Job Seeker Resources
Put your best foot forward!
Searching for a new job can be an intimidating process. We know how hard it can be, and we’re here to help you find a job you love!
The Job Search
Finding the ideal position that suits your skills, experience and interests can be challenging. Desirable organizations may have the ability to hire the best of the best for their openings. In order to stand out, it is important to know what you’re looking for, know your strengths and use your connections!
Tailoring Your Resume.
Companies are bombarded with hundreds of resumes for open positions. You need to grab the hiring manager’s attention immediately by creating a resume that is visually appealing and easy to read. Make sure that the formatting is clean and consistent. Focus on tailoring your bullet points so that they highlight any skills that would be relevant for the position that you’re applying to. Finally, get a second set of eyes to review your final draft as candidates sometimes overlook typos when reviewing their own work. For detailed resume advice including a do’s and don’ts checklist, click here.
Resume Tips for New Graduates.
In order to represent yourself in the best light possible, it is important to highlight relevant skills without overstating your experience. Think about all the work experience you have from your college years - including part-time or unpaid jobs, internships, work study and extracurricular activities - and the responsibilities you were given in those roles. Then think about the special achievements you accomplished during each experience. Use bullet points to call out each item. Employers understand that recent grads will not have deep professional experience. Employers sometimes see resumes with inflated accomplishments or responsibilities. This can hurt a candidate chance of being considered for the position as credibility is questioned.
Every job seeker should be conscious of their online profile since its common for employers to do a Google search on job candidates. LinkedIn is the social network most often used for professionals and, since many recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates, it’s important to spend time and effort on your profile. Make sure your profile includes: a summary snapshot of your background, companies you’ve worked for in the past, recommendations and a professional photo. Your photo should be a representation of who you are in the workplace. A casual or unprofessional photo can undermine your credibility. Once your profile is up-to-date, seek out groups on LinkedIn that you can join to connect with others in your industry or your fellow alumni.
Whether you’re a new grad or an experienced professional, the key to a successful interview is preparation.
While you are not going to win a job with the way you dress, you might lose one if you get it wrong. First impressions and appearances are important in a job search. With more companies opting for some variety of casual dress codes, choosing the right interview attire is more complicated than it used to be. Playing it safe and dressing conservatively is the rule of thumb to follow. But playing it too safe and backfire in certain situations; wearing a suit in a casual environment could be as damaging as wearing jeans in a professional environment. The key is finding out the dress code norms at the organization and then dress at the high-end of those norms. How do you find out the norms? Get creative if you need to, check social media to see if you know someone who works there and ask them, go to the lobby of the building or the parking lot and look at how people are dressed. If you are working with a recruiter, ask for direction on interview attire.
Have your references ready ahead of time! Compile reference’s contact information so that you can share it with an employer when they ask for it. Ideally, your references should be people who are most familiar with your work history and can comment on your day-to-day performance. Supervisors, clients, peers, and even subordinates can be appropriate references; that said some employers will require a reference from your direct manager(s), so prepare for this request. Let your references know what you’re applying to and what skills are required so that they can speak to your strengths if they’re contacted. If you let them know when to expect a call, it will be easier for them and the employer to connect. Click here for more information on references.
Researching the Company
Researching the company is a crucial step in the job search process. It will help you understand the organization and help you form questions to ask during the interview as well as responses to questions that might come at you. You will want to learn about the company culture, values, place in the industry and other information that will help you determine if you even what to work there. Start by reviewing the company website, as well as online searches for news and information. It is ideal if you can talk to a friendly party that works there, so check Linked-In/social media and see if you know anyone. For more information on researching a company, click here.
A job interview is a two-way street. You want to get to know the organization and the people who work there just as much as they want to get to know you. Asking the right questions can help you do this. There are four types of questions to bring up during an interview: 1) questions to build rapport 2) questions to understand the intricacies of the role 3) questions to understand the company, and 4) questions on next steps. You should be prepared with questions which cover all four areas, for more details on preparing interview questions, click here.
In Person Interviews
The interview is a critical step in the hiring process. It’s a chance for the employer to meet you in person and gauge your personality and passion in a way they can’t do by reviewing a resume. Preparation is the key to success! Here are some tips: 1) Learn about the company and the position 2) Gather your workplace success stories 3) Make sure your stories have a beginning, middle and an end (click the link for more details) 4) Be specific and honest (i.e. don’t exaggerate). For details, click here.
The majority of phone interviews are used as screening sessions before a traditional sit down interview takes place. The interviewer is trying to eliminate the candidates they don’t want to spend time meeting in-person. In these situations, your goal is to get through the screening process. Play to win and do all of your interview preparation before the phone interview; in other words assume you will ultimately get an in-person interview and put the work in to be ready. Keep the following pointers in mind: find a quiet controlled environment for the call; be as professional as you would be in-person, in other words do not be casual because it is “only” a phone call, express interest and excitement with your tone of voice. Don’t necessarily be disappointed if the call is brief and you are unable to share all of accomplishments, if you passed this phone screen you will be able to sell yourself when you do the office interview. Lastly, always ask about next steps and timing so you know where you stand in their process.
Interviews conducted Over Zoom, or other video technology, have more in common with traditional in-person interviews than they do with phone interviews. While every company is different, most employers are not using video interviews as an abbreviated screen; rather they use it as a full length interview, so be prepared. Video technology introduces some new considerations. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind: check your technology in advance, ensure that you are in a quiet, controlled environment to prevent distractions, dress and speak professionally and look directly at the camera. We also recommend that you practice in advance (i.e. mock interview); we know it is painful to watch yourself on screen but it really is one of the most effective ways to prepare for an interview.
Follow Up and Negotiation
Thank You Notes
A thank you note won’t win you the job on its own but sending one is an important activity as it shows employers that you are interested in the position and you understand professional etiquette in this regard. Within 24 hours after you had your interview, send email thank you notes to all the people you formally met. Customize the thank you notes to each person, keep it brief and professional, and also be sure to express your interest in the position. If you have follow up questions ask them is a separate email.
The Director of PSG’s Direct-hire Division, Frank Gentile, wrote an article on this subject (click here to read the article) where he explains the many factors to consider when it comes to salary negotiations, including the following do’s and don’ts’ . Do research; do understand your value to the employer; do monetize your skills where you can; do consider intangible factors. Don’t mention money too early in the interview process; don’t ignore benefits and perks especially where the employer may have flexibility; don’t lose sight of the big picture.
When resigning from one job and transitioning to another it’s important to stay professional and consider the impression you’re leaving. You may have spent years building a positive reputation and there are many reasons why you do not want to tarnish that reputation in the last weeks. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 1) tell your supervisor before your colleagues 2) keep it positive to management, to clients, to vendors, and especially to other employees 3) anticipate a counter-offer and be ready with your response 4) provide a reasonable notice period 5) transition your work as directed by management 6) maintain you work habits and work ethic while you finish out your notice period.