Laurie Ruettimann of the Punk Rock HR blog is seeking your best advice for jobseekers. Despite all the articles, books and blog posts out there telling people how to land their dream job, people still miss some fundamental things. Plus, as we all know, it's a tough market. If you've got some good advice, go contribute at Laurie's blog.
Ironically, I'm writing this post in a coffee shop in Raleigh, sitting next to a woman who has been conducting interviews all morning. One piece of advice gleaned from eavesdropping: If the interviewer asks if you consider yourself a people person, she is expecting the answer "yes."
Here are the first few pieces of advice that came to my mind:
1. Start (or revive, or continue) a blog and write as though you were already a valued member of the profession where you want to work. Make it part of your daily job search routine. I don't mean be pretentious and tell everybody how smart you are; I mean write about topics in your industry and contribute what you can. Don't just write daily about the fact that you want a job and can't find one. Try to write posts that would make a prospective employer think, "Damn, I wish she was writing this on our blog."
Hopefully it goes without saying that you should be following the influential bloggers in your field, both nationally and locally.
2. Make sure you have a professional email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been put off in the past by jobseekers with immature-sounding email addresses. "SurferGrrlll@hotmail.com" tells me you'd rather be surfing than working. I won't necessarily hold that against you once I get to know you, but don't lead off with it.
3. Set up a Twitter account (again, I suggest FirstnameLastname) and follow everyone you can in the field where you want to work, or better yet, at the companies where you want to work. Use it to learn from them and communicate with them where appropriate, but don't stalk them. Follow the people they follow.
4. Do the same thing with LinkedIn. Use it as the valuable source of information it is, but again not as a stalking tool. If you go into an interview knowing the groups your prospective manager belongs to and the conferences she's going to this year, don't you think that will make you sound like you understand the industry?
5. Take phone interviews from a landline phone in a quiet place, not a mobile phone. Don’t make the interviewer work to understand you. And when the interviewer calls you, answer the phone professionally, the way you would if you had the job: “Hello, this is Jenny Jobseeker.” I’ve conducted dozens of phone interviews, and it’s very annoying when you have to go through this every time:
“Hi, this is Dave Thomas, may I speak to Jenny Jobseeker please?”
“This is Jenny.”
By that point I just want to say, "Weren't you expecting my call?" It makes you sound surprised and unprepared.
What do you think? What's the single best piece of advice you have for jobseekers, social media or otherwise?
Photo by Slushpup