No i’m not looking for another job i’m very happy where i am. I just thought with year 12 and uni wrapping up exams and such i thought i would share with you my secrets to job hunting and job interviews.
I thought i would start with this one first as you need to hunt for the job before you get the interview. There are a number of steps that you need to take and some are different depending on the job you are applying for but still all relevant.
1. Resume and Portfolio
This is the basic step for you before you even start looking at job adds. It is the building block for your steps forward as it is the first thing that the employer will see. Depending on your line of work make your resume look like the field your career is in. If you are an accountant or lawyer then make your resume look clean and professional, stick to one or 2 colours that are not to bright. If you’re more in the creative side like graphic designer or marketing manager then go all out on your resume, still keep it clean and easy to read but be creative. If companies already see that you are creative or professional then your resume will stand out more than others. Also try and keep it to one page but maximum of 2 pages. Employers read through a lot of resumes and they don’t like seeing a multipage resume. Keep it short but not lacking in detail, you can keep the relevant detail in there and just summarise the rest of it.
Portfolios might not be relevant to everyone but have both a paper folio and an online folio. Web folios help show off all your work without giving them pages and pages of colour to print out. However you also want to give them a paper portfolio (of about 10 pages) of all your most recent work or ‘high profile’ work.
2. Forms of contact
This is also an important basic step to work out before you start applying. Make sure your email address is professional, it doesn’t have to be like firstname.lastname@example.org or anything like that. It can still be a Gmail or a Hotmail email address but something more like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org no emails like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails look unprofessional and like you are still a child.
Make sure that your phone number is correct and typed in the right format. The right format for a mobile number is 04xx xxx xxx so make sure it looks like that on your resume. Also make sure that your phone message sounds professional, you can use the following script as an outline:
“Hi, you have reached the phone of _______. Sorry i can’t get to the phone right now but if you leave your name and number after the tone, i will get back to you as soon as i can”
Even though you are setting this phone message still make sure you are trying to answer the phone.
3. Looking for work
There are many sites you can look for work like seek, career one, pedestrian, the loop and many others. So finding a relevant site is not hard but if worse comes to worse you can just google for jobs. There is also the newspaper of going to the office/store yourself but this method might not be best or a waste of time as most companies have everything online now and will probably just tell you to go to the website.
If you’re lazy or want another way to get your profile out there you can always contact a recruitment agency. Basicly how these guys work is you have an interview with a recruiter and then that go out and apply for jobs for you. Sometimes it is jobs that are not even being advertised yet but sometimes this can cost money.
4. Selecting and applying
Once you have found the job site or method to apply for jobs it is now up to selecting and applying. This is fairly straight forward, all you need to do is search for the job you want then apply for it. The one thing i would have to say about this however is don’t be discouraged by the experience field. Most places ask for experience that is greater than the job requires and speaking from experience you can still get jobs that ask for more experience than you have. My 1st job had in the add that they require minimum of 2 years experience and i got that job. The one i’m in now asked for 3 to 5 years minimum and i got that one two. So you see just because you might not have the experience but have everything else they ask for then still go for it.
Job interviews can be tricky…
There are 2 main ways you can have a job interview these days and they are phone and in person. Phone interviews seem to be the new way of conducting the 1st interview. Employers are calling people to get a little glimpse of what you are like. So when that call there are a few things to keep in mind. First off make sure you answer the phone in a professional and polite manner. Something along the lines of…”Good afternoon this is _____” is a great way to start. Also make sure you are in a relatively private and quiet area. You want to do this to show that your are respectful and also so that you don’t have any issues with hearing everything they said. f you are at a shopping center when they call or something like that don’t be afraid to just answer the phone and say would i be able to call you back in 5 mins. When on the phone try and answer all of their questions as clear as possible and always end the phone call with “if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to call back”. If you are successful then most likely you will be called in for a face to face interview but make sure you ask them what they would like you to bring in other than yourself.
The face to face interview is the one that kills most people (not literally) but this is because they don’t know my secrets…
You see the face to face interviews are seen as scary and you feel like you have a lot of pressure on you but really you don’t. First thing is that you dress appropriately, for guys a good suit never goes wrong but for girls it can be a little more difficult. You want to make sure that it looks professional so having a collar always helps, also a nice black skirt can look go as well. Also your hair can tell them a lot about you, for both guys and girls length isn’t really an issue as long as it looks neat. Mainly for guys make sure your facial hair is trimmed or completely clean shaven but once you have this down it is onto the interview.
This is the part where i share with you my secrets. First off you want to do is make sure you do your research. Know the job add back and forth and word for word, also look up the business. Find out what they do and the work they have done. Make sure you also prepare yourself some questions before you go in. The biggest secret about job interviews is that by the time you go into your face to face interview that have already made up 90% of their mind about you. The last 10% is you competing with everyone else going for the job. It is not about the employer finding out about you because by now they already know everything they need to know. Knowing this you can walk into an interview with confidence.
Most of the time when you go in for the interview the person you spoke to on the phone will be there but there will also be others. There could be the owner, HR rep or your potential manager…either way nothing really has changed. Make sure you are at least 10 mins early because this shows you are excited and serious about the job. When you walk in make sure you introduce yourself to everyone and shake their hands. When you have done this let them sit first then you, this shows them respect and gives them the impression that they are in control of the interview but really you are in control. When seated make sure your hands are above the table with your hands together, don’t fidget with anything and never cross your arms. Let them start the questions and make sure you answer them quickly and clearly with not a lot of pauses. After this it will then be up to you to take control of the 2nd half of the interview.
This is the point that you ask them lots of questions about what you know about them. Quiz them on their clients and services because to want to show them that you can go above and beyond what you need to do. Once you have answered and asked all the questions you need make sure that you shake everyone’s hand and try and keep the conversations going with a little small talk. Asking questions like “how are the interviews going?” or “how many do you have left today?” will get you information you need as well as keeping them engaged.
Once you have left the interview then you just need to be patient. Make sure however that you either email or call the next day to thank them for their time and that you enjoyed the interview and seeing the workplace. Everything after this is all easy…they might call you in for a second interview but it is just like the first, again nothing really has changed. Always say yes to what they ask, example. “Can you come in for a trial?”…”Can you send us ______?”.
They will also at some point call your references so make sure you inform your references that they will be called but if they get to this point then it is a good sign.
If you have done everything right they hopefully you have a new job…
Let me know what you think about my hints and what hints do you have to include.