More than 11 million Americans are currently out of work. So as the job pool shrinks, many are dusting off those old resumes. It's a good first step when seeking a job.
Of course, there’s often more than a sheet of paper standing between you and your next job. You’ve also got to impress your would-be employer in the interview.
“Your resume may get you through the door,” says Mitchell Feldman, president of the New York-based executive search firm A.E. Feldman and Associates, “but you’ve got to sell yourself if you’re going to get hired.”
Foot-In-Mouth and Other Foibles
Selling yourself sounds easy, but for anyone who’s sat across the table from an interviewer, finding your "hire me" voice can be pretty difficult.
“I had one client who spent so much time trying to craft perfect answers to each question, that his body language was completely off,” says Meredith Haberfeld, a professional life coach and president of Meredith Haberfeld Coaching. “He was so nervous that he wasn’t connecting with the people he was interviewing with.”
Though Haberfeld was able to work with her client and help him land the job, a lot of job seekers let their discomfort show and unknowingly ruin the interview. Others arrive at the interview too stressed to perform at their best, or even worse, show up late.
“You’ve got to give yourself time to relax,” says Haberfeld. “When you get to an interview late or in the nick of time, you’re going to look and feel rushed. That’s not the impression that you want to leave a potential employer with.”
Here's How to Make Them Say “Wow”
If you’re looking to make a splash in your next interview, here is a short list of tips that can take you from unemployment to, "When can you start?"
1. Dress to blend in, not to impress. You may have a taste for expensive heels but, if you’re going into a business casual environment, dressing up to the nines may, in fact, put some distance between you and the interviewer. Do some research on the corporate culture and mirror it. Employers don’t want to know what’s in your closet, but they are looking for assurances that you’ll fit in.