringing, lip licking and lack of eye contact all signal you’re a nervous wreck! Try to calm yourself before heading into the interview. Feeling confident helps a bad case of nerves, so be well prepared.

Lie and You’ll Fry

Don’t “stretch the truth” about your education, skill-sets or experience. Be up front about what you’ve done–it’s all in the wording–which makes the difference between an interesting or a boring resume. If word crafting is not your forte, have no fear! There are many resources both online and at the library to help you. Start with publications by Michael Farr, he has many to choose from.

Know Your Worth

When it comes to salary, never mention it in the interview. Know before you go in what their salary range is for the position you want. Let them know you are within their range. Never include salary expectations on a resume or in a cover letter.

One expert suggests you’ll want an opportunity to negotiate, let them name a salary first. Be general, give a broad range if you’re pushed, include not just salary but bonuses, 401K’s, and other perks you may want. Let them know you are looking at the big picture, then ask what the company package is they want you to consider. Ask what salary and compensation they have in mind.

Polish your approach, the outcome may be landing the job of your dreams! Good luck!