At several points in my career, I've had to find a better job when I felt I was stagnating at my old one. And there were instances when I was recommended to a new job but had to qualify for it all the same. Here are the steps I follow when looking for a better job, from polishing my resume to preparing for the job interview and negotiating my hiring salary.
I Revise My Resume
Seeking the advice of a hiring manager in corporate America, I changed the emphasis of my resume to implicitly target the job I was applying for rather than a general field. As I did this, I highlighted my experiences in a way that would fit perfectly with the new role I was applying for. Thus for example, while I was applying for the job of an International Relocation Manager, I was able to sight my experience at a law office working with people who find themselves in jail. After all, in both cases the clients were under severe stress despite the very different circumstances.
In addition, I changed the tone of my resume to an action-oriented voice. This projected an image of a go-getter and a problem solver. To further illustrate this point, I shortened my resume using concise bullet points that a busy hiring manager or recruiter could skim through quickly.
I Conduct an Aggressive Job Search
To ensure that I have access to quality job listings, I conducted a daily search via several venues. I bought a newspaper daily and reviewed the classifieds. I signed up for job listings at online job sites. By customizing my search criteria to my specific qualifications and experience, I saved time on going through hundreds of irrelevant posts. I also made an appointment with an employment agency and provided them with my resume.
Furthermore, I tapped into family and friends, sending a copy of my resume to everyone I knew. In fact, a friend of mine had got her foot in the door of a Fortune 100 company through a referral from the brother of a co-worker. Knowing this, I asked others to freely share my resume with anyone searching for employees in my field.
I Prepare for the Job Interview
After passing my phone interview with a recruiter, I was set to undergo an interview loop with potential co-workers, the hiring manager and cross-team counterparts. In other words, I would have to go through six consecutive job interviews, each rising in importance.
To prepare, I asked the advice of the friend who recommended me to the recruiter. We practiced mock interviews during which I practiced answering the kind of questions I might be asked at the interview. I focused on coming across as confident without being arrogant, as well as keeping positive on every issue.
Finally, we focused on preparing me to answer unexpected questions aimed at testing my problem solving abilities. At the end of a day of training, I felt confident about going to my job interview.
I Discuss Pay and Benefits after Passing My Job Interviews
After doing well during my job interviews, I felt confident that I had convinced the hiring manager that I would be a good fit for the team. When I spoke to HR next, I was in a position to negotiate a good starting salary. I knew that my future raises and bonuses would all depend on this base figure. It was, therefore, important that I try to get hired at a higher end of the pay scale.
I began by asking for a higher salary than I wanted, so as to leave me room for negotiation. Keeping a positive attitude, I stressed my qualifications and experience, saying that I felt the pay reflected my contributions to the role. I also explained that my obligations to my family prevented me from taking a much lower salary.
In previous jobs, when the salary could not be negotiated any higher, I negotiated better benefits, such as a shorter workday or an extra week of paid vacation a year. In a corporate setting, I was able to negotiate a higher base salary than was customary to new-hires.
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