If you find no end to your apprehensions every time the thought of getting a job crosses your mind, it's high time you did something to turn the tide.
The preparation to increase your odds of getting hired begins from the time of the job searching process. You should apply to as many job postings as you can that correlate with your qualifications. But this doesn't equate to sending in hordes of applications to every matching job offer.
To gain more exposure to hiring trends, enroll yourself in professional groups that allow you to rub shoulders with some of the best and most influential people in business circles. They'll be a bulwark against major or minor goof-ups and can teach you the dos and don'ts of job-hunting. Even attending social and community gatherings can help because you get to know more people and ask for guidance regarding the hiring process.
The next important step is to have your resume in order. You should remind yourself that the first few seconds that the recruiters take to read the initial parts of your resume are extremely decisive in shaping further impressions. You should ensure that the first paragraph defends your eligibility for the organization by giving them an idea whether you are suitable for the position in question. Resume shouldn't be generic; it should be tailored to the demands of the job.
You could get your resume reviewed by experts to make it look convincing. They can sort out aspects like:
> The originality and appeal of the resume
> The usage of design elements in highlighting those parts which are significant
> The chronological order of your work history or experience
> A quantitative valuation of your achievements
> The proper usage of headings and labels to provide a clear and elaborate presentation
Devote your energies in showing them what you can do and not on enhancing the appearance of the resume. You should justify your assertion that you can add value to their organization by detailing your skills and experiences. If you've done internship or volunteer work that is career-related, you can have an edge over the other applicants. Also, references are to be strictly included. Finally, you should proofread your resume to avoid misspellings and other errors.
If you've done any short-term courses in your related field, you could be a step ahead of the other candidates. Such courses enhance your competence and knowledge and help a lot in self-development. They give employers the impression of a hardworking and motivated personality and indicate that you're mature, curious and immensely driven. You can use keywords to find courses in your preferred field. Joining an accredited course would be the best way to increase your odds of being considered.
Hoping that you're called for the interview, many things are to be kept in mind.
Most of the time, you would be asked to fill out an application form at the venue of the interview. Be prepared to fill out details like the address and contact number of your reference, dates of employment, past job description if any, phone number etc.
> Dress appropriately for the interview. You could refer the employee dress code for this.
> Work on your body language. You should be a great listener and maintain proper eye contact without giving out that offensive look.
> Be courteous and patient and display confidence and interest. Take care to effectively communicate your needs to the employers. Don't be hesitant to openly talk about your strengths.
> Never talk badly about your previous employers. Be yourself and don't be pretentious just to impress your employers.
> Send a thank you note after you're done with your interview.
> A follow-up is always considered a good measure. This can demonstrate your seriousness for the job.
These are general soft skills that are considered really important. The common questions you can anticipate are related to:
> Your weaknesses as well as strengths?
> Reasons for hiring you?
> Your goals and how you intend to work towards achieving them?
> Features that can set you apart from the other candidates?
> The salary range you have in mind?
> Your reasons for choosing this company?
Other technical and professional areas of questioning they may touch include:
> Your understanding from the job description of the kind of work you'll have to do
> The challenges you expect to face while discharging your duties
> A self-appraisal of your key competencies
> The extent of knowledge you have about the company
> Recent projects and responsibilities you have shouldered
> Ways in which you maintained consistency across your projects while conforming to quality expectations and changes in the work environment
> The kind of technology you are highly dependent on
> The developmental setup you've adhered to
> The lengths to which your education helped you in preparing for this job
Also, you should have an awareness of the performance appraisal system in place there. For this, you can consult the seniors at the company or experts in the industry. They could give you an idea of the criteria for evaluation, the functioning of the company, your responsibilities according to your job description, expected methods of executing tasks etc. This can assist you in discerning the possible ways in which you can fall short of expectations which will make you re-prioritize accordingly, upgrade your skills, fill up the necessary gaps, and integrate your work performance with the organizational goals.
Even if they don't get back to you, don't give up. If you are rejected, don't be bogged down by hopelessness. Learn to take failure in your stride. It only helps you understand where you went wrong so that you can make a few changes in your approach.
No one gets selected for every job offer they apply to. Recruiters need to be convinced that you are absolutely fit for the job. There will inevitably come a time when you land that one big job of your lifetime. Until then, work hard!