Get That Job! 7 Strategies to Boost Your Odds
Hundreds of thousands of students will soon graduate from high schools and colleges across the nation and will seek either summer or full-time jobs. It’s no secret that the job market is extremely tight as the ripple-effect of the Great Recession that began in 2008 continues to be felt here in America. If you’ll be one of those graduates ‘selling’ your services, you’ll likely find it’s a ‘buyers’ market where potential employers will have lots of applications to choose from to fill a limited number of job slots. In many cases, you’ll have only one shot at making a great impression. Here are seven tips to get you noticed:
1. Be early. Expect the unexpected to happen and make sure you arrive early for your interview. The last thing you’ll want is to start the interview with an explanation about how a traffic jam caused you to be late. At the same time, you shouldn’t arrive too early. I’d suggest allowing at least a 30-minute window then waiting in the parking lot and arriving at your appointment five minutes early.
2. Control your image. Recognize that your very first impression will be visual so a neat groomed and well-dressed appearance will make a difference. I realize that crazy hair, facial hair and body piercings may still be ‘cool’, but cool isn’t what most employers are looking for. As old fashioned as it may sound, most employers are still looking for the All-American guy or lady. Also be sure to review your Facebook page. You’d be surprised how many potential employers will review it to get a sense of who you are. Pictures of you at the beach partying hard with your friends might not be the image you want for your employer!
3. Research the company. It’s never been easier to learn about the company you are interviewing. Most companies have some Internet presence through either a company web site or Internet articles. Develop three to five key points about the company about which you can discuss during the interview, particularly if you can relate to how you can positively impact the company through your job.
4. Focus on the opportunity. Avoid initiating conversations about salary, vacation time or perks and instead focus your comments on how your skills can help the company achieve its goals as well as the opportunity you see for yourself in the company. To the extent you can, get the interviewer talking by asking both good questions and good follow-up questions, you’ll stand out from the pack. Let’s face it, most folks prefer to talk rather than listen so ask the interviewer to describe the job responsibilities; follow with a ‘drill-down’ question like, “Describe the typical workday or work week”. Do your best to engage the interviewer in a conversation versus you simply responding to his or her questions.
5. Exude confidence. People want to work with people who are fun, relaxed, and confident in the way they deal with others. You can help build your confidence by being prepared for the interview by following the steps outlined. Also, the more you interview, the easier it will become. I’d recommend lots of interviews but do the companies you are least interested in first in order to gain experience before going on the ones for the jobs of most interest to you.
6. Be prepared to promote yourself. No one’s going to blow your horn for you so you’ll need to be prepared to discuss your unique skills for this job. Think of two to three personal characteristics that make you a great choice for the job and be prepared to weave them into the conversation.
7. Say, “Thank You”, in writing. After every interview, take a moment to write a hand-written note of thanks to the interviewer. Be sure you include something specific that impressed you during the interview.
My partner and our Chief Operations Officer, Greg Weyandt, says that what employers are looking for is the ‘Wow!’ factor…that something that makes you stand out among all the interviews. It could be exceptional maturity, being very prepared, asking great questions, being very at-ease during the interview all while focused on communicating that you want that job!
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JT has been in radio for over 30 years, both as an on-air personality and Program Manager. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then attended Clarion University with the hopes of becoming a dentist. After spending time with friends at the campus radio station, he quickly changed his major to communications. “Speech class was a lot easier than chemistry and physics”, says JT. And as they say…the rest is history.JT has lived in 10 different cities during his career including Miami, Washington D.C., Cincinnati, Nashville, Birmingham and Miami.
In addition to hosting a morning talk show, he has also worked as an announcer in Top-40, Rock, Smooth Jazz, and Country radio. You can also look for JT in the movies “Hoffa” and “Striking Distance”.
JT and his wife Judy have two children. Alexandra is married and teaches 5th grade. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a former 3 Time National Championship winning football player for the team…ROLL TIDE! When not sitting in front of a microphone, JT can be found with his family most of the time. He absolutely enjoys his recreation too! Look for JT on the golf course, in the woods hunting or on the beach somewhere. “No doubt, I am truly blessed with an amazing family and give all the glory to God and my relationship with Jesus Christ! I really love what I do every day”.
Producer Wade stepped into the radio world nearly 5 years ago. He got his start as an intern at a sports production company and took the leap into radio as a Play-by-play announcer for the Georgia State University Women's Basketball Team. He made his way back to the Birmingham area via a radio cluster in Northeast Georgia. Wade has a degree from the University of Alabama in Management Information Systems and uses it daily to contribute in as many ways as possible to the show. He was born and raised in Cullman and his family still resides in the area.
In addition to producing Alabama's Morning News with JT, Wade is the Sports Director for News Radio 105.5 WERC and Talk Radio 105.9. He host's our Friday night "The 5th Quarter Show" providing the state of Alabama with post game scores from the High School fields and previews from the College stadiums.
In his spare time, you can find Wade around town at a local restaurant, bar, or music venue. He loves to spend time with his friends doing everything from attending Barons' games to watching a band at Iron City or Tin Roof. "I love what I do for a living. Any job that allows me to talk for a living while attending all the events I would attend for fun anyway is the perfect job for me!"