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Career Planning

Tips to Land (and Keep) the Job You Want

The top tip? Be yourself - just the professional version.

Elizabeth Hoyt

February 23, 2014

Tips to Land (and Keep) the Job You Want
The job search process is a funny thing. You have to be able to represent yourself, your experience and your history on a single sheet of paper. If you’re lucky enough to get an interview, you’ve got around an hour to demonstrate your capable, professional self and convince the interviewer to become your advocate.

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That being said, these tasks are clearly more difficult than they sound. So, what’s the best way to approach the situation? Here are the top way-to-be tips on how to show your worth so that you are able to land (and keep) the job you want. Be Hungry. There’s no shame in showing how much you want the position. Respond quickly to all communication to show the company how interested you are in obtaining a job with them.

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Be Prompt. Nothing messes up someone’s perception of you as an employee more than showing up late. Always show up on time or, better yet, early and be prepared. First impressions last, so don’t leave one that has someone guessing if you can fulfill basic job requirements, like showing up. Be Different. Decide what differentiates you from other candidates and be prepared to communicate those points during the interview. Be Innovative. Companies value innovators because they are thinkers, keep the company moving forward and are always coming up with new and valuable ideas. Play up your innovative strengths when describing previous work experiences. Be a Team Player. Remember that, once you’re hired, you’ll be a part of a work environment. Show your willingness to work with others because nobody wants to hire someone that can’t collaborate on projects or other tasks. Be Better. Show that you have grown from past situations. Do this by talking about how you’ve approached difficult work situations and resolved them by approaching them from different angles and learning from your own experiences as well as others’. Be a Problem Solver. If you are able to resolve problems, you’re immediately an asset to the team. If you’re able to communicate that you can help solve their problems, you’re much more likely to open their mind to seeing your value. Be Open. Nobody’s perfect. If you’re willing to acknowledge that and take constructive criticism easily, you’ll always be ahead of the curve. Be Eager. Show that, if and when you’re hired, you’re able to hit the ground running. Be prepared to give concrete examples of how you’d put your value into action immediately. If you’re not able to put your words into action, there’s no point in speaking them in the first place as far as employers are concerned. Be Persistent. Keep in mind that, like relationships, you have to find a job that’s right for you. This will likely take more than one application or one interview, so keep at it! The more time and effort you put into your search will likely yield better results. Be Responsive. Show you’re quick to take action when it comes time to do so. This can be demonstrated through all of your interactions with a potential employer. Make sure you’re agile during the interview process as well as the post-interview, with a quick follow through in writing and sending thank you notes as well as your responses to additional questions, offers or negotiations. Above all, be yourself. If you act like someone else during an interview, you’ll likely end up in a job that’s the right fit for someone else, too.

What other tips would you add to this list?

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