Be positive and sweat the details
By Dan Moran
Job loss reports that have hit the news recently clearly show that we are deep in a job recession that likely will continue for some time. The job market has become more competitive as more applicants contest for jobs. The person who sweats the details and is positive will win above all others.
Staying positive and focused in the midst of tough times is indeed challenging. However, it is imperative and can make the difference between getting a job or not.
I am sure this story will help illustrate the point. A local employer had a job opening. Many resumes were received and they qualified the top four candidates who were invited in for an interview. As the story is told, three of the applicants came into the interview and talked about how bad things in the economy and life were. One applicant, the one with the least qualifications, came in and was positive and focused. Guess who got the job – the less experienced positive candidate.
Employers want to hire people who are positive and committed. Qualifications are important, but secondary to attitude. The sad fact is that I hear this type of story over and over again from employers.
How can you remain positive?
A few ideas:
Take this opportunity to change something in your life – perhaps exercise, weight loss, appearance – and make this a part of your plan.
Help someone else who is looking for a job or dealing with some issue where you can provide help and support.
Help an organization by volunteering. What a great way to meet more people (and that is networking).
Focus on what you contribute – skills, experience, and of course, your passion – and keep this in the forefront of your mind always.
Be with people who are positive; it “rubs” off on you. Be positive and let this “rub” off on others.
Sweat the details
I have also talked with employers who are interviewing and hiring people who have said that many people are lax in preparing for interviews and even in how they contact a company. They are showing up late, forgetting what job they are interviewing for and looking sloppy. In other words, they are not sweating the details.
It is critical that one:
Prepare for an interview. Have your notes on the research you have done on they company on hand, typed and looking professional. Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with, and be prepared to give a 30-second overview of what you have learned.
Look sharp. Shine the shoes. Be sure your outfit is fresh and clean. Assume formality rather than casual. You can’t overdress for an interview, but you can under-dress for sure.
Before the interview, sweat the details of your resume, letters, web presence. Be sure your resume doesn’t just say where you have been, but rather the skills, qualifications and accomplishments you havecontributed. Always include a cover letter (or email) when applying. Google yourself and be sure your web presence reflects what you want others to see.
Ask for the job if you really want it. Follow-up always. Send a note in the mail (snail mail) the same day as the interview. Follow-up with an email or phone call.
Be positive and sweat the details, which is critical in a more competitive job market for sure. Being positive will make a difference, and you will feel better too.
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. He specializes in helping people make career choices and seek new jobs. He is also a Certified Facilitator for Get Hired Now! and Get Clients Now! Programs, which help those in career transition and companies get results. You can reach him at 641.8968 or email@example.com or visit www.next-act.com.