Stacy Talks & Reviews: How to Prepare for a Job Search

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How to Prepare for a Job Search

Searching for a job, whether online or in real life, is filled with exciting possibilities but also potential pitfalls. Whether you are a fresh graduate eager to carve your name in the industry or a seasoned pro looking for career advancement, you need to prepare adequately for your job-hunting ventures. Every company is different, but there are general strategies you can keep in mind if you want to stay on top of your search. Here are four of them.

Study the Company

Even if you are still in the process of looking at your career options, you need to be able to show your potential employers that you are eager to work for them. For this reason, take the time to study the company and the job you are interested in. Don’t just send out your résumé blindly to anyone and everyone without knowing what you are getting yourself into. You wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle of an interview with zero ideas about the company or the position you are applying for.

A quick online search should lead you to the official company website as well as their social media profiles. Get to know the company culture, their operations, and what they are looking for in an employee. This will not only enable you to prepare better for the interview and requirements but also help you gauge whether you really want the job or not.

Optimize Your Résumé

Your résumé is the key to the job market kingdom. A well-crafted résumé leaves a lasting impression while a lazily written one can easily be dismissed by HR officers who have to review hundreds of applications. You don’t want to fade and be forgotten in a sea of job candidates all vying for the same position, so make an effort to get your résumé to stand out. This does not mean putting misleading information and fluffing up your documents with unnecessary details, though. Research the company and the position you are applying for so you can calibrate your résumé in a way that matches what they want in an employee.

For example, if you are applying for a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency, you will want to highlight relevant qualities like creativity, being a team player, and having self-motivation. Give specific examples that demonstrate these traits like a previous job in which you were able to train newbies or provide a portfolio of various media that you created.

Know What Exams to Expect

Aside from interviews, expect to undergo different exams and screenings during the course of your job application. Every company is different, but in general, these tests are designed to gauge whether you have the skills and capacity to do the job expected of you and more. Most organizations require job candidates to pass a drug test and submit a medical certificate as proof that they are fit to work. These are just some of the basic tests; more specialized positions may have additional examinations and requirements.

For example, if you are applying as a website designer, you may be asked to code a website from scratch during a limited time. If you’re aiming for a labor-intensive industry like firefighting, you may be asked to pass a physical exam that involves obstacle courses and exercises like climbing, swimming, and lifting.

Do a Mock Interview

Interviews are a staple part of the hiring process, so do your best to prepare. Some companies may schedule your interview days after you submit your résumé, but others can set the interview immediately, so make sure you are ready and confident.

One of the surefire ways to ace an interview is to practice. Write down potential questions that might pop up during the interview. Don’t disregard standard and seemingly generic questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “Tell me something about yourself.” Sometimes these seemingly trivial questions are a great opportunity for you to make an impact and show your potential employer how confident and prepared you are.

Ask a friend to help you with the interview by asking you questions. This should help you practice how you organize your thoughts and communicate clearly.

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