Skip to Main Content
by Becky Holton | January 17, 2020

Share

It’s easy to get mired in age-old advice that’s not really that helpful when looking for a job. Just sending out your resume to the company you want to work for isn’t as effective as it used to be. The modern age demands more wisdom when looking for a job. Having many years of experience working for a lot of different employers, I’ve learned many things during the job search. Here are my top 11 tips to help you land the job you want in 2020.

1. Know what your skills are.

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this simple rule. Most people start their job search by looking for whatever job titles correspond with their career goals. This sounds good on the surface, but it’s easy to apply for the wrong job this way. Instead, you should be looking for the required skills of the position you are considering. That way, you can identify whichever jobs match best with your skill set. At any rate, job titles are too fluid and change every year while required skills sets are more stable.

2. Know your best options.

While it’s great to widen your options when it comes to looking for jobs in the beginning, don’t apply to every job you see advertised. Go for those that fit both your skill set and career goals. When you have a shortlist of such jobs, do extensive background research about the companies and their cultures. Probe your network for anyone who’s been at the companies before and let them give you their perspective.

3. Customize your resume.

Even if all the jobs you’re looking for are within the same industry, your resume still shouldn’t be the exact same for all of them. Customize your recipe to the requirements of each job to give yourself a competitive edge.

4. Add something extra in your cover letters.

Many people fall into the trap of restating their resumes in their cover letters. Instead of that, give more background information about yourself and why you’re the best candidate for the position the company is trying to fill. You can also include a call to action for that extra punch.

5. Research the company and your interviewers.

When you get called in for an interview, don’t forget to prepare for it. Research the company and find out everything you can about it and what it does. Also, find out as much as you can about the individual(s) who’ll be conducting the interview.

6. Don’t be shy about your weaknesses.

When most people are asked what their weaknesses are in an interview, they try to sidestep the question or frame their weaknesses as a positive thing. This looks obviously fake. A better way to do it is acknowledge weaknesses that are in no way directly related to the job you’re doing. If you’re applying to be a graphic designer, it doesn’t matter if you’re not good with numbers. It’s important to be honest about your weaknesses. Interviewers can tell if you’re being dishonest.

7. Prepare for unexpected questions.

In just about every interview you’ll ever have, expect to be asked at least one really weird question, especially if you’re applying for a senior role in a cutting edge company. These questions typically test your thought process. I once was asked to estimate how long it would take before heaven and hell got overpopulated. While you can’t prepare for the exact unexpected questions you’ll receive, you can prepare mentally for them by getting into a state of mind you are expecting the unexpected. This will help to lessen your stress when you’re asked an oddball question.

8. Always remain calm.

Sometimes, no matter how ready you are, things can go south. In fact, some interviews will intentionally try to make you as uncomfortable as possible, just to see how you react. Remember to keep cool no matter what. Even if you slip up, keep calm and keep going. A single mistake won’t ruin things for you if you get everything else right.

9. Emphasize culture.

Sure, your technical qualifications matter, but there will likely be plenty of other qualified people. So what sets you apart? Try to emphasize your cultural fit for the company. Tell them about your beliefs and values and how they align with theirs.

10. Finish strong.

The most important parts of the interview really are the first impression and the last impression the interviewer has of you. There’s a high chance the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. So make sure to ask any questions that allow you to lead into a powerful story about you and your journey.

11. Don’t forget to follow up.

Within an hour of leaving interview, email your interviewer a thank-you note. Then, follow up within three days, and then a week, and so on—until you get a clear yes or no. This keeps you in your interviewer’s minds.

Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger at research paper writing service. She is interested in education technologies, assignment writing help, and is always ready to support informative speaking at assignment writing service. Follow her on Twitter.

Share

Newsletter
Subscribe to the Vault
Newsletter

Be the first to read new articles and get updates from the Vault team.