April 21, 2017
Have a Great LinkedIn Profile
Social media is likely a part of your everyday life now. Between Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, social media is how we stay connected with our friends and family. Social media is also the place to be when it comes to finding a job nowadays, and having a strong LinkedIn profile is the best place to start.
Steve from Caterpillar offers this advice: “On LinkedIn, create a profile and try to connect with thought leaders and influencers at companies in which you are interested. Once connected, send a message to these individuals asking to learn more about their company, their personal journey at that company, and if they would be willing to have an informational interview with you.” 1
Think of LinkedIn as a resume and make sure to include your previous jobs, skills, proficiencies, recommendations from others, and achievements. It’s also a great way to build a network and stay connected to people who could help you land your dream job. Many companies use LinkedIn to post job openings regularly, which is a great resource when you’re looking for new opportunities.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
What to wear for an interview, especially if you are not sure about the company’s dress code, can be one of the biggest struggles you face when preparing for an interview. Traci from Accenture gives this advice: “In general, if the dress code hasn’t been touched upon in any conversations and isn’t included on any of your paperwork, assume business professional. Trust me, putting your best foot forward is always the best course of action and it’s always better to be a bit overdressed than wildly underdressed. If directions for dress have been given, and you’re still unclear, don’t hesitate to ask a follow up question!” 2
You want to present your best self at the interview, and besides being prepared for challenging questions, this also means looking presentable. Just like you’d get ready for a date or family event, you should spend some time getting ready for an interview in order to show a level of professionalism and respect for both yourself and the individuals who are taking the time to speak with you.
No matter the dress code, make sure you are comfortable in whatever you choose to wear. You may be nervous, and the last thing you want in an interview is to be uncomfortable in what you’re wearing. This will help you to focus on the questions you’re being asked and not your too-tight shoes or itchy blouse.
Talk to Successful People
Networking is essential to building business relationships and can help you to land your dream job. But where do you start? Bryan at IBM suggests reaching out to people whose jobs you admire and asking to buy them a cup of coffee or have a quick phone call. “Be honest about who you are and why you want to talk, and most people will be flattered. Usually, people enjoy talking about themselves and helping someone else out.” 3
Even after you find a job, you should continue to network. This will give you more opportunities to become that person who gets any job they want. Try seeking out informational interviews within your company. These short meetings with leaders and decision makers are not about getting a job, but about learning from that person. There are always people to learn from, and the more you understand about the various parts of the business you work for, the more well-rounded you will be as you work to advance your career.
Do Your Homework
Bret, a hiring expert from Emerson, summed it up like this: “You can never be too prepared for an interview. The homework you do and the time you spend analyzing the company will help you in answering any questions, going through any simulations or handling any of the assessment centers they may put you through.” 4
Most people prepare to talk about themselves in an interview, but that’s only half of the equation. While it is certainly important to be able to talk about your strengths and weaknesses or what you could bring to the company, it is also imperative that you can answer questions directly related to the company you’re interviewing with. Get to know their history, their mission statement, and any recent news about the company. You should also try to learn more about the position you are interviewing for, so you can ask specific questions in your interview. This may seem daunting if you have many interviews to prepare for, but it’ll be worth it when you stand out from other candidates and get the job!
Success doesn’t come overnight. Growing your professional career requires a lot of small steps that eventually pay off big time. Taking the time to build out your LinkedIn profile, learning as much as you can about the job you want, and talking to leadership teams you have access to will all aid in your growth. The more you educate yourself and the more communities you network within, makes you that much more valuable to the organization offering your dream job.