Preparing for job applications can be very daunting, but it does not have to be that way. All you need is to organise and prepare these six important items before embarking on your next job search.
1) At least Two Authentic References
We have put this at the top simply because they are highly effective in helping you clinch that job.
When a previous employer endorses you, it sends a strong message to prospective employers and job interviewers that you are likely a valuable addition to their company. It gives you the advantage of serious consideration for important positions.
You can easily contact any of your previous employers and ask them to write you a letter of recommendation.
Do note that it is discouraged that you email these to your interviewer, unless of course they have asked for it. It is better to hand it to them personally at the interview so you can make it a point of discussion.
2) An Interview Plan
An interview strategy is your key to getting hired, and you should always have one ready. On top of preemptively gathering your thoughts, this will also help you avoid getting speechless during the interview itself.
Here’s a guide that will put you above everyone else:
- Foresee possible questions that may be asked. Develop intuitive answers to these questions.
- What are your short, mid, and long-term career goals?
- What is your personality type?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- Construct a paragraph on how you can contribute to the company by working there.
- Find a way to mention your ambition by discussing how your career choice has benefitted your life.
- List the positive points of your work ethics and find ways to insert them into your conversation.
3) A LinkedIn Profile That is Ready for Viewing
LinkedIn is a powerful tool you can use to create a good first impression. Make sure that when someone checks yours, it speaks volumes about your value as an employee.
The best way to maintain a LinkedIn profile is to visit it at least once every two weeks. Update your skillset and reply to network outreaches. Check out your contact endorsements and give a few out to people you have dealt with.
It is also important to update your work history, manage your profile information and reach out to professionals in your industry. Use LinkedIn to network as often as you can. Staying active here will start your job search off on a positive note.
4) An Updated CV
This is an obvious one, but nonetheless important. Listed below are details crucial to your resumé. You can also use the following points as prompts for discussion throughout the interview to strengthen your personal pitch.
- Your education history and skillset
- Important duties you performed at previous jobs (especially the ones relevant to your current application)
- Key performance achievements or value-add that you have contributed in your current or previous jobs
- Contact details of managers you have worked under
- Additional online courses you attended (even personal ones)
5) Training Certificates and Endorsements
Writing your qualifications on paper is not nearly as powerful as showing a certificate. These should always be on hand when you go for your interview. Endorsements from your teachers and/or ex-employers will also make a strong statement. Whether you are applying for your first job or looking to change to a new one, be sure to print out these letters of endorsement and include them with your certificates.
6) A Business Summary
Do not be lazy! Laziness will hurt your chances of acing an interview. Take the time to research the company you are applying for.
The interviewer will be impressed by your knowledge of the industry and the company—especially if you have done in-depth research. Here are some company characteristics you can & should research prior to your interview:
- The company’s mission statement, business market positions and needs. Discuss how you can contribute to their business by helping them achieve their corporate mission and market objectives.
- Manager profiles. Do some individual research on some of the company managers. Check out their LinkedIn profiles and their articles or output to see if they have published any material online you can refer to in your interview.
- Research the industry in general. Learn what the industry entails and how your skills fit within the company.
Always ensure you have #1 to #5 ready at all times — even if you are not in search of a job. Remember to always be prepared for any opportunity that knocks on your door.All content is produced and published by IMPACT! Brand Communications.