Job Hunting Pro Tips Part 2
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge
Job hunting is a skill. All skills can be cultivated. In early recovery, many of us may be entering the workforce for gainful employment for the first time. The prior blog on this topic focused on the right mindset and job itself. Now, how do we land that job? Let’s break this down into two sections, beginners, and advanced tips. The beginners will seem obvious to some, but there are others that weren’t taught these basics.
The 3 Basics of Job Hunting
1) Dress – Make sure to dress the part. Pants, dress shoes and a button-down is always appropriate for any job that is entry level. If a person does not own these, they can either be borrowed or purchased very cheap at a thrift store or Walmart. Interviews regularly should not be done in shorts, sneakers or a tee shirt. Typically, the better-dressed person is advantaged when it comes to making the first impression. If you’re tucking your shirt in, make sure to wear a belt!
2) Speech – Do not use slang, speak clearly and confidently. You may be nervous or uncomfortable, that’s normal. Remember you’re interviewing for a job, not talking to your friends. Enunciate your words, walk the walk and talk the talk. Practice have a day where you try not to use slang; it won’t feel as forced when it comes down to the actual interview.
3) Have a resume – Get help if needed. A professional and straightforward format will serve you just as well as pants and shoes. Be honest! If you have gaps in your resume, be prepared to explain them courteously and forthrightly. It is a judgment call whether to disclose the fact that you are in recovery. Use discretion and counsel from others with experience here. Many employers believe in second chances and value transparency; it shows character. If you’re nervous about it, always get council from another person. A useful tool is the internet, check out this article about resumes.
Job Hunting Pro Tips
Tip #1: Talk To A Decision Maker Only
Too many people either fill out an online application or fill out an application at the site, turn it in and walk away. Always find out who makes the hiring decision. Ask for their name and if they aren’t on site ask when they will be in. Return if they aren’t there or are unavailable. Even if you’re told, they don’t meet applicants. People will always hire someone they have had a positive experience with over a piece of paper every time.
Tip #2: Remember S.E.E
Smiles make people feel good and are often contagious. The best way to have someone smile at you is to smile at them.
b) Eye Contact
Looking someone in the eyes inspires trust and shows confidence. Don’t stare too long or look at the floor when talking. Find the proper middle ground. Too much eye contact is creepy, too little shows low self-esteem.
Energy can be felt and read by people. Like eye contact, we are looking for an acceptable level of emotion. Something that says I’m excited to be here and will bring nothing but positivity to the workplace.
You Only Have One Chance at a First Impression
When face to face with the decision maker you have already set yourself apart from many other applicants. Employers are looking for specific qualities that are predictable. As long as it’s true, tell them what they want to hear and your chances of landing the job go up astronomically. Say this, “Hi, my name is (first and last name), I’m aware that you probably don’t make hiring decisions on the spot. I’ve already filled and turned in the application. I just wanted you to be able to put a face to the name, and to know that I’m willing to start from the bottom, have a good work ethic, positive attitude and a team player.” Wait for their response. Shake their hand and exit stage left.
Make sure you do a proper handshake: Eye contact, the web of hands touching, firm but not crushing and one or two times up and down.
Tip #4:. Door Knock:
Many employers don’t advertise, especially mom and pop establishments. Walking around strip malls and streets hunting for “Help Wanted” signs to deploy these methods increases the odds of immediate employment. These are also among the more common jobs that will hire on the spot. If they want to interview you on the spot, here are some of the most common questions asked in an interview, read over them and prepare your answers!
Tip #5:. Rinse, Lather, Repeat:
Too often some job seekers fill out a few applications and wait. When not employed, your job is to find a job. Treat it as such. It takes 40 hours a week looking for a 40 hour a week job to get a 40 hour a week job. The job hunt stops on the first day of your new employment, not before.
When searching for a job, sites such as Indeed and Monster are useful to check for jobs hiring near you. It’s not always the best to send your application off and do no follow up on it. This can get extremely discouraging, talk to people in the rooms or your sober living. See what they did for their first job, get their experience and advice. Be persistent in your job hunt just like you are in your recovery. Good things come to those who work for them, not wait for them.