This was an article in “Mumbai Mirror” of Times of India
In today’s competitive world, finding a job that is suitable to your needs is not very easy. Even if such a job should come along, there is no guarantee that you’re the only person applying for the post. To ensure you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity, you need to present yourself to the prospective employer in a way that would impress them enough to employ you, instead of any of the other applicants.
According to V Venkat, Director for Rank & File (job consultants) Fort, The search for the ideal job should necessarily start with clarity of personal and professional objectives and goals.
The objectives have to be achievable and should be based on a critical introspection of ones own qualities, qualifications, expertise and employability.
The first point of contact with a potential employer is the resume; a complete and well-structured resume will elicit a positive response as long as the position applied for is consistent with your qualifications and experience. After you send your resume and get the much-awaited interview, that’s when the actual communication begins.
According to Venkat, the contents of a good resume should essentially reflect the skill sets and the expertise the candidate brings to the table. The features of a good resume include:
- A covering letter with the relevant skills and experience highlighted would help to focus the evaluators attention to the candidates specific worth to the company
- Concise and non-repetitive: Similar job responsibilities in present and past companies should be clubbed together
- There should be structured and chronological sequencing of information
- The resume should be non-cluttered, pleasing to read and allowing for easy access to required information. Fonts and sizes should be consistent
- Complete information relating to date of birth, education, tenure in each company and gaps in experience should be specified
- Highlight key skills which are essential to the job requirements
- Present salary and expected salary (preferable but not essential, as giving an unjustifiable or unreasonable figure could possibly disqualify the candidate) and notice period should be mentioned
- Personal information relating to height, weight and caste are unnecessary in the resume.
Before you go for the interview it is imperative that you gather as much information about the company where you wish to work. Good preparation in terms of understanding the potential employers business and the job requirements is most essential. For example, one candidate being considered for a senior managerial position in sales, which required setting up a franchisee network, actually took the initiative of meeting some of the company’s existing franchisees before his interview to enable him to understand the business. He got the job, says Venkat. So, if you apply to a company, ensure you know what is required of you and how the company operates.
The obvious and oft-repeated advice for an interview is to be relaxed, dress well and express positive (but not arrogant) body language. Two copies of the resume, salary details and testimonials (if specifically asked for) plus a notepad are mandatory, advises Venkat.
It is also important to know your resume well as candidates have been known to falter and utter inconsistent explanations during the interview. Presence of mind, self confidence and honesty could sometimes help one out of a potentially bad or hopeless situation. However, trying to lie or blustering your way out will most certainly ensure your disqualification.
However well prepared you might be, there is always a chance that during an interview you might fumble. So weigh your pros and cons before the meeting. Potential landmines that often surface during an interview are frequent job hops, reasons for seeking a change from present employment, inability to justify information provided in the resume, salary expectation inconsistent with experience and performance during the interview, name dropping and references. Carefully cover each of these topics and think about how you’re going to handle such questions before the interview, says Venkat.
After an interview, whether or not you get the job, keep in touch with the person who interviewed you and always keep things amicable. If you leave a good impression, there is always a chance you might be called back.
According to Sarita Sharma, deputy general manager, Eureka Forbes, Medical Fraternity Channel, There are three important things that one should do when looking for a job. Firstly, express yourself in a very positive manner and always add creative inputs to the conversation while at an interview. Individuals must do enough homework about the job before applying. Secondly, approach the employer with an
Attitude that shows you are flexible and open to learning. Lastly, many people only look at the monetary advantage of work. However, before applying for a job, you need to make sure it suits your intellectual requirements as well, or you might want to leave as soon as you join, wasting both your employers time and yours.
– An article by Sophia French