The stakes are high and the pressure is on to find a new job. You may not be a fan of football, but this week's game offers eight take-aways for anyone searching for a new job
1.Don't let the unexpected throw you off. Who could have imagined a power outage during the Super Bowl? An unlikely turn of events can and will happen during your job search as well. Maybe you had a phone screening and haven't heard back, or a recruiter said they would call but hasn't; don't give up. During your job search, you will experience many unanticipated events, the trick is to maintain your momentum and not read assumptions into the situation. Things just happen. Keep limber and don't stop playing.
2.Change your strategy. Rather than defensively responding to job after job post, switch to an offensive strategy by building a list of companies you would like to work for and pursue them, whether they have job postings or not. Run offense and beat the other players to the goal line just like Jacoby Jones ran a 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Often what seems impossible can happen.
3.Train for the big game. The players didn't just show up on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in their uniforms. They'd been practicing and training for weeks. Likewise, you must rehearse for your interview like it's the event of the year. Run through an interview like it was a football play. You do this by practicing your interview answers out loud.
4. Act Offensively. The Ravens hired a new offensive coach to help them get off the line, you can too. If you don't hire a coach, you can still build a stronger offense. Don't wait for someone to contact you to let you know they received your application. Reach out, find a contact, be proactive and show you're interested in the position and that you are someone who takes initiative. Building a strong offensive strategy will help you win the game.
5. Gain intelligence. Each team spends hours reviewing videos and researching the opponents' plays. Follow their example and learn about the company you apply to. Know who they are inside-and-out and then customize your cover letter and resume to show how your skills match the culture of the company. Remember though, it isn't enough to only have the skills desired, employers are looking for someone who will "fit" into their company and they'll enjoy working with. It's your role to convince employers you are the player they want on their team.
6. Age can be your asset. With age comes experience, wisdom, and confidence. Highlight your desirable assets, not your high price tag. The winning Ravens certainly leveraged the collective experience of their players over 30 years old. Being old isn't a negative nor does it preclude you from being a contender, you just have to position yourself correctly. Conversely, youth has its advantages. Presenting yourself as swift, eager, and willing to take on new challenges can catch the eye of many hiring companies. The key is knowing what you need to emphasize.
7. Be memorable. Who were the corporate brands who stood out among the million dollar ad campaigns? Was it Oreo's real-time ad in response to the power outage? Was it Budweiser pulling at our heart strings? During your job search, take some risks, try new things to stand apart from the sea of job seekers. Employers say they want and need innovators. To keep your brand memorable during all phases of your career, keep an eye on cutting-edge trends in the industry your hoping to enter. Playing it safe may not be enough in a competitive market.
8. Believe. Even an underdog can win the Super Bowl. Never give up hope. It's your winning attitude and self-confidence that will help position you as the victor. You are the right fit for a company and you will find a job. Just believe in yourself, play hard, and never give up.
Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.