No one likes waiting. Especially now when the world is so uncertain. If you're in-between jobs and feeling stuck, now is actually the perfect time to prepare yourself for your next opportunity. And, yes, there will be another opportunity. Promise.
What's so special about now?
We are all being asked to take a collective global pause. This is scary and unsettling, but can also be seen as an opportunity to reflect and redirect. Without the distractions of commuting, deadlines and day-to-day work, now is the perfect time for you to regroup and get yourself interview-ready when the time comes!
How you can prepare for your next interview
When you're presented with an interview opportunity, some perceive this process as torture. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, an interview is really just an opportunity for you and a potential employer to get to know each other to determine if this partnership will work. During this time, the interviewer just wants to know who you are at your core and what you can contribute to the company vision. Getting centered, grounded and more well-rounded will help you feel confident and secure.
Here are 5 ways you can build your confidence and find your center so you can reenter the workforce with a new approach.
1. Resume Makeover
Let's face it, we rarely take the time to revise our resume. Often we simply add the newest job to the top of the list and call it a day. In today's world, your resume is quite important when recruiters are scanning all day at the speed of light. It's important to make it clear, neat and easily digestible to accommodate the attention span of the 21st century.
Keeping it simple and straightforward is always the way to go when updating your resume. Here are some tips for an eye-catching resume:
This one is hard for most people. We feel like more is more when it comes to highlighting our accomplishments. But the fact is, not a lot of hiring managers will care about a written history of your life. They just want to see your career at a high level at this point.
Highlight top skills at the beginning
It's always a good idea to add a section at the top of the resume to offer a snapshot of what you have to offer. This gives the reviewer a sense of your skills.
List "Key Achievements" using action words
Instead of bullet points to highlight tasks you performed at each job, consider this format: Job Title,Company, Dates of Employment, Key Achievements. Key achievements should highlight results not tasks.
Here is an example using the job duties approach as an Administrative Assistant:
Job Duties included filing, organizing, completing monthly reports
Consider this upgrade using Key Achievements:
Created filing system that reduced paper cost by 25%; Successfully redesigned office space to create streamlined workflow; Improved metrics department-wide with accurate monthly reporting
Condense older jobs
If you are including jobs from many years ago (10 or more) on your resume, consider condensing them to conserve page space. If you've been working in the same industry for years, the hiring manager will likely be most interested in where you are now. This can be accomplished by simply using this format: Job Title, Company, Dates of Employment.
Need more resume help? LinkedIn has a free resume builder that's really easy to use. Instructions for how to use it can be found here.
2. Social Media Clean-Up
We all know that what we say on the internet stays on the internet. Some companies will search social media profiles to get a sense of who you are. By all means, be yourself and express yourself according to your own compass. But if there is anything lingering "out there" that isn't in line with the person you are now or how you'd like be perceived, take the time now to clean it up.
This advice also applies to your LinkedIn profile. Here are some tips for cleaning up LinkedIn:
- Your photo should be professional and current
- Tip: Use an image for your cover photo that shows your personality
Use the Headline box to highlight who you are and what you have to offer
- Instead of a headline like this: "HR Manager, Compliance, Benefits Management", consider something more unique to you such as: "Passionate People Manager, Business and Compliance Partner, Benefit Champion"
Recommendations & Endorsements
- Use this time to ask for recommendations from former colleagues and write recommendations for them
- Do the same for Endorsements and don't forget to endorse others!
3. Building Mindful Habits
Now is the time to get your mind, body and soul integrated so you are ready to present the best expression of you in your next interview. Don't put it off, start now. This could include meditation, intuitive eating, yoga, walking, new workouts.
Always wanted to learn to meditate? I like Ziva Meditation Online which combines meditation, mindfulness and manifestation.
4. Practice Interview Questions
The interview should be a free flowing conversation and nimble enough to allow you to answer authentically. But there are certain questions that we know we will be asked so it's a good idea to start thinking of how you would answer them. It's also a way to begin to get to know yourself better which will give you confidence in the next interview! Here are few to get you started:
- Tell me about a time when you experienced conflict and how you dealt with it?
- What can you contribute to the vision of our company?
- Tell me about your proudest accomplishment?
5. Make Time For Fun (yes...fun - remember that?)
It's sad that we have to remind ourselves to have fun. Remember fun? Yes, we don't have the same options right now that we have had in the past. But fun can be as simple as working a puzzle, singing, having a dance party in our pjs (I personally have only worn pjs since March), learning a new skill, laughing with our friends over zoom or even playing with our pets. Schedule a few minutes each day to remind yourself that this too shall pass. And when it does, you'll be happier, healthier and more grounded.
And when you start interviewing again, check out The Integrated Interview Digital Workbook to get you prepared and keep you grounded.
Hang in there. We'll ride this wave together!