The key to landing your next job does not lie in a cover letter, resume, or even the interview process itself. Today’s job market is incredibly competitive and the ability to sell yourself may determine your professional success. You must sell your personality, achievements, abilities, and potential, which leads to an important stage of the hiring process: follow-up.
Hiring a new employee is a laborious process that is oftentimes outside the normal day-to-day job responsibilities of a manager. Managing a short-staffed team while hiring a new employee can be challenging. When you interview, be sure to acknowledge the time the interviewers have taken reviewing your resume, interviewing you, and communicating with human resources. Also, make sure to follow up with a personal thank you note.
Put Your Network to Work for You
Most job seekers think of the network phase of the hiring process as preceding the face-to-face interview, but your professional network may help you after the interview. You should view the interview as the first step in establishing a long-standing professional relationship with the interviewer. Obviously, this relationship will serve you well if you are hired. However, there may be business or job opportunities down the road if you are not initially successful in landing the job.
During the interview, ask about the acceptability of future communication (Could I get your business card in order to contact you after the interview?). Jenny Foss of The Muse suggests asking the manager if you can connect with them on Linked In which will allow you to search for mutual professional contacts. You should reach out to any mutual contacts to inquire about their relationship with the hiring manager. You may be able to leverage these relationships to provide endorsements the hiring manager will see. It’s worth noting that approximately 80% of jobs today are obtained through some level of networking.
Demonstrate you are a Learner
Your ability to adapt to an ever-changing job market demands that you be a life-long learner. Demonstrating a mastery of your industry and staying abreast of trends is essential. Communicating your commitment to and knowledge of your profession in the interview is crucial.
However, save some follow-up questions for after the interview. Do substantial research about the company beforehand, but continue to research the company and industry after the interview. If there is a development that may affect the business, ask the hiring manager how the company is adapting to such challenges. Companies can educate employees, but they cannot teach them to be curious and engaged.
Showing gratitude after an interview, networking to discover common contacts, and demonstrating your ability to learn will help you land your dream job.
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