5 Tips for Becoming Job Ready

One of the most important, and most misunderstood, concepts in a successful job search is being job ready.  A major frustration recruiters encounter is countless applicants who believe that having a decent resume, being prepared for common interview questions and showing up in presentable attire are sufficient steps to demonstrating they are qualified for the job.  These steps should be a given when you are looking for a job.

In today’s competitive job market, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are a candidate who can offer more and who is far superior to the status quo.

The following tips for becoming job ready will help you to soar above your competition and show potential employers that you are a superior candidate. 

1. Study Each Company Who Interviews You

Job seekers often underestimate the importance of knowing about a company before showing up for the interview.  Ideally, it would actually be best to do your research on each organization prior to even applying in order to determine if it offers a philosophy and work environment that is a good fit for you. However, you definitely want to understand some aspects about the employer before meeting with them. 

Obtaining a general idea of such things as the employee retention rates, business structure, core values, its history and its reputation within the industry will give you an edge when it comes to sharing ideas that might work to improve some aspect of their business.  Such knowledge can also help you to provide insight as to how your strongest skills can best be utilized within their existing structure.  This kind of insight will impress any interviewer. It also allows you to see whether each company you apply to offers the potential for a long-term relationship.

2. Know Your Specific Role Within the Company

Many workers today have a very narrow understanding of their specific position within their organization, even after being on the job for awhile.  It makes sense that you may be unclear as to particular job duties when applying for a new gig, but you really should have a general idea of the most important facets of the role.  For instance, understanding the hierarchy within the organization can inform you the channels of command above you and the kind of potential there may be for advancement.  You can likely find this information and more on the company website or through a search on LinkedIn.  It’s also your responsibility as a prepared applicant to express confidence in your qualifications for the job.  Understanding the role will give you the foundation you need to convince interviewers you have the needed skills.

3. Possess Industry Insight

Hopefully, you have already gotten a start on researching your field and knowing such information as the key players, newest developments, guiding theories and best practices.  If you haven’t, it’s not too late. Do an internet search of companies within your industries and read up on what they are promoting.  Peruse relevant blogs and trade magazines or academic journals to discover what innovations are developing.  Connect with colleagues on social media in order to get your name out there. Doing so may be able to gain you access to non-advertised jobs and can definitely give you an edge when it comes to impressing interviewers with your knowledge.

4. Know Yourself

The ever-popular interview question about your greatest weakness isn’t just fluff.  It’s truly imperative that you understand your shortcomings so that you can improve upon them.  It’s also essential that you understand and are able to succinctly communicate the skills you possess that are most sought-after and pertinent to the job at hand. Clear communication and confidence are keys to selling yourself.

5. Understand the Labor Market

Not only should you know your industry inside and out, you also want to understand the hiring practices within it.  Take some time to study the kinds of positions that are out there related to what you do.  Ask the contacts you’re forming within your network what things are like within their organizations.  Understanding the labor market will give you a picture of the possibilities that exist for you and what steps you need to take in order to reach the next level.  

For example, your networking and research might present you with information regarding your ultimate dream job.  You can then find out whether you’ll need to pursue further higher education to obtain it or the kinds of upward progression that are necessary to get there.  You’ll be absolutely prepared to tell interviewers where you plan to be in five years.

There is quite a bit involved with presenting yourself as the most prepared candidate for a job.  However, investing the time in becoming job ready will provide you with the most satisfactory return.