CAREER BUILDER. Land on a job in four days. It sounds impossible but it can become real for you, even with the terrible competition among job hunters these days and even if companies are much stricter today with their requirements.
All you need to know are a few things about the general manpower needs of most companies and what most interviewers look for in an applicant.
When I was still into employment, I easily landed on choice managerial positions even if I didn’t have any credentials. I never graduated from college. I was a college dropout because of lack of money. But why did companies always put me in top management? Because I knew exactly what to do–and I knew exactly what tickled them.
Know the Need in the Industry
Before you go out there and hunt for a job, know exactly what you’re hunting for. For instance, when you’re hunting for wild game in a forest, you first find out what animals are common in that area. Obviously, it’s useless to go fishing in a place where there’s no body of water.
I took up architecture in college, so my tendency was to look for drafting jobs, which were rare. What most companies needed then were sales and marketing representatives. So, looking for a drafting job in a place where there’s only sales job openings was like fishing in the desert. I decided to get smart and forget about fishing for a while. I tried to find out what I could hunt in the desert.
In other words, I put drafting aside for a while and braced myself for a sales career!
I studied sales and marketing and honed my selling skills, especially the way I talked to people and presented myself to them. I also tried to do some actual basic selling, so I could use that for work experience. Remember, work experience is powerful when applying for work.
All these took me 6 months to prepare for. Work really hard for it.
When everything was in place–my selling and marketing skills, my talking ability, my convincing power and some actual selling experience–I was ready to go out and hunt. I looked for job ads in newspapers, looked for relevant openings and sent my resume via post or email. That was day one.
Obviously, it’s useless to go fishing in a place where there’s no body of water.
You have to send resumes to as many companies as possible. The ratio is perhaps 10 to 15 companies to get 2 to 3 calls for interview.
On day two, some companies called me up for interview. On day three, I underwent exams and interviews for 2 to 3 companies, and on day four, I was called for the final interview and contract signing.
The keys here are knowing your hunting grounds and knowing your target prey. The reason many applicants go out for days and never land on a job is because they lack strategy. They offer what they have.
Not What You Have But What They Want
The correct strategy is know what companies want and tailor fit yourself to it. Simply put, give them what they want. For instance, in Manila, the major need in the industry today are call center agents. If you are an engineering or accounting graduate and you present yourself thus, you may not be able to get a job at once.
The smart thing to do is prepare yourself well for a call center job. Once you’re in, you can work your way up to the position you want–whether an engineer or an accountant.
A prestigious company once opened a position for writer and PR supervisor. Though a graduating student in architecture, I had prepared myself well for a writing and PR job, because for a season that was the need in those times. There were others who also applied for the job, full graduates and coming from prestigious schools in Manila. But the director chose me, a college dropout from an infamous university known for fraternity wars and rude students.
Because the other applicants, though graduates and armed with excellent credentials, had no idea what PR was about.
Finally, during interviews. It’s important to always remember that character and confidence count a lot. And I mean a lot. You should be able to mix the two to a perfect blend. When interviewers see that you have good character–you’re easy to get along with, humble and yet enterprising and ambitious in a positive, harmless way–at the same time that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll hire you. In fact, they want to hire you immediately before you change your mind and look for another company.
Prepare yourself first. Be the killing machine you can be. And then go out. Give it 4 to 5 days. You’d land on the right job for you.