How to improve your job search?

In the last 3 years, I have personally interviewed at least 400 candidates (in person or via video-conference), and I have reviewed 450+ resumes. That’s a lot. After seeing good/bad practices, I have compiled a list of items that I think would help anyone with their job search:

super girls

  1. Resume: your resume should be strong. There’s no question there. How do you make it strong?:
    • Limit the size to 1 or 2 pages
    • Use actions verbs and results
    • Proof-read your resume: ask friends and family members to give you suggestions, and check the grammar.
    • Follow a simple structure: you don’t want the reviewer having to spend time figuring out where to find the information
    • If applying to U.S. jobs/universities, don’t include age, photo or personal information
  2. Networking:
    • For my Latin American folks, networking is simply the process of connecting to people.
    • Establish connections with people who are working in the company so you can gather as much information as you can before the interview. This will show your interviewer that you really want that job, and that you know the company culture.
    • A 15-minute call request would be a good way to ask questions. Prepare for this call, review their LinkedIn profile, and have a list of questions prepared. Don’t expect the other person to ask you questions. This is the moment for you to ask questions.
  3. Interview preparation:
    • Practice the behavioral questions, and have examples prepared. There are many resources in the Internet for behavioral questions.
    • Answer the question: this sounds simple but 80% of the people miss this point. You want to let your interviewer finish talking before answering the question.
    • Be professional, respectful, and have questions prepared for the interviewer.
    • Practice, practice, practice.
  4. Technical interview preparation:
    • Review potential technical questions that they might ask you.
    • If you are interviewing for a technical job, there are plenty of resources in the Internet (like this one) to practice, and even books that walk you through solutions (like this one).
    • Practice a summary of each project you have participated in the past.
  5. Thank you:
    • As soon as you are done with your interview, take the time to thank your interviewers for their time. Have a template of the email you would like to send them, modify it as soon as you finish the interview, and send it to them.
    • After getting the job, and before celebrating, take the time to update and thank each person who helped you to get the job: friends who proof-read the resume for you, people who took time out of their schedules to have a 15-minute call with you, and to the interviewers.