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by Vault Careers | October 10, 2011


Job seekers looking to enter the workforce may feel a little apprehensive about the process due to lack of experience and interviewing skills.  Those new to the market need to know what's expected of them during the search process in order to stand out in a crowded field of qualified candidates.Here are 7 tips to guide them along the way:

1. Be prepared; Being prepared does not just mean arriving to an interview on time with a resume. Job seekers should make sure they spend time beforehand researching the company they are interviewing with in order to ask relevant questions and relate how their qualifications best suit the organization.

2. Dress professionally; In today's casual work environment many candidates do not take the time to invest in professional clothing. Job expert Annie Mueller said that it's always better for a job seeker to be overdressed when they show up at a potential place of employment.

3. Bring copies: Job seekers should always have more than one copy of their resume on hand during an interview. A candidate will often meet with more than one interviewer and should always be prepared to hand them a resume on request. Candidates should also always have additional copies of reference letters or other important portfolio material at the ready.

4. Write a pitch: Before heading into an interview, job seekers should write a 30-second "elevator" pitch about who they are and why they are a good candidate for the position. Executive job coach Aileen Pincus suggested that job seekers concentrate on three quick points that can be used during an interview to best summarize how they can help a business grow.

5. Review: Job seekers should always make sure they know their resume by heart in order to answer any questions that might pop up during an interview. Candidates should also have one or two stories ready that will serve as concrete examples of their skill set and how they might be able to solve problems within the organization.

6. Focus on skills, not experience: Candidates new to the workforce may feel as if they need to apologize for their lack of work experience. Younger job seekers should point out their merits and accomplishments, including personal strengths and education background to highlight how their skills can be best utilized for the position.

7. Follow up: Candidates should always follow up an interview with quick email within 24 hours of the meeting and a hard copy hand written thank you note with everyone they spoke with. Doing both will reinforce a job seeker's interest in the position.

--Published Courtesy of Brafton