Getting Hired Guide

Despite what some people might think, landing a job in this economy is not an impossible task. The job search process can be overwhelming, and candidates are often guilty of cutting corners – even though they know it’s against their best interests.

Perhaps you’re guilty of putting together a resume that represents you “OK,” or maybe you browse only the job boards in hopes that your dream position will surface among the noise. Truth is, these strategies might find you a job eventually – but the most successful job seekers aggressively work every step of the search, from planning their career path to following up after the interview’s over.

Whatever you’re doing to find a job, you can always do more. We at Velocity Search Group are dedicated to assisting you in your search every step of the way. You can call us, email us or begin your search by reading our Getting Hired Guide. Or, you can browse our job listings and begin your search process by registering on our site and sending us your resume.

The following tips will help guide you to a more productive search.

The most successful job searches almost “always” start with a plan.  The right amount of preparation is essential.  Planning helps you clarify your goals, understand your skills, target specific jobs and employers, and gives you more confidence and puts you a step ahead of competitors.  Most of all, it keeps you focused on, and in control, of your job search.

Networking is the most important aspect of any job search.  Many jobs are not advertised on Corporate Web sites, job boards, or in specialty publications.  People learn about these jobs from friends, relatives, acquaintances, and search firms (like ours!)

Social networking sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others have also become an integral part of a job search.  More often, than not, your profile on one of these sites are checked out by hiring managers and recruiters, so you need to pay attention to your public image during your search.  You must do the following:

  • Check out how your voicemail greeting sounds.  Keep your greeting simple, concise professional and clear.
  • Make sure your email address presents a professional image.
  • Check your social networking profiles.  Human Resource professionals are using various sites to conduct checks on job candidates.  Avoid displaying undesirable personal habits which could be a major concern for employers.  If you have posted stories or photos of drinking and/or inappropriate behavior, take them off the site immediately.
  • Also make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, as they can indicate poor communication skills.
  • Google your own name and see what comes up.  You would be surprised at what you might see

Be prepared.  A successful job searcher will do whatever it takes to land the right job.  Do you know what employers are looking for when they ask behavioral interview questions?  Have you familiarized yourself with the most common interview questions in your field, and have you practiced your responses to ensure a good impression?

Lastly, prioritize your job search and be ready to put your best foot forward whenever the call comes, and you’ll land a rewarding job in no time.

  • Having a solid and effective resume can greatly enhance your chances of landing a great job.  Here are some tips for writing a good targeted resume.
  • Know the purpose of your resume – The purpose of the resume is to land an interview, not the job!
  • Tailor your resume – Your resume should be tailored for each opportunity you apply to.  The “one size fits all” type of resume is too general and will decrease the chance of you getting called in for an interview.
  • Use the right keywords – Many companies are using databases that search off of specific keywords.  Without the proper keywords, the chances of your resume being picked are slim.
  • Use effective titles – Try to be as descriptive as possible in order to give the employer a good idea of what you do.  Don’t use a general title like “Vice President”.  Use a descriptive title like “Manager of Application Development, V.P.
  • Prepare a summary – A summary is important to let the reader know what is to follow and whether you are right for the job you are applying for.
  • Proofread your resume – Proofread your resume multiple times.  Have someone else do it for you as well.  One misspelling or any incorrect grammar on your resume and you reduce your chances of being called in for an interview.
  • Use Bullet Points – No one wants to read long paragraphs of text.  Use bullet points or short sentences to describe your experiences.
  • Pay attention to the typography – Make sure the font types are consistent across the resume. Additionally, make sure the font sizes are no smaller than 10 points.  Don’t use capital letters all over the place.  Don’t over bold your resume.  Arial and Calibri are good choices to use for fonts.
  • List achievements – Resumes that include long lists of responsibilities are boring.  Include your accomplishments on your previous jobs.
  • Don’t include irrelevant information – Listing your age, political affiliations, religion and marital status will NOT help you.  In fact it may even hurt your chances of landing an interview.  Just skip it!
  • Make sure your resume is extremely accurate – Most companies today conduct background checks.  If your resume contains incorrect dates, missing jobs, or inaccurate degrees, and the client discovers the inaccuracies, you can lose the job.
  • Use action verbs.
  • No hobbies on the resume.
  • Update your resume regularly – It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis.  This is the best way to keep track of everything and ensure you will not send an obsolete resume to a potential employer.
  • List all your positions within a company – This shows progression within the company and your career.
  • Keep your resume to a maximum of 4 pages- Anymore and the resume will not be read.
  • Don’t use pronouns – Your resume should not contain the pronouns “I” or “me”.  Keep your resume in the “3rd person”.
  • Don’t forget the basics – The first thing on your resume should be your name.  It should be bolded and the font should be a little larger than the rest of the resume.  Make sure your contact details are clearly listed.  Also keep your contact information out of the header in the resume.  Many companies use candidate tracking systems that parse the resume into their database, and information that is inside the headers do not get parsed. This prevents your name and contact information from going into the database and your chance of getting picked for an interview are greatly reduced.
  • Consider getting professional help – Finally, if you are having a hard time creating your resume, or if you are receiving no response from companies, consider hiring a professional resume writing service.
Before you go on an interview, you need to learn as much about the client as you can.  Visit the Company’s website and research the interviewer’s names on LinkedIn.  Also know about the Company’s industry, products, services, and current news items.   Understand the job requirements by going over the job details again.  Lastly, know the details of your resume like the back of your hand.  Anything on your resume is fair game for the interviewer to ask you about.

Your goal during an interview is to sell your skills to the prospective employer and to interview them as well.   Aside from the technical aspect of the position which you need to prepare for, there are many other questions that the client will ask to assess your “fit” within the Company.  It’ is worth researching these questions and rehearsing your answers. Here a several questions that you should be prepared to answer.

  • Tell me about yourself. (Ask – Where do you want me to start?)
  • Why do you want to leave your present position?
  • What do you do best in your present position?
  • What are your career goals? Long-term/Short-term?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What are your greatest strengths as a person?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses or areas you want to improve?
  • How would your boss or coworkers describe you?
  • How do you: a) Set priorities? b) Organize your time? c) Solve problems?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why should I hire you?

If you are interviewing for a management position, here are some questions you want to be prepared to answer.  They are:

  • How do you go about developing the people you manage?
  • How do you use your authority to get what you want done?
  • Describe your approach to making decisions and solving problems.
  • How do you assess priorities?
  • How do you delegate responsibility for an assignment and what do you do to monitor it?
  • How often do you think it is necessary to meet with your employees?
  • How often do you measure or evaluate your employees?
  • How would you describe yourself as a manager?  How do you think others would describe you?
  • Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make in your position, including what the problem was and how you ultimately handled it.

You should also be prepared with a handful of questions to ask the people that are interviewing you.  Some sample questions to ask are:

  • What are the short and long range Company objectives?
  • In what areas does this Company excel?
  • How can I contribute to the department and contribute to overall Company goals?
  • What is the organizational structure of: a) this department? b) the Company?
  • How long was the last person in this position? What attributes made this person successful? Are there additional skills needed for this position now?
  • What would you expect me to achieve during my first six months to a year on the job?
  • What obstacles do you foresee that I would have to overcome?
  • Why do you enjoy working here?
  • What are the long term goals/appropriate for the person in this slot?
  • Who are the key people I will interface with and how can I help them? What attracted you to this company?

There are two types of interviews. There are phone interviews and there are in person interviews.

Phone Interviews

  • Prepare for the phone interview as you would for an in-person interview.
  • Use a landline if possible. If that isn’t possible and you need to use a mobile phone, ensure that the cell signal is strong in the place where you conducting the interview.
  • Be in a place where you can speak freely and that is free of distractions.
  • Have your resume in front of you, as well as a pad of paper and a pen/pencil so you can take notes.
  • Keep a glass of water handy in case your throat gets parched.
  • Be upbeat and energetic while on the phone. Consider standing during the interview to project better.
  • Write down the names of the people interviewing you.
  • Don’t use one word answers (“yes” or “no”). Expand on your answers.
  • At the end of the interview, thank them for their time and ask the interviewer what the next step is.

In-Person Interview

  • Dress professionally. If you need to interview business casual, please let us know in advance so we can notify the client
  • Be on-time to the interview. Plan on getting to the interview location at least 15 minutes early. This will prevent you from being late and you also have the time to get organized.
  • Bring multiple copies of the resume that the client has, in the event that the client cannot locate your resume.
  • When you meet the interviewer, greet them with a firm handshake, good eye contact, and a friendly smile.
  • Answer the questions that are asked. Be concise and don’t ramble. Don’t use one word answers. Be more descriptive to indicate your knowledge of the subject being discussed.
  • Make sure that the client gets a good understanding of what you bring to the table and how you can help them.
  • If you don’t know an answer to a question, don’t guess. Tell the client that you don’t know the answer, Not knowing is a lot better than guessing wrong.
  • Keep the conversation professional and upbeat and never badmouth a previous position or manager.
  • At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer if they have any concerns regarding your background or abilities to do the job and fit into the organization. If they do, clear up those concerns the best you can. After you have done that ask the client what the next step in the interview process is.
  • Finally, thank the person for interviewing you verbally and with a good firm handshake, and let them know that you are very interested in the position.

As soon as possible after completing an interview, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts about the interview.

  • Write up a summary of the questions asked and your answers to them.  This way you will have a record of your responses for future reference if you should have any follow-up interviews with the employer.
  • List the names of the people you met with, as well as their contact information (email and phone).
  • Write down your impressions of the Company and the people you met with.  What did you think of the position?
  • Were there any questions you didn’t get to ask that you would like information on?
  • Is there anything you could have done better? 

Immediately after the interview, or as soon as you are able, please contact your Velocity Search Group Resource recruiter and provide them with your assessment of the interview.  We will then call the client and get their impression of you, and let them know your impression of them.

If appropriate, a thank you letter should be sent to the client asserting that you believe the position is an excellent fit. Additionally, supply any information to address any concerns the client might have had, and express your gratitude for the interview.