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 Keep It “Simple”

By Joe Stein

Everywhere you go, it seems there are acronyms to describe something or to assist a person in remembering an item.  I am sure there must be several already related to seeking a job, so why not one more?

In my opinion, so many people make looking for a new job seem so complicated.  If you read many of the “experts” (especially the resume “experts”), you would think looking for a new job is akin to brain surgery.  The reality is that looking for your desired position can be very challenging and frustrating, but it is often not particularly complicated.  In fact, if you focus on keeping things “SIMPLE”, you will probably increase your chances of finding that new position you are seeking.

You probably have caught on already to the theme of this weeks’ article…the focus on simplicity.  To help you remember some of the key tenants of the subject, let’s examine how you can keep it “SIMPLE”.

S = Sell.  It can be so unnatural for us to promote ourselves - especially our skills, character, and knowledge.  The reality is that your competition is doing it and you need to differentiate yourself from the pack.  Determine what you have that is special or unique, and make sure you emphasize these areas in your Cover Letter, Resume, and Interview.  You want to leave your interview having left a positive impression on why you should be hired.

I = Interest.  Hiring Managers want to feel that you really want the job.  During the phone screen and interview, make sure you communicate that you are interested in the role and be able to explain why. If you are currently employed, this may also need to be accompanied with a good explanation why this position is more appealing than your current one. Without coming across as desperate, this is not the time to play “hard to get”.  You want the Hiring Manager to conclude that you will accept the position, do a great job, and stay for a while.

M = Motivation.  As the pages of WNYJOBS.com reflect there are jobs out there, but you need to realize there is also competition.  Too often a job seeker almost assumes that the open position will come to them without having to exert a lot of effort.  Actively attempting to find a new job is like working a full-time job in terms of the time and effort required.  A person, recently unemployed, needs to immediately acquire their motivation to seek a new job (no time for an extended rest).  Focus on why you are seeking a new job, whether it is the basic need for money or something more specific to you, such as more decision-making ability, to keep you motivated.

P = Persistence.  Finding a new job is similar in many ways to being a salesperson.  In order to land the position you really desire you may have to make a significant number of contacts (with that you may also receive some rejection). This persistence is needed, whether pursuing actual advertised positions or via your networking.  The key is to keep working on your job search, even though there may be several times where you feel discouraged and want to stop.

L = Listen.  This is an area that has really become a declining skill for many people.  Focus intently on what people are trying to tell you during your job search. During the networking process, people are providing you valuable information regarding different jobs and companies.  Anyone assisting you in your job search, either by mock interviewing or by reviewing your resume, is providing essential information that will improve your marketability.  Finally, when interviewing, everyone you connect with is providing you information regarding the job, the company culture, and what is important to them.  By listening and utilizing this information, you will be able to improve your interview process and make better overall decisions. 

E = Enthusiasm.  During an interview, the Hiring Manager is not only listening intently regarding what you are saying, but also on how you say it.  Your body language can also be a real key for an evaluator.  Come to your interview prepared and refreshed.  Act like you really want to be there and are enjoying the conversation.  Use voice inflection at the right times to display some excitement regarding the opportunity.  Provide the interviewer with the conclusion that you are a real positive person that will be an asset to their organization.

If you are qualified for the position, the key to finding a new job usually resides within yourself.  Conducting a job search can be really hard work, but it does not have to be complicated.  There are a number of very simple items that a job seeker can focus on that can really provide a competitive advantage for that open job.  Remember to keep it “SIMPLE”!