Leadership and emerging professionals
Setting yourself up for job hunting success
December 13, 2021
By Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified
As you pursue your career journey, it is inevitable you will think about how you could set yourself up for success when looking for a position. In this column, I will reveal some advice and tips for maximizing your potential to attain that role you want by sharing advice from personal experience, feedback and research.
At some point along your career, you will be in the market for a position you desire. I encourage you to revisit our past four Leadership Column articles and two Career Path Journey features to explore imperative takeaways of personal branding, emotional intelligence (EQ), leadership skills, and career paths to help you get ready for your job-hunting process:
- Revisit Leadership Article #1, “Building your personal brand”
- Revisit Leadership Article #2, “Developing your emotional intelligence to gain a competitive edge”
- Revisit Leadership Article #3, “Leveraging personal branding, emotional intelligence and other leadership skills to advance”
- Revisit Leadership Article #4, “Pursuing paths to partnership”
- Revisit Feature, “Career paths and journeys”
- Revisit Feature, “Career paths and journeys #2”
From a big picture perspective, it’s critical you are authentic, you know what you want, you know how to translate your story and experiences in a concise way via an elevator speech, you are prepared for the interview (including researching the organization), and you ask questions. This is what Interviewers are looking for, not someone putting on a facade trying to sound smart. The best interviews I’ve conducted ended up being conversations where both of us were learning about each other. You don’t have to know it all, but you do need to be open for learning, growing, communicating, and collaborating, so demonstrating that in an interview is also key.
Here are 8 detailed tips and tricks to maximize your potential to attain that position you want, reprinted from the Badeau Consulting, LLC blog (https://www.badeauconsulting.com/blog):
- Tell your story
- Your resume shouldn’t be a bulleted list of your job description.
- Make sure it highlights who you are professionally – what were your significant accomplishments and contributions in your organization / volunteer position(s) / associations / school (as applicable) … what and how much did you change/improve/grow/save/optimize/streamline, etc.?
- Translate your role(s)
- Be sure to show how competencies gained from your previous experience can translate into the role you are applying for.
- This is especially important when you haven’t specifically worked in the field/position you are applying for!
- Tell your story
- Job hunting:
- I read a recent survey that said ~80% of job openings don’t get posted – this confirms that networking is key!
- If you build genuine relationships with people, your network may be able to help connect you with other people and companies when you are in need.
- Networking could lead to a higher chance of landing an interview and even getting to know more about an organization and its culture prior to working there.
- What makes you tick
- One of the things I have asked people for many years is “what makes you tick?” This is especially important to know while job hunting.
- My recommendation is to think of the 4-5 things that truly “make you tick” about a career - what’s going to make you happiest. I’m sure there are a 100 things you may want but boil it down to those 4-5 things and look for a position and an organization that can deliver on those.
- It’s important to remember that the 4-5 things that make you tick are going to be different from person to person – that’s ok, we are all individual human beings!
- Know your career goals
- If you have a general understanding of your career goals while job hunting, it could help you find open positions that you may be more successful in.
- I’m not talking about saying “I want to have a XYZ title in 5.3 years” or anything. I recommend you think about what skills, responsibilities, and areas you want to grow in and get experience in over a certain amount of time.
- Ask questions
- One of the biggest mistakes I have seen candidates make in an interview is not asking questions to each interviewer.
- Asking questions shows that you have a natural curiosity to learn!
- Make sure you have at least a few thoughtful questions ready to ask before going into the interview.
- And better yet, as you are having a conversation, something else they say or ask may spark another question in your mind. Bonus points if you have more of a conversation with the interviewer!
- STAR answers (Situation or Task, Action, Result)
- As you respond to questions from the interviewer, make sure to answer them with complete answers so it gives them everything they need to know - the context of the story, what specific steps were completed or not completed and how it was done, and the result of your actions.
- Elevator speech
- A lot of interviews start with a question like “tell me about yourself” and wrap up with something like “tell me why we should hire you.”
- To be prepared for some inevitable variation of this question, think of a thoughtful, concise way to tell your story to represent what you can bring to that role and organization.
- Ask questions
By following the insights above, you can maximize your potential to attain the position you want. It’s important to remember that it may take time to find the right fit. I encourage you to stay grounded in what makes you happy and explore your options; you never know what life is about to bring to you…
It has been a pleasure writing these leadership insights during 2021! I challenge you to go back through the five (including this one) Leadership Column articles and two career path journey features and reflect on two areas you’d like to improve. Then create an action plan to turn those wishes into reality for 2022 and beyond! If you need help with this process or in any other career or leadership coaching, training, or consulting area, please reach out! Have a fantastic 2022!
About the author: By Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified, is the owner of Badeau Consulting. Badeau is a coach, speaker, trainer and consultant and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.