Maybe you've been searching for a new job for what seems like a long time and have become puzzled over why you seem to get close but never land the job. If you're having difficulties landing job interviews or moving past the first interview, it could be that what you think is effective simply isn't working any longer. If this is the case, perhaps you should reevaluate your job search strategy.
1. Don't Rely on Networking
Networking is a proven way to open doors to new jobs, but it's not enough in the modern workplace. Instead of casting your net wide through networking events, try taking a more targeted approach. Seek out specific people who can connect you to the right people at the companies you want to work for, then ask them to provide personal referrals that can open the door to job interviews.
2. Revamp the Way You Prepare for Job Interviews
If you feel completely prepared for every interview and expect them all to be the same, you probably need to revamp your job interview strategy. Instead of preparing generic answers to common interview questions, take the time to do some real research into each company and position in which you're interested. Use your network to pick up inside information, then start thinking about the potential job from the interviewer's point of view. Stop trying to convince an interviewer to hire you, and instead start looking for the ways in which you're a good fit for the company's culture and the specific position — after all, that's what the interviewer is trying to do as he talks to you.
3. Don't Be Paralyzed by Your Own Expectations
When you're looking for a new job, it's all too easy to fall prey to the trap of designing the dream job in your mind and measuring all actual job possibilities against it. When you do this, you create a sense of hesitancy in your interactions with interviewers that can harm your chances of landing an actual job. Take a moment to prioritize what really matters to you in your next job, whether that's salary, responsibilities, specific projects or a great fit with a company's culture, and be prepared to accept a good mix rather than seeking perfection.
4. Don't Rest on Your Qualifications
You may read the qualifications listed on a job announcement and think you're the ideal candidate. However, having a one-to-one match between your qualifications and the job's requirements typically isn't enough. Dozens of people also meet all the qualifications, so your task becomes making yourself stand out. Find ways to communicate your sincere interest in the position, and target your resume and cover letter for each position to help you land the job interview, during which you can show why you're the right fit for the position.
Your job search strategy needs to be a highly dynamic one that's constantly changing to fit the needs of the companies where you're applying. Think through your upcoming job interviews and the entire application process from the point of view of the hiring company to find new strategies that can help break any gridlock in your job search and get you moving forward again.
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