GNcareers, from Gulf News

3 steps to getting a new job in 2016

It’s hard to believe it is already 2016. And with the New Year comes a lot of promise, resolve and hope. One of the most common resolutions people make is to find a job that fulfils their professional ambitions.

Though this can be done at any time, the beginning of the year is always good to pursue a job change. Companies working on their annual budgets may wait until the first days of a year to post new jobs.

And that is not all; the timing is also perfect because the holidays are behind us. Decision-makers are returning to offices and hiring processes now can move faster and more efficiently.

Achieving the resolution can be hard because you probably are not alone. Just like many companies take advantage of a new year’s budgets to begin hiring, many people probably are looking to get new jobs, and thus creating competition for you.

So what can be done to set yourself apart? Here are three main points to follow.

Target employers

One way to set yourself apart from the mass of applicants is to show employers you want to work for them … and not just looking for any job. Survey the market and see who is hiring. Once the list is ready, look closely at which companies you really want to work for and make a list of the reasons.

This exercise will help you focus your career goals. Instead of just sending random resumes, make the applications target the right employers that meet your goals.

When applying, take time to explain to employers why you selected them. This strategy can help set the tone throughout the interview process. When doing some of the legwork upfront, if you know exactly why you want to work for a particular employer, everything else falls into place.

Remember, money alone can’t be a good reason. So if the motivation is solely financial, frame it in a bigger and more professional context.

Be a catch

In a competitive market, present yourself as a win for future employers. Take questions such as: “What will you bring to the job?” very seriously. Have prepared answers that explain why you’re a great addition to the team.

Never dwell on the difficulties of finding a job, even if it has been months since your started the hunt. You can always explain you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity.

Although one should not brag about personal skills, confidently describe what you excel at. Have solid examples to share and a proven record. Employers do look for people who have pleasant personalities and appear to be team players, but a record of results achieved will go a long way in showing value.

If you’ve written credentials, letters of reference or even LinkedIn recommendations, refer to them. It is a chance to place yourself as the best fit for the company.

Be human

The hiring process is full of template-based resumes, scripted answers and prepared cover letters.

Although all of these have their functions, they hardly set candidates apart. If you’d like to stand out, be human. That is not to say you should crack jokes with the hiring manager or overshare your personal life details.

You, however, should share some casual remarks to break the ice and thus set a relaxed manner. Whether the topic is traffic, weather or even news, an ability to be comfortable in your own skin and communicate with the hiring staff should go a long way in making you unforgettable — in a positive way.

In addition, take your time when writing emails or letter to future employers. Mention something that was discussed during the interview or ask a follow-up question. By doing so, you not only show interest in the job, you also help develop a relationship and remind the interviewing staff of your as a person as well as a job candidate.

Three steps to getting a job

  1. Focus on targeting the right sort of employer for you.

  2. Present yourself as a great fit.

  3. Stand out for your personality.

Rania Oteify, Special to
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.GN