One of the most important, and commonly misunderstood, concepts in a successful job search is being job ready. You may think you’re job ready, but in the mind of a recruiter you are not. Having a simple resume and a few canned answers to standard interview questions don’t make you job ready.
Here are 5 steps you can take to become job ready:
1) Know all you can about the company you are interviewing at.
Job seekers often underestimate the importance of knowing about a company before showing up for the interview. Ideally, it would actually be best to do your research on each organization prior to applying in order to determine if it offers a philosophy and work environment that is a good fit for you. It pays to know the company well because you will stand out as a candidate.
2) Know the job role.
Another point of frustration for many recruiters is when a candidate has applied without fully reading or understanding the roles of the job. You should know your strengths, weaknesses and areas you want to improve on or grow into. Study the job role and decide if you are a good fit for that role before you apply. Understanding the job role will also help you in the interview because you can speak about specific examples you have that relate to the role and how you can contribute to the position. This also gives you a chance to ask specific questions about the role and how it integrates into the company.
3) Get industry insights.
It is one thing to know about the company where you are applying, it is another thing entirely to be well versed in that company’s industry. Researching key players, newest developments, guiding theories and best practices will help you stand out above all other candidates. Understanding the company and their competition gives you an edge over other candidates and spotlights you as an expert the company would want on their team.
4) Be prepared to talk about yourself.
You would be surprised at how many interviewees are still shy when it comes to talking about themselves. We all know the standard questions any interviewer is likely to ask, such as “tell me about yourself.” Be ready with your elevator pitch. What is it about you that makes you stand out? How have you contributed to past companies? How do you stay current in your field? What kind of professional development are you doing? Prepare a 2-3 minute elevator pitch to highlight key components of your personal and professional self that contribute to you being an excellent candidate for the job.
5) Have a plan in mind.
Creating your own career plan is important for your future. Without a plan, you lack guidance about the types of roles that will lead you to a job you love. While your 5 year plan may change over time, having one and being able to discuss it with future employers will show them how serious you are about the role and the steps you want to take to grow. When choosing between a candidate who is content to sit back and let life happen to them compared to a candidate who has goals they want to achieve and knows the steps they need to take to get there, one clearly stands out above the other.
Overall, applying for a job and being job ready are completely separate. Writing a great resume and taking interviews is only part of the process. Go through these five steps so that you are job ready before applying to your next position.