Making a Great First Impression Will Land You The Job

by | September 24, 2009

A job search involves many different strategies and each needs to be carefully planned and executed. There are six job search steps and all must be followed and carried out meticulously:

Step #1: Identify Your Target
Step #2: Create a Compelling Marketing Campaign
Step #3: Research
Step #4: Networking and Interviewing
Step #5: Staying Motivated, Organized and Troubleshooting Your Job Search
Step #6: Negotiating and Closing the Offer

We work very closely with our clients to keep track of each step because there are specific strategies that must be executed well in order to make a great first impression every time. Here are 6 tips to making a great first impression – one for each of our six-steps:

Step #1: Identify Your Target: Employers are very impressed when you can articulate exactly what you are looking for. Spend time identifying the industry, the function and the geography that you really, truly want. You don’t need to name a specific title – perhaps mention the level you are at right now: senior, middle-level, entry-level.

Step #2: Create a Compelling Marketing Campaign: Ensure that your resume has quantifiable accomplishments that have “eased the pain” of your past employers. Unlike financial instruments, past performance does indicate future success, so write your resume bullets with purpose – and everything should be quantified (you reduced errors by 10%, increased profits by 25%, etc.).

Step #3: Research: Before you interview with someone, research their background on Linked-In (the Facebook for professionals). Research the firm not only by visiting their website, but by talking to anyone you know that works there. Research the competition and know if they are a fierce competitor, or a manageable one.

Step #4: Networking and Interviewing … like love & marriage they go together! During all networking functions, ask open ended questions. Ask how they got into the business they are in. Ask what the best part of their job is. Ask what advice they would have for you looking to get into that business. During your interviews mention answer each question with one goal in mind: how did you ease the pain of your previous employer. Do you see the pattern here … ease their pain …get the job!

Step #5: Staying Motivated, Organized and Troubleshooting Your Job Search: Several candidates loose the job because they are on edge and not operating at peak performance and recruiters/hiring managers can sense this. Keep yourself positive during the job search by reading helpful books, watching uplifting movies, and ensuring that you walk at least 30 minutes a day to get those endorphins working!

Step #6: Negotiating and Closing the Offer: Hiring Managers will be very impressed by candidates who know the balance between cash and non-cash. I once had a great candidate who accepted the offer, shook my hand, walked out and then rushed back to ask about the number of week’s vacation, and then asked for an additional week. That was not very professional and didn’t make a good impression. Think of all these issues in advance and a good impression will be made!

So like everything, practice makes perfect. Practice all steps of the job search and you will make those good first impressions. If you don’t feel you know how to gauge your skills, seek out someone who knows: a friend in HR, a career coach … someone who can get you back on the right track. And as in Field of Dreams, “ease their pain” and a great impression will be made!

Filed Under: Job Search


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