Posted by Jennifer Winkeljohn on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 09:30 | Follow me
At the start of the new year, a big question to think about is: How will you stand out in 2014 to be the hire of choice with your future employer?
Every company wants the best candidate in the marketplace, which can mean different things for each decision maker. They may be looking for a cultural fit, technical expertise, the ability to take on additional responsibilities, specific certifications and degree levels or all of the above.
As you conduct your job search, here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind:
Apply to the right opportunities: Are you qualified for the role you are applying, and if so, do your resume and cover letter state why? What makes you stand out from the competition?
Be prepared for the interview: Research the company and explore its website and social media presence. Here you will find priorities a particular company has set within the last 12 months, including hiring trends, acquisitions and new developments, which could come up during the interview. Being studious will show your future employer your eagerness and work ethic.
Be courteous and professional: This pertains to everyone you come in contact with when interviewing at the company. Many times the decision maker will reach out to even the receptionist to solicit their opinion of you.
Mirroring: Be aware of your tone and body language relative to the person or persons you are addressing. Just don't go overboard trying to match the interviewer's movements.
Dress in unprofessional attire: Your first impression will translate to performance and fit for the company. This is the time to be modest and not show your flair.
Get too personal: An extensive history about your work transitions or derogatory comments about past managers could negatively affect you. Give short, honest answers and move on.
Be late: Arrive timely – not 30 minutes early or one minute late but about 10 minutes in advance, unless you are advised to arrive even earlier to fill out an application.
Air your dirty laundry on social media: Once a potential employer does a search, all those Tweets, Facebook comments and LinkedIn recommendations will come to light. Be sure to choose your privacy settings so you share only with friends or those you trust.
One important factor that appears to be changing drastically this year is the increase in competition with employed professionals seeking new opportunities — especially in accounting and finance, where skilled talent is in demand.
Employers will be looking for examples of actions you took in your previous jobs to help your employers succeed. Be ready to showcase samples of your work and quantify your accomplishments as much as possible.