5 Basic Job Hunting Skills That Will Never Go out of Style

In the last decade the focus of life seems to be centered around social media and the internet. Shopping, working and social life revolves around tweeting, posting and search engines, but if you are looking for a job there are some skills that will never go out of style – and will never be replaced digitally. As ‘old fashioned’ as they seem, avoid them at your peril, these skills speak volumes about you and your ethics.

These 5 basic job hunting skills are simple but very effective at saying ‘I care about your job’ and help you through to the next stage.

1: Dress to Impress.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – if you don’t dress to impress you’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The clothes you wear to wander round the shops or mow the lawn are great for doing the chores but not for asking for a job. Well dressed and groomed doesn’t mean a suit and tie necessarily, but smart casual clothes and a clean appearance are needed. Bear in mind that most working environments are scent free when it comes to personal products, so be sensitive to their needs.

Don’t forget a firm handshake, plenty of eye contact and smile also dress to impress, so make sure you practice.

2: Don’t be a slave to technology.

One of the biggest assumptions that you can make is that your spell checker will catch all your mistakes – Wrong! Let me show you from some of the resumes I have seen:

One started, ‘Dear Sir or Madman’.

Another boasted, ‘Instrumental in ruining an entire operation for a Midwest chain store.’

One informed, ‘I am fluent in English and spinach’.

This one I couldn’t resist: ‘Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.’

Need I say more?

Copying and pasting also is something to be wary of. Changing a skill title then pasting the same description from earlier will not fool a recruiter. Make it perfect, make it personal.

3: Surmising

Bullet points work well in resume. A recruiter wants to see at a glance what value you have for the position. They want to know what impact you had in your last job, your capability and the results you achieved. IF they have 30 resumes to go through your more likely to be successful if you have concise, surmised information that tells them all they need quickly.

4: Cohesion

Your cover letter and your resume need to flow and well articulate who you are and what you have done. Random scraps of information say nothing – except you can’t produce a formal, informative document – or worse, you don’t care.

5: Follow up

The follow up is a big issue for a recruiter. They know if you’re motivated and skilled enough – you’ll call. They also know a follow up call means you understand that securing a job is about working effectively with a recruiter and building a relationship. Even an email will help build a bridge and open up communication to further your application.

Take the time to make sure you avoid these very easy pit falls and show the recruiter that the quality of your work is important to you, as well the opportunity with their firm. If you don’t – you might as well try and learn to speak fluent spinach.

Habits That Lead to Promotion

In today’s job market it’s hard to get noticed by the people that matter. With a very mobile market there is a large base of qualified candidates out there who have the qualifications needed to be a boss, and the hunger to get a position that is the next step up. Gone are the days when you secured a promotion at work just because you had been there the longest, if you want to be the boss these days you need to cultivate the habits that make it happen.

Here are a few habits that will get you on the ‘promotion radar’ and make sure your name will be top of the list when they have a place to fill.

Learn Your Craft

One of the best ways to get noticed is to be the best at what you do. Sooner or later an opportunity will come up that needs a specialist in your field and that specialist will have to interact with the movers and shakers in your company. It may be a presentation or a mission critical project, but either way that moment is the chance for you to outshine your peers and come to the notice of people who matter.

Any time you take to get to know your craft will pay dividends at this moment – and when it comes, the time for preparation is past. Be ready, it will come.

Use Your Strengths

Any job description is a wish list of skills that they need for that particular job, in that particular company. As you progress through the management structure you will see each manager has well-honed skill. Play to your strengths. Look at what you do best and focus on a few priorities that you can own and the boss will notice.

Keep a Record

If you want a promotion you need to be able to justify it. Your boss will be looking for someone who can lead and inspire. Keep a list of the things that have accomplished, extra projects you have successfully contributed to or peers you have mentored. Make a note of anything that will show the management your value in the work place and what you have to offer.

Be Flexible

Nothing is more important to a boss than being dependable and flexible. Someone who is helpful and has a good attitude to the work that needs to be done will be noticed quickly. Those who dive right in and get working support their peers and their superiors and those are the skills that make excellent managers.

Be proactive in offering help, look for opportunities where you can make a difference and consider taking on extra projects to work with the team.

Stay Hungry

In his book ‘Personal Competitiveness: Achieve Breakthrough Success in the Global Economy’, Vino Mehta says:

“Hunger is essential. It is the hunger for success, for knowledge, for learning something new that is important. It is this quest that drives people. Develop that insatiable curiosity to find out what the next frontier or the next assignment or challenge will teach you. That hunger will go a long way in keeping you motivated and constantly learning all the time, thus keeping your competitive edge intact. Keep wanting to learn and grow, and you’ll find it easier to move up the management ladder.”

He’s right.

Be Yourself

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. If you’re just like everyone else you won’t stand out, so don’t be afraid to be the one with ideas, suggestions or using a new approach. It will help you stand out and make your bosses see the benefit in promoting you.

The sooner you set up these habits and make them a part of your work ethos, the sooner you can take advantage of every promotion that comes your way. They say chance favours the bold – it favours the well prepared too.

Handling Rejection After an Interview

Talk to any successful business person what has taught them the most about success and nearly all of them will say, ‘failure’. The ability to fail, and fail well, is a prerequisite for success in any aspect of life. It is by trying and failing we begin to truly understand how things work, and begin [...]

Continue reading...

Four Resume Tips

      Resumes are one of the most important tools in your job search.  They are designed to get you into that recruiter’s office so you can sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.  Advice on good resume writing is out there, all with different rules to apply.  However, not everything that [...]

Continue reading...

What Is a Resume Really For?

Do you have gaps in your employment?  One of the specific things that recruiters look at is whether or not you have large empty spaces of time between jobs.  If you do, this may be a red flag.  Of course, if you have gaps in your resume, you should never lie and eliminate them.  Simply [...]

Continue reading...

How to Write a Cover Letter

Cover letters are just as important as resumes.  Cover letters are designed to be personal and is your one opportunity to stand out from all the rest.  It should never be a recap of your resume, but should add to it.  According to AgriMarketing, the cover letter is the perfect tool to accomplish several things.  [...]

Continue reading...

In the Job Market, Competition Is Greater Than Ever

According to the Wall Street Journal, in March 2013 the participation rate hit an all-time low not encountered since 1977. The participation rate refers to people either looking for work or currently working. This means that there are seven million people “missing” from the labor force. What could this suggest? According to economists, the labor [...]

Continue reading...