My tips for finding a new job

Alright – let us first start with the good part – I managed to find a new job even in this job market 🙂

The bad part – it took me close to 4 months (Feb – May) and countless interviews to finally land this job. True, I was being picky on the type and nature of the job – but there is no overlooking the fact that this is a tough economy and good jobs are just hard to come by.

Anyway, this post is not about the economy. Rather, this is about sharing some of my tips that I learned over the past few months and which I thought were quite relevant for finding a new job.  Most of these were very handy tools for me while job searching and the more tools you have, the better positioned you are in this economy.

So, here are some tips in no particular order:

(1). Update your LinkedIn profile – this is just no-brainer in today’s economy. It does not matter whether you are in technology or in manufacturing or in liberal arts, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile with your most recent experience updated. If possible, try to get a couple of recommendations from people who matter most. It is no secret that potential employers today do take a look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Consider that to be your online resume.

(2). Keep your resume up-to date and crisp (if possible have a .doc and .txt format – even now, there is no consistency from employers!). In my interview experience, I rarely found employers talk about my experience past the 1st page. So, keep it short (2 pages) and keep it crisp. Highlight the skills that you think would be super essential for the job that you are applying. If you really want to, make multiple copies of the resume – one for every industry that you are applying for. For example, I had 1 resume for Mobile, 1 for Internet Advertising, 1 for Social, 1 for VoIP etc.

(3). Ditto for Cover Letters.

(4). If you have the time, then invest in having a web site to highlight your professional expertise. If you want to take the easy way out, then you could have a Blog where you could write about (professional) things that you are passionate about. Believe it or not, this had helped me in one of my interviews @ Yahoo! 🙂

(5). Meet / talk to people outside your company – in other words, Network. I was always lax in doing this before – but my experiences this time have shown how valuable a tool this is. It is through many of my friends that I managed to get my foot into the door of many companies that would typically not even want to talk to me on just seeing my resume. Also – some of my ex-colleagues gave me valuable tips and insights into what was going on in the industry. In short – this helps!- also, the important thing is to maintain this trend even after you have found the job.This also helps you from becoming a frog-in-the-well and helps you to understand what is happening around you.

(6). Read about the companies / industries that matter to you most on a daily basis – this is super easy today with the growth of RSS readers. My morning coffee is incomplete without getting a dose of techmeme or techcrunch 🙂 – it really shows in the interviews that you care not only about this company but also about the industry and are genuinely interested in the work that is going on. Talking about Techmeme, there is a good article in NYT about its usefulness – i cannot agree more.

(7). Most employers will give you the names of the interviewers before hand – so, it helps if you do a quick background info check about them (using LinkedIn of course). This helps you to get an idea of the type of questions that the interviewer is likely to ask – if it does not work out in that way, you can always steer the discussion to a topic that you think will reverberate with the interviewer … anything to earn brownie points!

(8). Don’t be late for interviews – if possible try to arrive ~ 15 minutes early. It gives you time to adjust to the surroundings  and also take a rest room break before you start off. The more your mind is at calm, the better your chances of doing well.

(9). At the end of the interview, make sure you know what the next steps are – typically the hiring manager will say that (s)he will follow up within a week’s time. If that does not happen, it is perfectly normal to follow up and ask about the status. This also shows to the employer that you are really interested in the job. Also, don’t forget to get the email address of each interviewer so that you could send a thank you email to each of them.

(10). Salary negotiations – well, that is a topic for a different post 🙂 – but if you have reached this far, then you have done well in your interviews so far.  My only tip for Salary negotiations is neither appear too greedy nor too satisfied with is offered in the initially. Remember that it is an initial offer and employers expect that you would negotiate.

I am sure you all might have some other tips as well – feel free to add it to the comments section. Hope these are useful to all of you in some way or the other.

Good luck.

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4 Responses

  1. Great info Thyaga! Neatly explained. Here are my additional inputs that may be helpful:
    (1) Highlight your ‘uncommon’ strengths in your profile, which will potentially consume a great share of the interview time. Advantage you!
    (2) Be very informal after the interview has started. Express all the natural expressions that you normally have. It will make things easy and make you feel more comfortable.
    (3) Prepare some good questions about your future/interests in the company/job. Ask more (rather than being asked more) towards the end of the interview.

    And, my best wishes to you! Have a blast at the new workplace; you will! – Sreejith

  2. Thanks Sreejith – your points are very valid as well.

    Hope you are doing well.

    Regards,
    Thyaga

  3. Yes Thyaga. Good time here as well. 🙂

  4. […] Posted on October 7, 2010 by thyaga A couple of months ago, I blogged about some of my tips for finding a new job. Over the next days, I received quite a bit of feedback on it – one of the common feedback […]

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