Finding a job in today’s job market is tough. While television and internet news sources are constantly reporting that the unemployment rate in the United States is beginning to fall after the end of the “Great Recession,” finding a good job is still very competitive.
With companies receiving dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of job applications for every job posting, the chances of getting an interview and eventually receiving a job offer are not guaranteed. But there are many strategies you can utilize to ensure you have the upper hand when applying for a job.
Tips for Succeeding Against Your Competition: How to Make Sure YOU Get the Job:
Attack your job search with the best possible attitude. Make sure you understand the other people applying for the same jobs as you might be completely competent and qualified for the positions. When you realize ahead of time that you may not get a job offer, you will be better prepared for disappointment. Don’t set your heart on a specific job that you might not attain. After completing an interview, simply move to the next one and continue with the process until you get a job offer that satisfies you. Don’t let rejections get you down. Many highly competent people are being denied positions in today’s job market, so try to not take it personally.
Complete research on the company with which you will be interviewing. During your interview, make sure to interject some of the information you gleaned from your research so that your interviewers know that you are knowledgeable about the company. It is impressive when interviewees know about the company, and you can bet that most of the people interviewing for the same position will not complete much research. But make sure to not overwhelm your interviewers with information and statistics that you may have discovered while reading about the company – it might come across as overkill.
Practice how you will answer tough interview questions beforehand. Many people are casual about interviews and do not prepare for them ahead of time. If you do not anticipate the questions that might be asked, you might not able to come up with witty and thorough answers to difficult questions on the spot. If you study common interview questions and answers, such as the following, you will be ready for anything!
1) USAToday.com – Common Interview Questions
2) Career-Advice.Monster.com – Common Interview Questions
3) Iseek.org – Common Interview Questions
Make sure you have the required education and experience level before applying for a job. Most job descriptions will state their requirements, and while you might believe that you are qualified for jobs that require more education and experience than you have, you might be wasting your time by applying for them. Also, you will be competing with many others who will actually have the required education and professional experience. In order to stay competitive when applying for jobs, make sure that you apply for jobs that fit the entries on your resume.
Brush up on your communication skills before every interview. It is important to remember that non-verbal communication is just as important (if not more important) than verbal communication. According to the website Ehow.com, there are three types of communication: verbal, non-verbal and written. It is important to be able to effectively communicate using all three of these methods during an interview.
Verbal Communication– You must be articulate during an interview and show that you can listen to questions and answer them using descriptive sentences.
Non-Verbal Communication – It is important to make eye-contact with everyone in the room during an interview – not just the person asking the questions. Also, smiling and not fidgeting can go a long way!
Written Communication – When you are in an interview, you may be asked to provide your resume. Therefore, you must prepare ahead of time by composing a well-constructed and organized document that is professional and presentable.
No matter what, never lie on a cover letter, on a resume or during a job interview. It might be tempting to create an elaborate story about yourself because you think it will help you get a job that you really want. But lies or exaggerations are never a good idea. Lies will likely be discovered prior to receiving a job offer or they will be uncovered after a job offer has been granted and the result will be termination. If you feel that you must lie in order to do well in an interview, you should take that as a clue that you should not be applying for the job. Lying is never a way to beat your competition for a highly desirable position.
Today’s job market is rough. With so much competition for every job that is posted, it is essential to obtain the education, skills and know-how to stand above the others vying for the same positions. Promoting yourself well, staying informed on what is happening in the job market, and improving your self-image are just a few of the ways to stay ahead of all the others who are applying for the same jobs as you!
Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.