A to Z guide on your job hunting journey
Objective: The object of this course is to impart training on end to end job hunting process which detail discussion on how to develop a proper strategy and a right kind of job hunting approach. It also provides sound knowledge about best utilizing various job searching tools at different levels.
Learning: The learner of this curriculum would be able to develop a thorough understanding about the ideal job hunting process. The 10 valuable lessons will groom the job seekers in the smartest ways to lead them towards a successful career.
Who can be benefitted from this course? Young as well as the experienced job hunters all will get benefitted by going through the lessons as it covers the entire aspects of job searching.
The course contents 10 chapters comprising:
- Identify your career goal
- Invest on yourself
- How to prepare a value resume
- Start your job hunting
- Prepare yourself for interviews
- Do’s and Don’ts in interviews
- How to tackle the tricky questions during interviews?
- Evaluation and up-gradation
- Essential tips on job hunting
Lesson # 1. Introduction
Are you a new pass out and feeling confused about how to get a good job that suits you best? Or have you been continuously applying to jobs for quite sometimes, but not getting any feed back? Or is it so that you are only attending interviews without effective results?
If any of these situations are true in your life, you have come to the right place. This structured course on job search will empower you to build a successful career by providing a step by step guide on using various job search tools effectively. Additionally, you will also be able to find out your right career path leading you towards your dream job by analyzing your strength, aptitude and aspirations.
No doubt employability is the biggest challenge in the present day job market. But if you think a bit deeply, you will realize only getting a job really doesn’t solve your problem. A job which never allows you to derive any job satisfaction or is not tallying with your values will not lead you to a successful career. Hence, just grabbing any job and building a career can never be the same for you. To be successful in life you need to choose a right job which matches your knowledge, skill and liking.
Once you go through this scientifically program specially designed by the reputed HR and talent acquisition professionals, you will easily learn the following aspects:
- How to identify your career goal
- How to source employment information
- Knowledge regarding existing career options
- The useful techniques of writing resumes
- How to hone your skills to be a worthy candidate
- Tips and tricks of cracking an interview
In a nutshell, these lessons will teach you to select your role path, prepare yourself for a particular career and finally equip you to sell your own candidature as a product in the job market. Yes, you are reading it correctly from now onward you will start learning various tack ticks to become a marketing professional for yourself! As a job seeker soon you would develop the skill to promote your own values to the prospective employer. It will also train you to make yourself stand out among the crowd and hit the bull’s eye by securing a right job that helps proceeding towards your dream career matching your personal values, knowledge and skill.
So let us move forward towards the various steps on your happy job search!
Lesson #2. Identifying your career goal
To be a successful person in career you obviously need to earn money, but money cannot buy happiness, nor can it bring job satisfaction. Therefore earning potential cannot be the only deciding factor while choosing your career goal.
Research reveals, if you want to shine in your career, you obviously need to enjoy your work too. Usually the work you enjoy usually matches your aptitude and best fit your knowledge and skills also. And who can deny it is much easier to prove yourself in a role which suits you best? So before you start your job hunting, it is always better to try to be 100% sure about your areas of competence, aptitude and mental inclination.
Think deeply and decide what exactly you want to do in life? Is it money? Security? Or new challenges? Which things you consider to be your ultimate target in life? Also do a soul searching and find out what makes you really happy that you want to achieve?
Suppose you are a technical professional but you think meeting people and travelling a lot gives you more impetus than sheer technicalities in that case you can opt for jobs which provides scope for techno- marketing. This kind of a job has scope for dealing with people and traveling both in addition to technicalities. Or it may happen like that, that even being a technical person you may feel you actually love to train and teach people, more than technical works. In a situation like that, you may always opt for a technical trainer’s job in a technical institute which will allow you to derive immense job satisfaction. So before starting your quest for an ideal career you must weigh all the available job options thoroughly plan your role-path and start the journey to reach your destination.
Similarly, if you have done masters in English from a reputed university but exactly do not enjoy a teaching career you may always choose to be a copy writer in an advertising agency. You may also look for a researcher’s job, an academic or content writer’s role. You may even seek for an alternative role of a journalist too.
This way, you need to thoroughly analyze your very own aspirations, your likes and dislikes your personal values and inclinations which will help you to determine your exact career path to be a successful person in life.
As a job seeker, once you have identified your role path and the career goal, it becomes much easier for you to reach there. Well, start your journey from this point only with full drive.
Your time starts now!
Lesson #3. Invest on yourself
Everyone wants to become successful in career as well as in life. But only few achieve the target. Have you ever thought why it happens like that? Many of you will say it is fate or luck. Some will say it is all about competence and talent. In real life there are a lot of examples where people with same kind of talent and competences do not equally prosper. So what can be the actual cause behind this? The answer is, the root of success actually lies in proper planning, analyzing and strategy building. To make you understand this fact, let me tell you about the pyramid of competence.
A pyramid of competence will help you to analyze your abilities and shortfalls too. Accordingly you need to plan a right kind of developmental strategy and invest on yourself. This will make you a competent job seeker to outcast others in the job market.
Now let us draw an imaginary pyramid of competence just like the diagram below.
The base of the pyramid points towards your basic knowledge about a subject on which you are going to build your career. Suppose you are a production engineer. The first criterion is your knowledge about the subject that is production engineering. Similarly, if you are a financial analyst, the basic requirement to build a successful career for you will be your knowledge about the actual subject ‘finance’. The same way, for a sales and marketing person the basic strength is his knowledge about marketing which lies in the base of the pyramid.
The second part or the middle portion of the pyramid of competence indicates about your skills. Skill is developed from the practical application of knowledge. For a production engineer the projects he undertakes or whatever practical experience he gains through hands on work develops his skill. Eventually, a finance guy develops his skill through practical functioning. A sales person also hones his knowledge into skill through real life experience and so on.
Finally, the top portion of the pyramid which forms a small triangle indicates towards the last but not the least competence that is ‘attitude’. It tells about your inner quality and your values that guide you to deal life in your way. This last part which forms the top of the pyramid ultimately plays a great role in reaching the summit of your career. It will not be exaggeration to say that the ‘attitude’ factor largely depends on your background and your upbringing.
Hence it is well understood that knowledge, skill, and attitude are the three prime factors helping you to be successful in your career. Knowledge forms the base of your career, skill empowers you to be practically worthy in relation to a job role and attitude gives you the extra mileage that differentiates you from others and helps to reach the ultimate goal in your career.
Now consider yourself a marketing professional who is going to sell your own candidature as a product in the job market. To ensure success in your marketing drive you must agree with me that your product needs to be tested and pass the quality criteria, isn’t it? So you must scrutiny your three main success factors — knowledge, skill and attitude and try to work hard and invest on yourself to fill the gaps. Use a score card as shown below to analyze your competencies.
|competencies||Score out of 100||Strength||Weskness|
Make a honest self assessment and put your score out of 100 against each competency parameters. Consider it to be strength if it is more than 60 and incase it is less than 60 mark it as weakness. Mark either the column strength or weakness responding to each competency as per your analysis.
Once this analysis is done, study, revise and update your knowledge in the areas you are not feeling fully confident to achieve a higher score. Next look at your score on your functional skills and try to improve your skill gaps. The best ways can be enrolling yourself to internship programs and skill developmental workshops. And to strengthen your score under ‘attitude’ parameter, boost your good attitude factors and rectify and improve your improve your bad attitude factors. There are various soft skill programs too which can offer you considerable assistance by implementing different corrective measures to improve your scores in disciplinary or habitual conducts which forms your attitude towards life.
Once you complete analyzing knowledge, skills and attitude, forming the pyramid of competence, like the above mentioned process, it becomes easier for you to correctly invest on yourself to brush up your abilities and develop a proper job role approach.
So be confident and move on to the next level of your job search.
Lesson #4. How to prepare an effective resume
You all know what is a resume’. But many of you do not know every resume is not an effective resume. An effective resume can simply create a magic and push you one step further towards an interview call at one go.
Whenever there is a job opening the employers get loads of resumes from thousands of candidates applying for the same. Employers or the HR persons on behalf of the employers automatically start screening the candidates on the basis of their resumes. So this is the first hurdle you must cross in the beginning of your job hunt.
An ideal resume tells about your specialties or values which has worth to your prospective employer. This makes you stand out among thousands of other candidates. It is the first ticket which allows you to reach the interview board. So you must write your resume not only to describe your qualities but you should try to represent all your qualification, experiences and competencies in such a way so that employers find all your educations, skill and exposures perfectly in tune with their required criteria for the particular opening.
Here are the valuable guidelines to prepare an effective resume.
- A resume should be brief and to the point which only speaks about your relevant qualifications, qualities and experiences.
- It should be within two pages with proper line spacing, bullets, alignment and written in a professional font that is easy to read and looks smart.
- It should be brief, written in simple language and grammatical error free.
- Contact details needs to be visible at a glance on top of the page.
- The page size should be of A4 size, printed on one side of the page with page number at the bottom.
- Ideally a resume needs to start with a summarized professional profile which describes your professional qualifications and experiences (if any) in few lines. This overview should be very impressive that proves you to be a most suitable candidate for the position you are applying for.
- Next mention the following details one by one: your core competencies, experience details and achievements.
- Next mention all your academic qualifications and technical qualifications in chronological order from latest to back.
- Then mention the projects, or other professional exposures you may have.
- Mention your extra-curricular activities and achievements.
- At last mention your personal particulars comprising date of birth, language skill, marital status, or any other details like your passport details or any other personal information you want to include which is relevant for applying to a job.
- You always write your resume honestly but strategically which should not become a trust-buster but at the same time highlight your qualities in such a way that impress the employers.
- Usually you do not need to paste your photo or put reference details or mention your last salary unless otherwise a particular employer wants it for screening.
- Always upgrade your resume at regular intervals and feel free to modify here and there to high light the necessary information and cover the unnecessary facts to make your resume sharp and impressive.
- There is no need of writing sentences like “All facts mentioned here are true to my knowledge”. Putting date and location is also not required at all in a modern resume.
Lesson # 5. Start your job hunting
The exact process of job hunting or gathering information about job opening is extremely important for a job hunter. You always get some extra benefit and already stand out among the rest if you are aware about the job market and its updated news. But do you know how to get the right information in right time? Well, the following guide will definitely come to your help to stay one up in job hunting:
- Check the local news papers. Many people th9inks it is an old and obsolete way of finding opportunities. But most of the employers bank on this source than any other digital platforms. So always check the job section of the popular and widely circulated newspapers.
- Register yourself with the sought after job portals like Naukri, Monster, Times Response, Shine and others. It has no cost but all modern employers these days and all the consultants look for candidates by using these head-hunting tools. You cannot allow yourself to miss the chance for nothing.
- LinkedIn and other social networking sites also often play a great role by posting various job openings. Keep alert on LinkedIn and Facebook not to lose such intimations in right time.
- Search on internet on regular basis. You will get tons of job information just by clicking on various informative sites like Indeed, Jobrapido and many more.
- Apart from social networking also keep in touch with your friends, family and associates who might be resourceful in your quest for job and spread it in the air among this circle that you are looking for a job or switchover from your current employment. Word of mouth still has a great influence and even in this modern technology driven era, many openings are closed in this way. So why waste a chance? Utilize this tool wherever you can.
- Professional HR Consultancies and placement divisions of your educational or professional training institutes also help you to find out a suitable opening. Keep in touch with them and maintain a good rapport with them so that you get the latest job information at your finger tips.
- Your personal drive also sometimes becomes really rewarding so keep your eyes and ears o-pen to all industrial developmental news. Search various websites and their career sections, keep a watch on electronics media, put an application to the HR department on your own if you feel there might be a scope for you.
Jobs are in the air ——– you only need to catch the information in time.
Lesson # 6. Prepare yourself for interviews
Do you know the famous quote “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? No doubt it is a great truth you should always remember especially in the context of attending interviews. You get an interview call if and only if you pass the preliminary round of screening which is done on the basis of your resume. Sometimes you get the call if you pass the second round of screening too which might be a telephonic interview from the employer’s end. In few circumstances you may get the call after you pass another round also if the organization uses another screening tool called group discussion or GD round.
So once you have got the chance of meeting the employer in a face to face interview you should try to take the full advantage of it with best possible preparations must prove yourself to be the ideal candidate for the job opening.
Here are the important tips for your interview preparations:
- Before you attend the interview make a research about the organization on the net. It will help you to be aware about their work and operations and make you confident while you attend the interview.
- Make a clear cut idea about the venue including how to reach their easily from your place. This will help you to save time and reach in time without any unnecessary hazard that may hamper your focus.
- Plan what you will wear for the interview and make them ready before hand. Always choose formal attires which has a good fitting and smart look but at the same time comfortable for the weather. Also plan your accessories which need to be formal too and groom yourself with a hair-cut, shaving or a suitable make-up or styling which will surely increase your confidence.
- Carry a copy of your updated resume (which you have already submitted while applying for the job) along with other necessary documents arranged in chronological order in a folder, so that you can easily take out and readily present them if the interviewer wants to see any credential at the interview board. Otherwise if you take lot of time to find out your papers you will prove yourself to be disorganized.
- Make a list of probable questions they may ask you during the interview and mentally prepare the answers for them.
- If they ask you something which is not within your knowledge and you cannot remember at that point of time, admit you don’t know this or can’t remember this with an addition that you would be able to pick it up or brush the skill up if they give you a scope to learn and update. Remember honest confession is always appreciated.
Hence, next time you attend an interview try to remember these interview tips. Also keep it in mind that it is nothing better if you can crack the interview at one go, but in case you don’t then also you should not feel down because there will be more chances in life and believe me, soon you will achieve what you want. Till then just try a little more to reach the level of perfection. Don’t forget life is a challenge and you have to accept it! And here we are to help you in your present challenge – job hunting!!!
Lesson #7. List of Do’s & Don’ts in the interview
- Start early and be in time.
- Be patient while you wait in the office for your turn.
- Be relaxed. Try to be mentally focused.
- In-case you are late due to some unavoidable cause like a road block, accident or rain, apologize for the delay and mention the cause.
- Once you get the call walk confidently towards the chamber where the interview is being conducted and always knock the door before you enter and ask “May I come in?” If the door is open then also wait at the door and take permission before you enter.
- Greet the interviewer once you are in front of the interview board.
- Wait till the interviewer asks you to sit and thank him while sitting.
- Be careful about your body language. Sit straight and be attentive.
- Make eye contact with the interviewer.
- Say “I beg your pardon” if you do not understand a particular question.
- Answer the questions confidently in clear voice with a smiling face.
- Usually at the end of the interview the interviewer often asks the candidate if they also have anything to ask. If they ask you like that always try to ask something intelligent (plan it before hand while doing the home work) about the company or the job role to show your interest which is always considered to be a plus point.
- Once the interview is over thank the interviewer and say it’s nice to meet you Sir or Madam.
- Push the chair back to its place once you stand up and move.
- Close the door softly while coming out of the room.
- Don’t start discussing a lot with other candidates waiting for the interview. It will destroy your concentration.
- Don’t show any sign of impatience while waiting before being present at the interview board.
- Don’t make any sound with your heel while you walk towards the interviewers.
- Don’t look around the room which demonstrates your lack of concentration and confidence.
- Don’t cross your leg or rest your back or place your elbow on the table.
- Don’t keep your papers of bag on the table.
- Don’t make sound while drawing or pushing back the chair or during sitting and getting up.
- Don’t start answering before the question is finished.
- Stop instantly if the interviewer suddenly receives a phone call or someone enters and asks something. Restart again once the interviewer asks you to continue.
- Don’t try to be over smart say anything which is beyond your conception – it will destroy your credibility.
- Don’t show your nervousness by fumbling a lot while you speak.
- Don’t make too much or unnecessary hand movements while you answer which projects your lack of confidence.
- Don’t feel nervous to admit you don’t know this (a particular thing) as you are not expected to know everything.
- Don’t say anything negative about yourself or about your academic or technical institute or about your ex-employers or colleagues.
- Don’t stretch out your hand for shaking hand with the interviewer. The interviewer is supposed to stretch his hand first for a shake hand.
Lesson # 8. How to answer tricky questions during interview
Your job hunt will be successful if you can crack the interview. Don’t forget selection and elimination are the two sides of the same coin. Someone else got eliminated that is why you are selected. So you will have to knock out others to be successful – there is no other alternative to be a winner in this competitive world.
Therefore to be a topper you need to sharpen your interview skill to reach a level of professional perfection. To develop this professionalism you must know how to answer the difficult questions. Here are some example of such questions and their strategic answers which will help you to tackle this kind of tricky situations.
Sample questions and probable answers
Q 1. Why do you think we will hire you?
Or Why you consider yourself suitable for this position?
Ans. 1. I have relevant educational and vocational background with relevant experiences (in case of experienced candidates only). I am confident I would be able to add value to the organizational operations and growth. This apart, my career aspirations also matches this job role which I hope will allow me to derive job satisfactions. Furthermore I personally feel here I will get lot of scope to learn and gather more exposure.
Q.2. If we hire you and you get a better offer within a year won’t you quit this job?
Ans. 2. I am not ready to quit a job within such a short span of time. I don’t consider salary increment is the only criterion for accepting a new job. First I want to learn and make myself established in a particular job. I don’t believe in job-hopping.
- 3. Why do you want to change your job?
Ans. 3. I have successfully worked with my current company for a couple of year. I enjoy working here and also have very good relations with my colleagues and seniors. But I feel I need to look for other prospects to get more exposure for developing my career.
Q.4. Are you ready to relocate?
Ans. 4. Yes I am ready to relocate. (if your are really ready for that). But if it is not possible for you then answer them like the following way so that they understand you are otherwise ready to relocate but unable to do so for some real causes.
Ans 4. I would have otherwise loved the idea but right now it is not possible for me as my Father/Mother is not well or I have a tiny baby or I am doing course in a night college or anything else which matches your profile but mention a genuine cause.
- 5. What are your positive qualities?
Ans. 5. Mention about few qualities which you really have and at the same time are relevant to the job role. For example you may say you are a team player, problem solver, quick learner or you have multitasking ability, eye for detailing, logical bend of mind or good communication and inter personal skill. But never tell them you are kind hearted, generous or sensitive which has no relation with your career.
- 6. What are your negative qualities?
Ans. 6. I am a perfectionist for this I often get into trouble as I don’t get easily satisfied with my work. Or you may say I cannot stand people who are not taking their work seriously for this I get rejected by some of my friends and family members. (Mention few of your positive qualities in negative way instead of describing your actual negativities.)
- 7. What will you do if you cannot meet the deadlines or targets?
Ans. 7. I will try my level best to meet the deadline or the targets but in spite of that if I fail I will try to find out other avenues which will compensate that failure. I will also try to pin point the causes of my failure and try to learn from this so that next time it never happens like that.
- 8. Where you want to see yourself after five years?
Ans. 8. I would love to see myself working here with proven success in my work and taking interviews for new recruits in my team.
- 9. If we hire you will have to work in a team (or manage a team), how we will know whether you are a good team player?
Ans. 9. I can assure you of my ability to work in a team and lead a team in true spirit as I have always recognized as a good team worker and leader in my school, college and club. I was always loved by my friends and colleagues (if you are experienced) for my sportsman spirit. I am confident here also it will not be reversed.
- 8. What is your expected salary?
Ans. 8. I would be happy if it is around this. (Try to make a research about the company’s salary structure before going to the interview and also consider your qualification, experience and your current status and accordingly mention the amount. But always mention this word ‘around’ so that it has a scope of negotiation.
Lesson # 9. Evaluation and up-gradation
It is absolutely essential for a job hunter to make a personal evaluation after attending an interview. Interviews teach you a lot if you can treat them as a learning process and scientifically analyze your interview performances neutrally and academically. You are the only person who can evaluate the entire performance if you look at it from a learner’s point of view and I know you will groom yourself very well by following this practice.
Follow this process every time you attend an interview.
Step One. Once you come back home, take a pen and paper and try to allot scores on various aspects of your performance parameters just like the interview analysis chart below:
|Relevance in answering|
Step Two Take a pen and paper and jot down the points you need to improve more.
Step Three. Plan corrective measures to overcome the difficulties you have faced in this interview. For example if you were poor in communication this time put some extra effort to improve your communication skill.
Step Four. Take action. For example register yourself to a communication course.
I assure you next time you will definitely score much better and gradually you will become an unbeatable job hunter who will be a habitual winner!!!
Lesson # 10. Essential job hunting tips
Job hunting is a process which you may need to take up not only in the beginning of your career but also at the middle for accepting new challenges and achieving new turnarounds in your career or may be at the end of your career when you start thinking of freshly contributing to the industrial sector you have worked so long as an expert even after your retirement.
Hence it is important to know few unique best practices of job search which can work as the most useful tools in your hand. Here are those all-time effective tips for all career aspirants at every level.
Golden tips to make your job hunting a great success.
- Always maintain a record with details of your job hunting drive. The record should contain company names and contact details, position applied for, date of application, feedback. This helps you to track the applications. Sometimes few organizations take a longer time to take actions. If you get a sudden call for interview after a couple of months, this record helps you to take proper preparations for the interview.
- Sometimes it happens you get two job offers at a time and it becomes difficult for you to take a decision. To take the perfect job hunting decision always evaluate both the job offers after judging them from various angle. You can also make and use a chart by allotting points on various heads like the snapshot below to make a proper analysis.
- To stay up dated and equally valued in the job market always up grade your skills as per the changing scenario in the job market and go on modifying your resume accordingly that best fit with the industry requirements.
- To utilize all your knowledge, skill and experiences in two three diversified functional areas you may need to write your resume in two or three formats which may focus on different areas of your expertise and competencies. This allows you to apply for more job options with more choices. This becomes more helpful for job hunters in the middle of their career.
- Sometimes it happens like that, that you have attended one interview successfully and the employer also told you straight that you are going to hear from them within a short while but you are not getting any call from them. You feel confused and do not understand what to do next. In such situations as a job hunter you need to take a little more initiative and go for a follow up. No harm in it. Don’t forget at the end of the day you are a marketer of your own candidature and offering services in a job market where everyone needs to fight in an environment of cut-throat competition. So go ahead and fight for you to sustain and strive.
Hope this course was helpful and you have learned the useful job hunting techniques from these lessons. Best of luck to all the learners of our Job Search Course!
We wish you a bright career ahead.