With over 40M recently displaced workers in the U.S. and more to come, many not returning to the same jobs needing to seek new employment, being prepared in your search is more important than ever. Besides an impeccable resume, solid LinkedIn profile, extended networking, and due diligence researching on the web, which everyone else will be doing, here are some additional ideas to help you prepare.
1. Prepare your own video introduction with a killer elevator pitch and individualize for each job you are interested in. You also want to get “video ready” with proper lighting, background, and setting for those inevitable video interviews. The free version of Zoom (and other tools) lets you easily record a video that you can send directly to potential employers. Most employers that I talk to now welcome videos, and because they are still unique, tend to open them to preview candidates as an aid in selecting whom to interview. Make sure to PRACTICE prior to any formal interview or recording session.
2. Use the SEC’s Edgar site (https://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml) to read COVER TO COVER the 10-k of the company you will be interviewing with. Not only will you gain insight and terminology relating to the company and the industry, by doing some basic financial analysis (and yes, this WILL impress your interviewer), you will be better prepared than 99% of the other candidates who did not make this extra effort. If the company you are interviewing with is not publicly-traded, read through a publicly-traded competitor’s 10-k in the industry to be more familiar with the environment.
3. Reach out to alumni employed at your target company prior to interviewing. They probably have some insight regarding the hiring process and might even know the people you will be interviewing with. LinkedIn makes this easy.
4. Make sure to ask your contact prior to your interview for the names of other individuals you will be speaking with. Reach out to them PRIOR to your interview with a LinkedIn PERSONALIZED connection invite if they are on the platform. This demonstrates extra initiative and provides another chance for name exposure. Some might disagree and consider this aggressive, but I would rather have a candidate demonstrate a sincere interest and bring awareness to me of that interest then be another candidate lost in the crowd. Frankly, if initiative and strong performance is not rewarded or appreciated, this might not be a company I would want to pursue my career with.
5. Research ALL the people you will be interviewing, again using LinkedIn as a primary source, to find out backgrounds and gain perspective on what that person’s insight might be. If they came from a competitor or have been there for twenty years, you have the perfect opportunity to ask insightful questions that directly relates to that individual’s background.
6. God gave us two ears and one mouth. Even though you will field lots of questions, you want to make sure you get your interviewers talking. Ideally, they will speak more than you do.
7. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are perfect. Include your custom URL in all communications, such as your email signature block and letterhead stationery. Additionally, please the URL on your resume with your phone number and email address. It demonstrates that you are plugged into a professional social network. They will be checking it anyway so why not get the benefit of recognition by having it on your resume.
Speaking of interviewing, Indeed.com recently published a 125-question guide WITH answer ideas and tips starting first with “Tell me about yourself.” It’s worth a look: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/top-interview-questions-and-answers .
As the competition for positions increases, the above tips will help you make a more positive impression that will get you noticed and hired!