Do Your Homework!

August 19th, 2020

Do Your Homework!

I know we are all saying to do your homework, in many ways, as everyone struggles with remote learning.  But this is not a phrase solely for kids.  If you are looking for a job, Do Your Homework! By this I mean be prepared for every stage of the search, application, interview and hiring process.

To start, research companies that are intriguing to you.  Find out what they do, how they do it, and what types of jobs they offer.  Maybe you know someone who works there, or maybe it is as simple as a search on the internet. Do people like working there?  What do the Glass Door or Indeed reviews say?

When applying, make sure you have studied the job description and have tailored your resume and cover letter to address the needs of the company.  There is simply no excuse for not knowing what you are applying for, or for sending in a generic resume/cover letter.  If you are not willing to take the time to learn about the company or job, how can an employer believe that you will take the time to be a dedicated employee?

Assuming you get to the interview stage, know your audience.  I recently interviewed a few people for a job and was shocked to hear that two of the interviewees had no idea who I was, what I have done, where I went to school or even my position in the company! This is all easily found by simply looking at the “About Us” portion of our website.  Imagine what you can find through LinkedIn or even Google!!

The third person did his research.  He knew the basics about me and had even asked some of my employees for more information.  We had much more to talk about than “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” He found some common ground and the interview was longer, more informative, more casual, and yes, he got the job.

Finally, know how people are hired by the company, and what benefits are offered. Make sure you take the time to review the information that is provided and fit it into your personal situation.  What is the pay? What are the hours and expectations?  Will this be an issue with childcare or your commute? Do you have a vacation planned?  Let the new employer know that so that plans can be made.  In some situations, this may be a problem, but often the employer is flexible, and the honesty is appreciated.  For health benefits, do you need them?  Does the plan offered work for your needs? What about 401K or other retirement options?  Ask the questions and negotiate your needs before you commit to the job.

It is important to ensure that the entire job fits your expectations and your needs.  There is nothing good about taking a job and then quitting a week later.  Not only have you wasted your time and the company’s time, you may have burned a bridge that could have been helpful in the future.

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