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49 Essential Tips for Securing Your Next Job: A Comprehensive Guide
At Proficed, we have honed our ability to accurately assess more than 90% of candidates based solely on their submitted job applications. Furthermore, a brief phone call or a short conversation of just a few minutes often allows us to form a reasonably accurate judgment on the remaining 10%. Our assessment process has consistently proven highly effective, resulting in accurate evaluations of candidates.
While the common saying "don't judge a book by its cover" holds merit, we have found that in certain cases, concise insights can provide valuable initial impressions during the candidate evaluation process. Even a couple of lines written by applicants can often allow us to make an accurate assessment. Our experience has shown that limited information can, at times, yield reliable judgments.
Throughout our years of experience, we have reviewed numerous resumes and encountered various mistakes made by candidates during the job application process. Leveraging these insights, we have compiled an extensive list of tips that can significantly improve your prospects of securing your next job. This comprehensive guide draws upon our expertise, offering valuable insights and recommendations to successfully navigate the application process.
The 49 Tips
- Keep your resume short, to-the-point and limit it to one page. If necessary, print on both sides of the paper.
- Avoid mentioning hobbies. They are useless for the employers and can distract from your professional qualifications.
- Include a tagline below your name that highlights your experience and job profile, such as "Experienced web designer with 4 years of experience" or "Fresh MBA Graduate in Finance." This helps Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) identify relevant keywords.
- Do not copy and paste from others' resumes or CVs. Recruiters just need a glance to identify if a resume has been edited from someone else's.
- Maintain a consistent professional theme and use the same fonts and formatting throughout.
- Keep the resume in black and white.
- Don’t use online resume builders as it may create the impression that you lack the ability to create a resume/CV using word processing software.
- No need to include a photo.
- No need to add paragraphs on "Career Objective" and "Disclaimers" such as "All information furnished above is true to the best of my knowledge."
- Signatures on your resume/CV are not necessary.
- Add a "last updated on" stamp at the end of the resume to indicate the latest revision date.
- Don't rely on others to prepare your resume/CV. It is crucial to be self-sufficient and capable of creating your own resume/CV. Be prepared to the extent that you can recreate your resume/CV in front of the interviewer if asked to do so.
- Ensure you have a thorough understanding of your resume/CV, being able to answer any questions related to its content.
- Highlight your achievements related to the job you are applying for, list relevant skills, experience, and areas of interest before your academic summary. Focus on recent accomplishments rather than past academic performance. Nobody is interested in knowing how brilliant you were in school/college days.
- Include projects or clients you have worked with as part of your academic projects or previous jobs.
- It is acceptable to showcase social media achievements if they are relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if applying for a Digital Marketing Expert position, you can mention the number of subscribers or followers on your page/channel. Similarly, for tech-related jobs, mention your Stack Overflow points.
- Present your education and work details in tabular forms instead of writing long paragraphs or bullet points.
- Conduct thorough research about the company before applying. Know about company’s businesses, physical presence, history, mission, vision, values, corporate maxim, market position, key people (founder, chairman etc.)
- Exercise patience and avoid rushing to apply for a vacant position solely based on its availability. Carefully review the Job Description and apply only if genuinely interested in the position or consider avoiding the application.
- Send your resume/CV in PDF format instead of a Word document or a camera-clicked photograph/scan of a printed copy of the resume.
- Limit the number of questions you ask the HR during the initial stages of the application process.
- Submit a resume or CV that has been updated within the last three months.
- Arrive on time no matter what. Don’t make excuses if you can’t produce evidence of it to be true. Until you can produce evidence, nobody will believe that your granny died just at the moment when you were leaving for the interview, or you met with an accident is the reason you are late.
- If you’re running late for the interview due to some genuine reason, inform the recruiter via phone or more preferably via email so that you have a proof of this communication.
- Always bring a printed copy of your CV or resume to the interview. Avoid stating that you have already sent it via email.
- Prepare all supporting documents and include a copy of your identity document in a file along with your CV or resume.
- Keep your phone on silent during the interview.
- Avoid discussing salary, job timings, leaves, benefits, etc., until you have successfully completed the interview and other selection process stages.
- Prepare a concise 5-7 sentence answer to the question "Tell me about yourself." Focus on your skills, expertise, areas of interest, job experience, achievements (if any), and career goals. Don't talk about your family when you're asked this question.
- Avoid wasting time with unnecessary introductions like "First of all, I'd like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself" when provided with a chance to speak.
- Prepare well-thought-out answers to common questions like "What is your ultimate goal?", "What are your strengths and weaknesses?", "Why did you leave your previous company?", and "Why do you want to join our company?"
- Be ready to provide detailed information about what you have mentioned in your resume or CV, particularly regarding previous projects and academic achievements.
- Refrain from speaking negatively about your previous employer.
- Maintain professionalism and avoid being too casual or overly familiar during the interview.
- Allow the interviewer to speak without interrupting.
- Dress professionally and ensure you are well-groomed. Avoid any unpleasant body odor.
- Bring a notepad and pen to the interview for taking notes or jotting down any important information.
- Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer that demonstrate your interest in the company and the role. This will be useful if the interviewer asks you if you have any questions.
- If feasible, practice mock interviews with friends, family, teachers, or other suitable individuals as it greatly helps.
- Regardless of whether you were selected after the interview or not, request feedback on your interview performance and any scope of improvements after about a week to the interviewer.
- Minimize communication with the HR before the interview whenever possible. As the Gujarati saying goes, "bandhi muthi lakh ni," meaning a closed fist is worth millions. It implies that keeping certain information unrevealed until necessary holds greater value than disclosing it unnecessarily. Save your thoughts and discussions for the interview itself.
- Give preference to email communication over phone communication. Emails offer greater ease and convenience, providing ample time for writing and proofreading compared to spoken conversations. Moreover, a sent email is automatically saved in your "sent items" folder, making it readily accessible when needed, unlike phone conversations that may require additional proof of communication.
- Ensure that your written communication is free of grammatical or spelling mistakes. Utilize software like Grammarly or built-in spelling and grammar checkers in various word processing applications to review your messages before sending them.
- Refrain from expressing extreme support for any ideology during the interview.
- Avoid showcasing excessive pride in your individuality during the interview.
- Don’t forget to polish your social media presence. Review your existing social media accounts and clean up any content that may be unprofessional or inappropriate. Delete or untag yourself from any posts that could negatively impact your professional image. Adjust the privacy settings on your social media profiles to control who can view your content. Consider keeping your personal stuff private and professional content publicly accessible.
- Unless the interviewer themselves are not proficient in English, speak only in English during the interview. Disregard misguided opinions suggesting that English proficiency is less important than knowledge of one's mother tongue. Master the English language thoroughly. Language is not merely a means of communication but also a valuable skill. Its importance should not be underestimated.
- Avoid following influencers on social media who teach you how to negotiate your salary, emphasize your rights as an employee, or instigate thoughts that a company is not doing any beneficence by hiring you. Remember, companies are well-aware of both their rights and yours. They have a wider pool of candidates to choose from compared to the limited number of companies you may have as options. You need the company more than they need you.
- Avoid following motivational speakers, Instagram reels or LinkedIn posts on "how to build a successful career".
While the list may come across as strongly opinionated, it reflects the bitter truth of the current job market. You may find yourself agreeing with and wanting to follow certain points, while others may not resonate with you. Different companies and individuals may have varying perspectives and approaches. However, we are confident that this list will prove helpful to you, to some extent or another. We welcome open discussions and encourage you to share your thoughts and perspectives.
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