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9/29/13 - Go Back to Basics to Land Your Next Job

by Mary Truslow from the Communications Collaborative website

Looking for a job can be overwhelming. And the volume of information and conflicting advice doesn't help. Experts, your friends, the Internet— everyone has an opinion about everything from networking to salary negotiation. And with so much information, it's not only confusing for jobseekers, but for hiring managers, as well.

So, what is the best approach when looking for a new job? We recommend tuning out the chatter and going back to basics.

Know and be who you are – So often we see people who try to be everything. They fear that if they are clear about what they can do, they will miss out on an opportunity. In fact, the opposite is true. If you try to be everything, no one will understand who you are. Clarity around your background and skills needs to be at the forefront of all of your communications: e-mails, cover letters, resume and portfolio. By telling your story clearly and succinctly, hiring managers will "get" you and what you bring to the table.

Do your homework – Know what the company does, who the people are, what the culture is like, and what the position you are interested in entails. The more you know, the more you can demonstrate how and why you are the right fit for the role.

The basics really do matter – Honestly, check for typos, be on time for the interview, dress a notch above the company culture, send thank you notes, follow through on any other steps as requested by the hiring company, and tell your references they will be contacted and why. We have countless stories of people who have not gotten jobs because of their lack of commitment to following these simple steps.

Know your worth and be honest when talking about money - Be realistic about what you can earn in a new position. Although the job market is beginning to heat up, salaries have not budged. The bump from your current salary to a new position is incremental. Rarely do we see quantum leaps. Questions around salaries are asked as part of information gathering and are a "need to know." So tell it like it is.

Looking for a job is daunting, but all you really need to know is this— landing a job is about being the best match for the position. Period. So, simplify your approach and go back to basics. That is what will get you the job.