The million dollar question that I’m constantly asked by either job seekers or reporters is, “What can job seekers (or I) do to get a job?” Years ago, I would give a real in-depth answer as to how to go about doing so, but only 5% of the job seekers whom I would give that to would follow my advice.
Unfortunately, this got too time consuming and I had to stop taking individual job seeker requests when asked this question. To make amends and so anyone can reference the below steps if they should decide to follow, I’ve listed 10 ways to get any job you want:
1. Determine the Skills Needed For the Position – The best way to determine the skills needed for a particular job or jobs is to read over at least 15 different job descriptions which are similar to the job you’re looking for.
You’ll notice a pattern in these write-ups as you’ll see that some skills are needed more than others and sometimes you’d be surprised at the priorities of employers in your target industry.
2. Become an Expert at Those Skills – Take some time before you apply and begin studying the different skills needed by these employers and become an expert at them. Don’t think that you have to get a MBA to learn them, there are many ways to do so without dropping so much money and consuming so much time.
From my experience, a crash course is best instead of procrastination. Either way, know your stuff.3. Learn the Industry – If you want to get a job at a particular firm or just a general industry, it’s necessary to know who the key players are, what is going on with them and what trends are happening within the industry.
4. Format the Cover Letter – Now that you know the above, format your cover letter or you can put the cover letter in the initial email. Personally, I have no preference and you should neither unless the application directions dictate one.
5. Update Your Resume – Now that you have all these skills and knowledge of the industry, write your resume according to the job descriptions you found during step #1.
6. Research Companies – Before applying to any companies, you should do a good amount of research of the firm. While no company is ever 100% perfect, you didn’t do all this work to get a job at the worst firm in the space either.
7. Research Salaries – This should come easily as step #1 should provide you with a basis as to what to ask for from employers. If you have only the knowledge and no experience within the industry, you’re probably going to get a little less than those who do, but that’s okay.
8. Brush-up on Interviewing Skills – It’s probably been a while since you’ve interviewed (if you’ve followed the program), so try to predict which questions are going to be asked and, before going into the interview it’s best to actually write out the answers.
If you happen to be interviewing for a sales job, here are some interview questions you should ask.
9. Follow-up with Thank You Notes – You didn’t come all this way to play hard to get or did you? Well, a hint would be that playing hard to get tends to leave a bad taste in employers’ mouths.
10. Find Open Jobs and Apply – I like to think that aside from the main avenues such as recruiters and resume posting, things such as reading press releases as well as articles written by CEOs in conjunction with going directly to corporate websites will truly diversify your job search and give you more options.