Friday, January 18, 2013

Job Interview Preparation - Three Key Steps

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Pay attention to your personal public image in your job interview preparation. These are three critical details that are often overlooked in preparing for the job search and job interview process but they can derail your chances of getting the job you want.
Your Voicemail Message

Check what your voicemail message sounds like. Increase your chances of success while job hunting by making sure your voicemail message conveys a mature and professional personal image. Update it before you begin the job search and interview process to reflect what you would like a prospective employer to hear. Funny and wacky voicemail messages prevent employers from taking you seriously. Keep it simple, concise and clear. Start with a greeting, state your first and last name and the phone number clearly, say that the call is important to you and that you will get back to the caller as soon as possible. End with a heartfelt thank you.

Follow through on the professionalism of the message by checking your messages regularly and returning calls promptly.

Your voicemail message on both your landline and your cellular phone should give the impression that a mature and serious adult is waiting for an important call. If your voicemail sounds unprofessional the prospective employer may hang up without leaving a message and you will never get the job interview.

Your Email Address

Your email address should also present a mature and professional image. Asking potential employers to contact you at an email address such as partyanimal@... will result in giving a negative message about who you are. Although funny and casual email addresses are quite acceptable in a social context they can create the wrong perception in a business or work context. Avoid this problem by creating a second email address that you use during your job search. Refer to this email on your resume, job applications and in any job interview follow up. Keep it simple - your name such as often the safest bet.

Your Social Networking Profile

A recent survey of Human Resource professionals found that 20 percent of employers have used social networking sites to conduct checks on job candidates.

Whether you consider it a violation of your privacy or not the fact is  that employers are using social networks to provide background information on job candidates. Your job interview preparation should take this into consideration and allow for the possibility that anyone is able to read what you post online.

The major areas of concern for employers are stories about drinking and inappropriate behavior, discriminatory remarks about race, religion or gender, criticizing former employers or colleagues and provocative and inappropriate photos. Other issues include poor grammar and spelling indicative of poor communication skills.

Keep in mind that the details you post on your social network site can damage your chances of employability. Ensuring your public online image highlights your best qualities is a good idea and behave online the same as you would behave in any other public place.

These are three easy steps to take in your job interview preparation to make sure that your public image employers have access to is both professional and positive.

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