How to impress a potential employer?

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If you have watched the news, used a computer, or looked at your phone in the last three months you will know that we are headed for a recession. Actually, to be technical we are already in a recession and we are headed for a worse one. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a large percentage of every employment base losing their jobs. While you may think that the reason people lost their jobs – the pandemic – was a one-time event and when the country recovers from the pandemic all of these jobs will return, that won’t be enough to stop a recession. While many jobs will return a large number will not. 

During this strange quarantine period, many people lost money, used their savings to survive and the government also went into extreme levels of debt. This will have an impact. When things return to normality governments will have less money to spend on the country and people will have less money to spend on themselves. This means that discretional spending on luxury items, tourism, and other things will all fall greatly. This will be the long tail of items that will leave us in a prolonged recession for a number of years. 

Most countries had been enjoying economic growth until this point and living in a recession requires a mind-shift, particularly when it comes to your job. Searching for a job will now be more difficult and the wage you can demand is lower. The power is shifting to the job supplier, not the job seeker. This is simple economics. There is now a greater supply of talent than there is a demand for it. To get a job you will need to impress, and that all comes down to two things; the resume and the interview.

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The average employer will look at a resume for six seconds before deciding to keep it or dump it. While that may seem unfair they simply have to look at so many resumes that they either need to do that or not look at all of them. The six-second look allows them to quickly scan over resumes and decide whether they are worth a second look, the majority are deemed unworthy. In this time they look at your name, your last position, and your education. That is it. While you spent so much time on that opening paragraph and that final sentence discussing your hobbies, it will never be read unless those three key items impress. 

While you can’t change your name you must make sure to highlight the key aspects of your last position and your education that are most related to the position you are applying for. If you were once a business analyst and are applying for a role as a consultant, make sure you highlight how much consulting you did in the last role.

When it comes to the interview, 33% of employers will decide if they want to hire someone in the first 90 seconds. The phrase ‘first impressions count’ is more true in an interview than anyone else. While it may seem silly to practice your handshake, do it. Ensure you are on time, being late is a terrible example to set in the first moment. After that, you must try and be natural and warm in the interview. Too cold and rigid and they will be turned off. Too eager and excited and they won’t be impressed either. If this makes it sound like the job interview is a minefield, it is but it is one that easily navigated if you have some confidence. Believe in yourself and you will do just fine.

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