While it is important to remain professional when working, it is VITAL to maintain professionalism during your job search. Even though technical abilities, the right networking contacts, and your past experience play a role, don’t underestimate the importance of showcasing your professionalism and composure in the job search.
Tip #1 – Clean up your social media profiles. What is the first thing you do when you want to try a new restaurant or see a new movie? For most of us, that includes a quick Google search and discovering the reviews, the summaries, and other options. If you are a job candidate, chances are your potential employer has Googled you and your LinkedIn profile, Facebook account, and other social media accounts are showing up. Be sure your profiles remain professional AT ALL TIMES.
Tip #2 – Don’t go around bad-mouthing your current employer. You may hate your current job and you may have the right to—maybe your boss isn’t supportive, the pay is lousy, and the environment leaves something to be desired. In fact, those may just be some of the reasons why are you seeking employment elsewhere. The point is this—if you talk ‘smack’ about your current employer, you will only be viewed as a disgruntled employee that can’t seem to get along where you currently work. And, as your mother may have explained, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.
Tip #3 – Always expect a potential connection. Whether you are shopping, at a networking event, or actively seeking new employment at a job fair—be prepared. This could mean having copies of your resume available and carrying business cards with your contact information (not affiliated with your current employer). And, be prepared with your 60-second elevator pitch, telling professional information about yourself and where you see your career in the future. It’s often these unexpected connections that can lead to future opportunities.
Tip #4 – Dress professionally during an interview. After interviewing hundreds of people for a variety of positions, I can’t tell you how common it is for people to be dressed casually. Therefore, if you dress professionally, you are already one step ahead of the rest of the people applying for positions. And, don’t worry about overdressing—it’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed in an interview situation.
Tip #5 – Follow up during the job search. While this may not sound like it is related to professionalism, it absolutely is and can make you stand out. When you purchase something and the company calls to follow up, you recognize that excellent customer service because it seldom happens. Following up during the job search is the same thing. Send a thank you note, call a few days later, and connect on LinkedIn with your interviewer. These things show that you have an inherent interest in the position and you know how to build long-term relationships.
Remember that your skills and competencies are important for the job; however, your professionalism almost always precedes those items. And, the level of your professionalism can make or break the potential job opportunity. Be sure that are professional at all times during your job search; you never know who you may meet that can lead you to your next career move.
If you don’t know where to start with your new resume, contact Feather Communications today for a FREE resume review!