(Courtesy of JFCS) 10. If you are currently between jobs, use that time to learn … something, anything. Employers like to hire thinkers, learners. If you need to brush up on Microsoft Excel or Teams or PowerPoint, there are many FREE resources on YouTube as well as through Microsoft: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/training. (I would avoid telling a potential employer that you don’t know it so well but you’re a fast learner. The employer would likely question why you’re not learning it now, in your down time.)
9. If you were trying to lose weight and it wasn’t working, you’d switch up your diet and exercise, no? So, if you are sending out a tired resume from the 90s (with: full street address, playful email address, “references available upon request”) and getting no traction, change it up. Show you are cognizant of the market. (Sometimes just a refresh with some metrics and clarity can get your resume a lot more attention.)
8. Be sure to follow up with whomever has helped you in your job search (Any networking connection, however fleeting). Close the loop, say thank you! That simple action can change the way you are viewed, and that person might then go the extra mile on your behalf. Candidates of interest are those who demonstrate courtesy all around; it also indicates good judgment. (Always leave a good impression; you never know who that unanticipated connection might be.)
7. When you leave a voicemail message, by golly, speak clearly. I got a call this week from a talented young man, who stole 20 minutes of my time as I tried all the different phone number permutations to return the unintelligible message on my voicemail. (Even though you may only be distracted, that kind of unintentional discourtesy can be interpreted as apathetic or selfish.)
6. Keep references off your resume. The employer doesn’t even know you yet; they certainly won’t be taking time to call references until they are smitten with your candidacy. (Also, such tired resume mistakes can be an indicator that you are not a 2023 thinker; be someone who knows the market and what is typical today.)
5. Sorry Yahoo, no disrespect intended. If you have a Yahoo email address, slip over to Gmail. Be cool. Be current. Of course avoid anything silly or political or suggestive. If you have a freelance or part-time business, that email address also doesn’t belong on your resume. (Keep email addresses simple, as close to your full name as possible … and no birth year. It’s easy to pick out and then the employer knows your age, too!)
4. After Zoom or in-person interviews, thank you notes should ideally be sent within 24 hours. Be brief, say thank you and express continued interest. It is not the place to rehash what took place, rather it is to let the employer know you are professional enough to be timely … and succinct. (Not everyone sends thank you notes, so this is your opportunity to shine just a little bit more.)
3. Since many people are hired after meeting only on Zoom, get to know your Zoom angles, sound, etc. Practice with a friend to be sure you are seen in a good light, literally. (Someone who is prepared is a more attractive candidate.)
2. The end of December and early January is a great time to search for a job. Companies are still posting jobs, but many other jobseekers take the time off for the holiday season. You will be among a smaller group of applicants, and potentially more likely to be considered.
1. Be prepared for interviews—practice, practice, practice. There are scads of practice interview questions online; there are more YouTube videos on interviewing than I can count. Oh yeah, and there’s Re-Launch Career Services here at JFCS. We are happy to help! (Go get ’em!)
Happy Chanukah from Re-Launch Career Services. We are a career readiness program at JFCS in Teaneck. We assist job seekers with resumes, cover letters, interview skills and the job search process. We are open, available, and ready to help!
To learn more about JFCS, visit jfcsnnj.org or contact us at [email protected]/ 201-837-9090.