In the last two blogs, I've compared the job search to sifting through all of the pebbles on the beach to find the perfect piece of sea glss. We looked at Planning and Networking in the last two posts and today I give you Preparing.
This chapter (placed last for a reason) takes you through the tools you’ll need to put your job search into high gear. It includes resume types, behavioral interviewing, questioning techniques, and resources to find company information.
If you completed the planning exercises in Sea Glass and the Job Search: Planning, you should be more comfortable identifying your strengths, weaknesses, skill set, personality and work values and are ready to create a resume template that will be formatted to the type of positions that interest you.
Your resume should include a Summary Statement highlighting your overall strengths and a listing of approximately six of your core strengths.
These core strengths should match or be similar to the key words and listed in the job posting and include both technical or professional wording and soft skills (such as communication, teamwork). Whether you chose a chronological, functional or combination resume, it is critical to use succinct sentences to describe your accomplishments. The hiring manager wants to see results; not a job description.
A seasoned interviewer will ask behavioral questions using the STAR format because he or she wants to know what you DID in your past job rather than what you WOULD do.
STAR questioning allows you to take the interviewer through the steps you followed to accomplish an activity. STAR stands for Specific, Task, Actions taken and Results. An example of a STAR interviewing question is “Take me through a task or project that you completed where you had to work with a difficult customer. What happened? What were the results?”
It helps to look at all of your accomplsihments as they relate to the new positon and ask yourself STAR questions for each accomplishment, strength and weakness.
You should also be prepared with questions/statements such as:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you feel are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we select you?
- What makes you want to work with us?
Make sure that you have several questions for the interviewer too. In your preparation, make sure to look at the company website as well as any recent articles about the company and its products and services. Some questions for the interviewer can be:
a. What are the short and long term goals of the company?
b. What is the vision of the department?
c. What is the company environment like?
d. What concerns need to be addressed immediately?
e. What do you see happening with this position for the next 3 to 6 months?
f. What are the particular attributes needed to succeed in this job?
g. What are the challenges a person coming to this job will face?
For additional resume or interviewing help, please see some of my previous articles on The Patch or visit my website and refer to the Resources tab.
Hopefully this series, Sea Glass and the Job Search has clarified some of the confusion associated with beginning your job search and allow you to find your perfect job.