21 things every job seeker needs to know how to do
If you’re going to get that great job you want, there are a number of things you need to know how to do.
Sometimes people have trouble even beginning that hunt, because they don’t know where to start. Or they get stymied by something along the way.
We’re not going to let that happen to you.
Here is a list of everything a job seeker needs to know how to do, from start to finish.
1. Stop procrastinating. If you’re going to get a job you have to stop binge watching Game of Thrones, stop playing Call of Duty, and get to work. Where to start? Here.
Don’t read this later, read it NOW: How to stop procrastinating
2. Make your bed. Believe it or not, making your bed in the morning can dramatically alter the course of your day. Make your bed.
Read this: The secret to success: making your bed
3. Write a resume. Don’t use clichés, do use action words, focus on your accomplishments, and never use a generic resume. Tailor yours to every specific position.
4. Write a cover letter. It’s a painful part of the process but one you can’t skip. The cover letter has three purposes: to introduce you, express your interest in the position, and impress someone enough to land an interview.
5. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Hiring managers get persnickety about that sort of thing. Know how to write properly, how to use an apostrophe and the difference between there, their, and they’re.
6. Shake hands. You get one chance not to blow the handshake. It should be easy but so many people get it so wrong. Don’t be sweaty, grasp firmly but not too firmly, don’t be too quick or hold on too long. And keep moving. Otherwise, you’re just holding hands.
Read this: How to shake hands
7. Tell a story. It’s not just the story but how you tell it. You need to keep people interested from beginning to end and there has to be a point – a reason you’re telling that story. It’s a fine craft, but everyone can learn it.
Read this: How to tell a story
8. Research. Never, ever apply for a position or show up to an interview without having researched the company with which you’re applying and the role you want to land. Use all the resources that are available to you.
9. Start a conversation. Networking is the most important part of your job search. You have to be able to talk to people. Don’t think you’re above making small talk. Small talk is the foundation upon which big talk is based. Embrace small talk and learn to converse with everyone you meet.
10. Answer the most common job interview questions. There are certain questions you’re bound to be asked in every interview, including “Tell me about yourself,” “What do you know about our company?” and “Why should we hire you?” Be prepared to answer them all the right way.
11. Calm down. You can’t show up to an interview freaking out from nerves. Confidence is one of the key factors that will sway a hiring manager towards hiring you. Breathe, eat right, don’t overdose on caffeine.
12. Dress for the job interview.What should you wear? Jeans? A suit? There are very few instances in which jeans would be acceptable, but they do exist. Know the industry and the organization and base your decisions on these things.
13. Write an email. Whether it’s an introduction email, a request for help, or just an attempt to reach out to your network, it’s vital that you treat professional emails as professional communications. Lose the exclamation marks, emojis, and casual greetings.
Read this: How to write an email
Read this: How to write the email that gets you a job
14. Use social media. During the job search your web presence will almost always make an impression before you get to do so in person. Make sure it’s a good one. Keep your profiles – all of them – current and appropriate. Don’t send auto DMs, and never forget that what you say and do is public.
15. Choose a professional looking picture. Your LinkedIn profile picture needs to be professional. Make it a headshot, smile, don’t you a photo in which you’ve cropped out your ex and don’t be holding a beer or a cat.
Read this: The most common profile picture mistakes
16. Listen. Nine out of ten job postings ask for listening skills. You have to learn how to listen. Shut up and stop just waiting for your turn to talk.
Read this: How to listen
17. Remember names. It’s something thing they always say about super successful people: “She always remembered everyone’s name.” Remembering someone’s name sends them the message that they matter, and that will make them feel good about themselves and about you. There are tricks. We should all learn them.
Read this: How to remember names
18. Make eye contact. Too much eye contact is weird. Not enough eye contact is weird. You have to make just enough eye contact. It’s a talent.
Read this: How to make eye contact
19. Stand out. One survey found the top reason people don’t get hire is because they don’t distinguish themselves from everyone else. You have to stand out.
Read this: How to be unforgettable
20. Write a thank you note. You always send a Thank You note after a job interview, right? Of course you do. Oh, no… wait. What’s that? I’m wrong? You don’t send a Thank You note? Well, no wonder you can’t get a job.
Read this: How to write a thank you note
21. Negotiate salary. Once you land that job offer, how do you get the salary you want and deserve? Name a wide range and explain why you should be in the upper part of that range.
Read this: How to negotiate your salary