While the 2008 recession is in the national rear-view mirror, the current job rate still isn’t at the roaring levels that it was in the late 1990s, when companies found it difficult to fill minimum wage jobs. With the current unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s still ample competition for any given job vacancy. Whether you’re applying for a dream job or a position to help you move up the career ladder, there are several factors to consider along the path.
Carefully Check Your Résumé
The average human resources representative may spend as little as a few seconds looking over your resume in order to make the decision to email you for an interview. Those few seconds are critical, especially since a single mistake will put your credentials in the discard pile. Sixty percent of hiring managers will toss out a résumé if it has a typo or incorrect information, according to a CareerBuilder study. A typo doesn’t need to be something big like misspelling the company name; it can be a small error like using “than” instead of “then.”
Make certain to research the company news and culture and tailor your experience to the position. For example, if applying for an identity theft protection position at Lifelock, thoroughly review the company website and find buzzwords to work into your resume to illustrate how you’re the best fit for the job.
Focus During The Interview
You may only have one shot to get that job when you go to the hiring manager’s office for an interview. The oldest pieces of advice for an interview remain the best today: appear neat and well-groomed, schedule enough time to arrive at least ten minutes early and emphasize your best career accomplishments.
Showing that you are passionate about the work can also go a long way. Three out of four hiring managers surveyed by Forbes Magazine reported that appearing uninterested in the job and the company is one of the biggest errors an interviewee can make.
Ask questions about projects and note where your skills would help, inquire about clients and how the company maintains relationships and find out what a typical day at work would be like. You should be genuinely interested and enthusiastic about the opportunity.
Negotiate A Salary
Many things in life can be negotiated even if it seems there are few compromises to be made. One of those things — perhaps the most important of those things — is employment compensation. In the process of preparing a job agreement, the company will lay out a salary offer.
The best thing to do during that offer, reports CareerLadder, is to not do anything at all, as a first offer usually leaves a lot of money on the table. Use a strategy called the “flinch” to leave the room silent, putting pressure on the employer to offer a larger figure.
It’s the same strategy that can be used in negotiation for a variety of things, ranging from buying a car to fixing a leaky sink, and it doesn’t require you to do anything at all.