Job Scouting Tips and Techniques

Prior to looking for the specific job that would be most suitable for you, it is important to learn the most effective way to market your talents, because effectively marketing your talents will help you gauge the possibility of landing the job you really want. First and foremost, skills and interests should be personally evaluated, and Jotting down a list would definitely be the best way to define and evaluate your capabilities.

Secondly, you should know your limitations since there are jobs that may be too demanding and therefore might not work for you; and on the other hand, some jobs may not require the level and/or multiplicity of skills you possess and, as such, would render you overly qualified for those jobs.

Thirdly, consider the importance of planning, which is an integral part of the job scouting process. For example, it is important to plan your time in a manner that supports spontaneity; whereas as soon as there is an inner instinct which indicates to you that you’re ready, willing and able (another way of saying qualified), you will be able to act.

Once this has been done, go to companies and prospective employers early in the morning; this will give them a good impression of you; but you, as the applicant would give yourself enough time to complete the application process if everything else goes well. Remember this old adage, “the early bird catches the worm.”

Of course it is already common knowledge that the very first thing which should be done when looking for a job is to prepare an impressive resume; and naturally, the resume type and quality often depend on the type of job being applied for. However, there are times when certain employers require curriculum vitae and even a cover letter or “letter of intent.” But despite the resume type, you must keep in mind that every professional job you apply for expects to receive a well written resume.

After preparing the documents needed for application, the next thing which should follow is finding vacancies for new hires. Searching/using the Internet will be very helpful for this particular task. There are sites like HotJobs, America’s Job Bank, and Monster that provide this type of assistance, as well as resources and convenience for people to look for jobs.

Where else to look for job openings?

The initial step is to look at local newspapers because these sources can provide information (found in the Classified Ads section) as well as lists of wanted personnel and employment opportunities. Applying at several companies initially in a local area can save an applicant even more time and money. If it so happens however, that a job was found late in the day, it is important to call with inquiries right away because it is never a good idea to let a day pass when opportunity knocks.

How to look for jobs that are not announced?

Sometimes companies and private employers do not actually advertise their job openings. Under such circumstances the best course of action an applicant can take might be to weigh the possibility of being hired by a certain company simply by submitting an application form or resume. One way to go about scouting out these kinds of jobs is to start looking personally; tell everyone about your job scouting and what you expect to find.

Relatives and previous offices or company co-workers will be able to provide hints on job vacancies in their current companies. Professors or teachers will also be helpful in recommending schools and institutions that are now looking for new instructors. These folks might not have any vacant positions with their company in mind, but they quite possibly may know someone who knows where a new employee might needed. That’s what others call networking.

Often times the Yellow Pages could serve the important purpose of providing information on how and where to call during your search for a job. This source gives an accurate list of companies and prospective employers in a chosen area. In addition, visiting the library is also a tool than can be useful when looking for a job. There are libraries that make available, a list of local employers; just asks the librarian for more information.

Contact these employers personally, even if they did not advertise any vacant positions with their companies. Lastly, be observant of signs posted on doors and windows of shops and stalls on your journeys to and from daily destinations. If luck prevails, you might be able to walk in and ask for information about the job and how to apply.

After submitting application forms and resumes to the respective companies, keep track of the progress by creating a chart on which you can jot down the name of the specific companies, application dates and other important information submitted.

Here’s a job-scout checklist to help you along your way:

  • Identify experience list
  • Identify prospective employers
  • Prepare documents
  • Plan schedules
  • Contact companies and/or employers
  • Get ready for an interview
  • Evaluate how interview went along
  • Take the exams
  • Start with the new job!

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Basic Steps to Improve Your Interviewing Skills

Although in the midst of modern-day technological advancement, the “back-to-basics” rule still applies when it comes to getting hired for a job. It matters not whether you are planning to apply to a million dollar company or a small, independent firm. When you come face-to-face with an interviewer, it all boils down to how you present yourself because this is the deciding factor as to whether you get hired or not.

Consider for a moment that you have distributed your resume to prospective employers and you have determined the appropriate job to apply for. What comes next? All things considered, your next step should be to schedule the job interview.

To smooth the way prior to an interview, you might try to acquaint yourself with the assistant or receptionist when you schedule your interview, either by phone or in person. Be friendly and polite, as these people might provide information that can be essential to getting that job, or even just give you a little background of the company or your prospective boss.

Finally, you show up for the interview.

The basic traits of being prompt, well spoken and mannerly, as well as being neatly dressed and groomed are all factors that contribute to making a lasting impression that will help immensely in you getting hired.

In view of the foregoing, these simple steps will help you improve your interviewing skills:

1) Prepare for the interview

First, dress appropriately. Once the interviewer walks into the room, or once you walk into the room to be interviewed, your appearance will be the first thing to make an impact. Dress appropriately, check your grooming and mind your posture, because the old adage “first impression is a lasting impression” still applies.

Second, practice basic courtesy. Know where the interview will be held and be there promptly and with ample time to prepare yourself before the scheduled interview. Turn your phone off to avoid unnecessary interruptions/distractions.

2) Research

Use all your resources to make sure that you have some basic facts about the company. You would not want to be caught unprepared when asked about how you heard or what you know about the company that you are applying with. Learn about your potential employer and in your mind, develop a clear picture of the company profile.

Make sure you prepared answers to a few basic questions, but do not sound scripted. This happens when you rehearse what you will be saying word for word. It is enough that you have an overview of what you will impart to the interviewer, and it is much better to be spontaneous.

3) Be cool

Step forward so that you are now seated and the interview is about to begin. Display confidence by maintaining eye contact, giving the interviewer a firm handshake, a friendly smile and a polite greeting. Sit only when you are asked to do so and do not forget to thank the interviewer for taking time out of his or her busy schedule to interview you.

Make sure to start on a positive note and set the proper expectations.

4) Do not sell yourself short

In the course of your interview, answer questions briefly and accurately. The key is to be honest.

Make sure that, as a prospective employee, you impart to your future employer what you really are and what you can do for the company, not the other way around. Stay positive and do not speak negatively about your previous employer.

If you are applying for your first job, do not let your lack of experience hinder you from gaining the advantage against more experienced applicants. What you lack in experience, make up for in confidence and eagerness to learn. You should also try to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Ask yourself, if I were on the other side of this desk, what qualities would I look for in a potential employee? Would I profit if he works for me? And can he contribute to the development of the company?

Do not be afraid to sell yourself but do not be overconfident. Just project an air of confidence, indicating that you are sure of yourself and your capabilities.

5) Ask questions

Should you encounter a difficult interviewer, do not be intimidated. One who does not let you get a word in edgewise should be lightly reminded that you should do most of the talking since s/he is the one who needs to learn more about you.

6) Wrap it up

As you near the end of the interview, make sure that all bases are covered; but now is not the time to discuss, or even ask about the salary and the benefits that you will receive once employed. There is ample time for such inquiries once you do get the position and you are discussing the job offer.

Wrap things up by summarizing your strengths and pointing out your positive traits. Finally, as you end the interview, make sure to thank the interviewer again for his or her time, thus leaving a positive and perhaps, a lasting impression.

7) Follow up

Send that all-important thank you note after the interview. Thank the interviewer for the time s/he spent with you and for giving you that opportunity. Make sure you know who to contact for follow-up and post-interview results.

A lot of research has been done about the interviewing process. Here is a brief run-through:

  • First, you make a schedule for the interview.
  • Then, you are there in the office and you are seen by the interviewer.
  • The interview itself then transpires.
  • Next is the closing, then you follow-up with a thank-you-note.
  • You eventually get accepted and you discuss, negotiate for, and sign-up the job offer.
  • You may notice that the interviewing takes up a great deal of the getting-hired process, so you might as well polish up your interviewing skills on your way to getting that dream job.

Identifying Your Skills to Get the Job

When applying for a job, it is paramount that you identify your strengths and weaknesses in addition to being prepared to address them. By knowing your attributes, chances are that getting the job you really want will surely get easier.

However, you should not be too confident since overconfidence is one of the common mistakes that plagues job applicants. Appearing too confident, or giving the impression that you are somewhat of a know-it-all, will only get you labeled by the interviewer as unfit for the job.

Identifying your skills

That having been said, let’s begin with first things first: Identify your skills. This is your ticket to get that job, and you should be able to articulate your abilities and expertise as best as you can. Many people have a hard time communicating their skills and abilities as this is sometimes seen as bragging when done socially. But you should not be shy or afraid to discuss your skills when pursuing a job; especially one that requires such skills.

In fact, it is important that you convey to your potential employer what your talents are; and in that situation be able to sell your abilities to that employer. Your ability to do so will be instrumental in getting the job that you really want. Just as important however, is that you do not appear arrogant or condescending while being careful to avoid selling yourself short.

If the interviewer asks you about your strengths or what separates you from the other applicants, you should be able to readily give a suitable or acceptable answer. So before you even go to the interview part of the process, your resume should highlight your skills and talents for the prospective employer to take a look at.

Types of skills

There are two main types of skills: Hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are tangible in the sense that these are things you do like. For example, knowing how to operate different kinds of machinery, knowledge of a specialized computer program, ability to type fast, skills on using various types of tools, credentials regarding special crafts, etc.

Soft skills on the other hand, are skills that tend to be rather abstract in nature, like personal qualities. This may include, for example, being a good team player, having the ability to work on your own, being enthusiastic or organizational and decisive.

The Steps to Follow:

List your previous jobs and acquired experience

First thing you’d want to do is make a list of all the companies you worked for and the things you learned from those jobs. There will be a lot of things to list and you should be careful enough not to forget even the smallest details of activities you participated in or organized. It is also a good idea to list the volunteer activities you participated in.

Include a list of your hobbies

Although it might sound trivial at first, it is also very helpful to list all your hobbies. There are a lot of abilities that your prospective employer may get from your hobby list, a list which might also provide some insight into your personality.

For example, if you were part of the school’s debating team, your employer may deduce that you have good analytical skills. If you were a champion chess player, your employer might interpret this to mean you are good at making critical decisions.

Think of your daily routine and the things you do and often take for granted. Are you an organized person who always keep your things in proper order? Are you an extrovert who can easily make friends in a matter of minutes? These may seem ordinary to normal things to you, but your future boss might think otherwise.

Deciding what career you want

After listing all your skills and all the things you do well, it is then time to decide what field or career you want to pursue. Select the skills outlined on your list and partner them with the employment you are seeking. Always take time to consider if your skills are relevant to the job which you are aspiring toward.

Don’t worry if you have to remove some of the skills from your list. It is also important to include on your “skills list” any abilities the prospective employer will likely value, depending of course, on the particular employer.

Stand by what you write

You should be realistic about your skills and the level of expertise you are capable of. For example, if you indicate that you are a very organized person, then you should be able to show this to the interviewer by being able to organize your thoughts and effectively use the time that was given for your interview.

It is important to know your skills every time you go job hunting because you should always put your best foot forward. Good luck!