OVERVIEW: The job interview and hiring process has gotten much longer than it had been in 2010, according to a recent Glassdoor study. So your imagination is not playing tricks with you; you really have waited for several weeks. In many instances you may not hear back at all!
So what can you do to be more productive in your job search while waiting? Part 1 of this job search series focused on what you can do immediately after a job interview. Part 2 put the spotlight on research and networking to further your cause as the must-have candidate.
SOLUTIONS: Maximize your future job search and interviewing activities – put the following tips into action starting today. Then keep the momentum rolling. A one-time fix is not enough. Your job competition is not just within your same city or state, but really worldwide.
1. Expand Your Desirability. While meeting job posting requirements for education, experience, and skills would seem to be sufficient to get an interview, think again. With the glut of job seekers on the market, there are apt to be hundreds (maybe thousands) of applicants who meet the specs. So go one step further to position yourself as an ultra-value-added candidate.
Here are some examples: obtain additional training/education/certifications in your field and industry, upgrade your technology / social media skills, take communications skill-building workshops, join industry professional associations and attend meetings, learn a foreign language that could be of use in your new job/company, or get involved in community leadership or volunteer activities.
Key Hint: Evaluate which of the above example strategies would be perceived as having the most value for the employer. Then narrow down those options to the ones that have the most appeal for you and that also reinforce your personal brand. Focus on those activities that have the highest pay-off for your career and your job search prospects.
2. Set Up a Board of Directors. As you conduct research on companies and individuals, and network online and offline, you will undoubtedly come across established professionals and executives in your industry, as well as up-and-coming colleagues.
Also look for individuals from other industries and professions to cross-seed ideas. Reach out to these people for their suggestions and advice, and form an inner circle of trusted advisors (your board of directors). Then ask good questions, and listen!
Key Hint: You may need to re-configure your board of directors over time as your job functions, job level, and industries change throughout your career.
3. Polish Your Interview Skills. Ask your professional network, as well as your board of directors, for input on best strategies and answers to interview questions, as well as powerful questions for you to ask.
Use technology, including digital / video recorders and Skype, to ‘practice’ and perfect your job interview skills. Select members of your board and hiring managers within your network to role-play with you. Then get feedback from them, and ‘rinse and repeat’ the process.
Key Hint: Interviewing skills revolve around two central areas - content (questions and answers) and delivery (speaking, listening, and body language). Up your game in both areas and you will outshine your competition!