Halloween is a time for candy and costumes — how fun! But it’s also an opportunity to go to haunted houses and fright parks. Year-round something that can be counted on to give people goosebumps is the thought of a job search. Looking for work doesn’t have to be scary, though. These seven strategies can help you conquer that fear.
1. Have a game plan.
Just as kids will map out the neighborhood for the best trick-or-treating haul, you need to plan how you will navigate your search. Make an action plan in which you identify target companies, what their needs are, and how you’re going to network to get yourself noticed.
2. Build a personalized branding statement.
Don’t trick potential employers by telling them only what you think they want to hear. Give them the treat of finding out about your authentic self. Develop a personalized branding statement that is short but sweet and true to you. Taking strengths tests and brainstorming accomplishments and attributes can help you craft the best sales pitch about yourself.
3. Be resume ready.
When someone answers the door on Halloween night kids have to be ready with their pillowcases or pumpkins. Similarly, you need to have your resume in top shape at the start of your search. You’ll want a current, relevant resume that you can tailor quickly to particular jobs that come up.
4. Do a dry run.
If you’re ever on the streets on Halloween you might hear parents priming their kids to be polite. “What do you say?” “Trick or Treat!” “And then?” “Thank you!” If five-year-olds can do a dry run for getting Butterfingers, you can practice for a job interview. Do some research to find out more about the company. If you know anyone who has interviewed there before, ask what questions they encountered. Find out more about the person you are scheduled to meet (LinkedIn is a great place to start). Have a friend or family member ask you questions in a mock interview to get you ready.
5. Make it a conversation.
Don’t be scared of your interviewer. They are not that one person in the neighborhood who every October 31st hides and jumps out in a werewolf mask. They want to get to know you. Treat the interview as a friendly tennis match. Try to keep the conversational ball going back and forth. Interviewers will have a more favorable impression of candidates who have a conversation with them rather than simply answering the question and then waiting for the next one to come at them.
6. Don’t ghost potential employers.
When you’ve had the privilege of an interview, take the time afterwards to write a thank you note. Be specific. Address something you learned about the company in the interview. Add something about yourself that you want to reiterate or emphasize from your conversation. Personalizing your follow-up is one more way for you to stand out from the rest.
7. Work with a pro.
Consider the homemade costume versus the store bought one. Most of the time there is a vast difference between what you can accomplish with glue, felt, and cardboard and what a professional costume company can do. Going it alone in a job search is the scariest part of the process. But you don’t need to do it solo. A career coach can ask the right questions to help you identify career objectives, help make your resume pop, encourage your networking, find job postings, provide interview tips, and offer encouragement throughout.
Landing the best job is the treat at the end of a tricky process. Don’t go it alone. Work with The Best You Career Advantage!