TOP 100 tips for successfully landing your next job or promotion


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These tips are useful to any professional who is job searching or considering going after a promotion

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TOP 100 tips for successfully landing your next job or promotion

  1. 1. The TOP 100 Tips for SuccessfullyLanding Your Next Job
  2. 2. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 2TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013IntroductionWhen you’re at that crossroad in your life where you are ready tomake a change and choose a path to achieve self-actualization youare likely to feel a lot of excitement and exhilaration. Yet amid allthat excitement can be confusion, fear and anxiety. Choosing toadvance your career can be a life changing decision, but if youapproach it in a haphazard way you are likely to experience somefrustration and angst at the process.This white paper was designed with someone like you in mind. Someone who is ambitious andhas a success plan outlined for what you plan to achieve over the duration of your career.Someone like you who sees what you do as not just a necessary evil to keep food on the table,but who actually sees what you do as something that defines you as a person. Whether you arejust getting started, or have been climbing the ladder of success for a while, you will find benefitfrom reviewing these tips and implementing some of them into your strategy.Following are the TOP 100 tips that we believe you should heed in your journey to success. Ourtips are organized into 10 sections, each with 10 detailed tips to help you launch your career to thenext level.Career Assessment and Exploration Tips1. If you’re not sure what you want to do as a career or what your next career should be, use acareer assessment questionnaire or tool to guide you as you explore your interests.2. To get the best interpretation and understanding of the results of your assessment, youshould work with a career counselor or coach.3. If you cannot afford a career coach or counselor, take advantage of the many onlineassessment tools that are available free or for a nominal cost.4. A career assessment will typically measure one or more of the following: personality,interests, skills, strengths, weaknesses, abilities, learning style, temperament, andworkplace values.15. Career assessments are good for helping you understand yourself and what you have tooffer so that you can in turn communicate this to a potential employer.6. Be open to trying something you didn’t initially consider. Sometimes based on yourresponses to the assessment questions, the results may suggest something you neverthought about, but that is worth further exploration.1
  3. 3. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 3TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20137. If you choose to use free or online assessment tools, take several different ones so you canlearn more about yourself and get a better overall picture of your strengths, weaknesses,personality, interests etc..8. Trust your gut and your own knowledge of yourself. If the assessment tells you somethingyou know is incorrect, then you should disregard that bit of information. Keep in mind thereis a margin of error on these tools.9. Use a SWOT analysis to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.This is an essential activity in assessing your career readiness and interests.10.Have fun! There is no right or wrong outcome from taking a career assessment. You willlearn some new things about yourself and confirm some things you already knew. Eitherway you will be better informed for making this important life decision!Personal Branding Tips1. Job searching is like shopping. Both you and the employer take turns being the buyer andthe seller. When YOU are the seller, you are selling yourself as a product. You need aclear and compelling brand so employers can perceive the benefits of your product whenthey are shopping for candidates, giving you an advantage over your competition.2. Be authentic. Don’t create a fake persona. Your brand should always be about who youare, what you believe in and what you are passionate about.3. Identify and outline the advantages of your brand. How would an employer benefit fromhaving you as an employee? Be sure these benefits matter to the employer and aremeasurable.4. Create awareness about your brand. Get on the radar screen of those you want to knowabout you.5. Determine if what you have to offer is something that employers are looking for. Arecompanies hiring for your brand? How many competitors are there for what you do or wantto do?6. Once you have defined your brand, determine how you are going to position your brand.How are you going to prove you are the best at what you do?7. Develop an elevator speech. Be able to tell what you do in 90 seconds or less.8. Practice your elevator speech so you can deliver it effortlessly and with credibility. If yousound confident you’re more likely to be believed!
  4. 4. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 4TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20139. Represent your brand in the way you carry yourself – your actions, attitude and attire tellthe story about your brand. Make sure it’s a story you want to tell.10.Take advantage of networking opportunities where you can sell your brand and product.Career/Professional Development for Promotion Opportunities1. Before you begin any campaign where you are seeking a promotion, be sure to evaluateyour work performance and how you are perceived by your boss, co-workers and evencustomers.2. Keep a career journal to help you reflect on your accomplishments, create plans anddocument successes and failures in your current situation, providing valuable insightsand helping you manage your career.3. Keep track of your accomplishments and the impact these accomplishments have onorganizational success.4. Seek and obtain additional training to continue your education, keep your skill-setrelevant and stay current on trends in your industry.5. Take initiative by pushing beyond your comfort zone and taking on challenging tasksand projects.6. Ensure that you are a positive addition to a team by enhancing and improving on yourcommunication skills and your relationships with other team member.7. Know what your best career move is. Don’t just move into a position because it seemedlike the natural next step. Make sure the new position fits into the your personal andprofessional branding and marketing.8. If you have a good supervisor/manager who genuinely cares about your success, shareyour career goals with him/her. Your success is a good look for your boss so he/shehas a vested interest in seeing you advance in your career.9. Review and apply for internal job postings, even if it is with a department outside yourown.10.Identify a gap that needs filling, and submit a proposal to your superiors outlining howyou are the best person to fill that gap. This shows initiative and creativity, and addsvalue to the organization while positioning you well for openings.
  5. 5. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 5TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013Internet and Social Media Tips1. All social media platforms are not created equal. Learning the etiquette of each site andhow it will help or hurt your efforts is essential.2. Begin with professional profiles and usernames. Stay as close to your real name aspossible, and always upload a picture that shows you in a tasteful and professional light.3. Use searchable keywords in your profile so that you will show up in searches.4. Twitter is not just for sharing what you’re eating for lunch. Twitter generatesconversation across the globe and is a form of blogging called micro-blogging. Usetwitter to showcase your knowledge on a wide variety of topics being discussed everysecond. You never know who will pick up your post!5. Facebook is possibly the most popular socializing platform. Although Facebook is notprimarily used as a professional or job search platform, what you do on Facebook canhave an impact on your professional career. Whether you have a Facebook account, oryour friends and family are the ones with the account, be familiar with that gets postedabout you!6. LinkedIn is today’s primary online professional networking site. Don’t make the mistakehowever of just creating a profile and connect to random people. LinkedIn allows you toconnect to people you already know, ask for recommendations and list your skills,expertise and education.7. Another very important use of LinkedIn is the group feature. Join groups in yourindustry where you can start discussions, participate in already active discussions, andpost questions.8. While you don’t have to be on every social media platform that exists, it is good to beaware of what they are and how they are trending. You want to be on sites thatemployers will be using. If you want to be found, you need to be where they are looking.9. Whichever platform you use, follow people of influence and those who make decisionswithin companies. Like the company’s Facebook page, follow them and their keypersonnel on Twitter. Social media will work for you if you are active and relevant.10.Those who get the most referrals are usually the ones who spend time networking, andsocial networking is a very relevant and prevalent form of networking today. Don’tignore it.
  6. 6. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 6TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013Internship Success Tips1. If you plan on using internships as an avenue to gain work experience, keep in mindmost organizations prefer interns who are in school. Snagging and keeping a greatinternship will require you to keep your GPA at an acceptable level and enroll for somecredit hours each semester.2. Know your goals and what you want to gain from your internship. Create a blueprintand seek out opportunities that will help you grow professionally. You have the right toexpect work that advances your potential when you join the paid workforce. Don’t stayin an internship where all you’re doing is making coffee and copies.3. Keep in mind that many if not most internship opportunities are unpaid. But the goodones provide valuable experience that could put you head and shoulders above yourcompetition.4. Take every opportunity to learn more about the company and/or the industry. Askquestions and learn as much as you can about everything you can. Don’t allow yourselfto be boxed into the “intern” parameters. Just because you’re an intern doesn’t meanyou’re daft.5. Find a mentor within the company, someone who can coach you and guide you on theright path.6. Be proactive about turning your internship opportunity into a career move. Make surethe company is one you really want to work for, and create your plan of approach toengage your supervisor and other key decision makers into converting your position tofull time at the end of your internship.7. Interest in working for the company is only half of the equation. The other half requiresyou to work hard. Go above and beyond the call of duty to show how much you’relearning and how good you are at what you do. Whether paid or unpaid demonstratingthe right attitude toward the job makes for easier decision making when the time comes.8. Ask for extra work and to be put on projects. Willingness to step outside your jobdescription while you’re an intern is a great way to show initiative and make a greatimpression.9. Be creative and share ideas that could be implemented to enhance the way things aredone. Don’t criticize the way they do things, but instead suggest and demonstrate yourdifferent approach as an alternative. This shows you can add value.10.Keep track of your accomplishments and contributions. You already know yourinternship experiences will look good on your resume. By quantifying how your
  7. 7. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 7TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013contributions helped the business you are able to substantiate why you should be hiredfor a full time position with the company.Networking Tips1. Networking is about establishing professional relationships with people you know, whoare often be invaluable to your job search efforts. Tap into your professional network foradvice, recommendations and referrals to others you might not know but who havedecision making power within organizations that may be hiring.2. Aim for a direct network of 250 people. This may sound like a huge number especiallyif you haven’t really started building your network. But according to the experts, 250 is anice reachable number for most. Remember this is a goal! You will be growing yournetwork over time so don’t be intimidated by the number.3. 2If youre a college student or new grad, youll probably find these to be the best kinds ofnetwork contacts:a. Classmatesb. Alumni, especially recent gradsc. Parentsd. Parents of classmatese. Other relativesf. Professors, especially your adviserg. Fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, and Greek organization alumnih. College administratorsi. Coachesj. Guest speakers in your classesk. Informational interviewees4. 3If youre an established job-seekers, youll probably find these to be the best kinds ofnetwork contacts:a. Members of professional organizationsb. Your past or present co-workersc. Friends youre in touch with regularlyd. Old friends, such as college buddies whom you see infrequentlye. Members of your religious communityf. Peer volunteersg. Informational intervieweesh. Your kids friends parentsi. Your mentor(s)2
  8. 8. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 8TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013j. Business associates, such as customers, clients, vendors, and suppliers5. Pick your networking events carefully. Not every event or activity will get you the resultsyou need. Join local networking groups or sign up for groups on websites to meet other professionals in your field or industry that may beconnected to the people who make hiring decisions in their organizations.6. Not all jobs are advertised publicly! As a matter of fact, the statistics suggest that onlyabout 5%-20% of openings are actually advertised. The remaining 80%-95% areshared by word of mouth through networking.7. Does the thought of networking intimidate you? Find a friend who you can pare up withand attend these event together. Write out and practice your “elevator speech” so youcan be more confident delivering it.8. Don’t hide at the back of the crowd in your online networking community! This is a greatopportunity for you to brand yourself and establish yourself as an expert by writing andsubmitting great content. Search engines pick up on your activity thereby making youmore visible to potential employers.9. Beware of “digital dirt”. Clean up your image online so that it does not impact youroffline activity. Regularly Google yourself to see what comes up. Take care of anyitems or activities that may have a negative effect on your efforts.10.Remember to say “Thank You”. If properly utilized, your network will yield wonderfulleads that could result in new connections, great conversations and possibly new joboffers! Remember to reach back and thank those who helped make this happen andpay-it-forward by doing the same for someone else.References and Recommendations Tips1. It is important to understand that one of your most important and influential tools as ajob seeker, is your list of references. Always have an active list of 3 – 5 references youcan use. Maintain a good relationship with your references and always ask permissionbefore you use them as a reference. Select references carefully as sometimes they canbe the deciding factor in you getting or not getting the job.2. Select people who know you professionally and who will speak highly of you in areference check. Be strategic about your choice of people who will provide a referencefor you. Pick people who know your strengths and abilities.3. Prepare your references so they can do the best job possible on your behalf. It is OK todiscuss the position you have applied for and asking them to speak to and highlightspecific skills that they have observed which apply to the job you’re trying to get.
  9. 9. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 9TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20134. If you ask someone to write a letter of recommendation for you, first clear it with themthat it is OK to reuse the letter in other job search scenarios. Then ask them to providethe letter in an editable format so you can change the date and address it appropriatelyto meet your needs.5. Keep your references up to date with your progress. If you did not get the position, letthem know. If you got the position, of course, let them know! Always thank yourreferences for their support, regardless of the outcome.6. Never submit your list of references with your application unless it is explicitly requested.Do not include the names of your references on your resume. Submit references on aseparate reference sheet that matches the template used for your resume.7. Collect all relevant information from your references, and keep the information up todate. If job titles change or they move to a different company you want to update theinformation. It will not be a good look if a company calls one of your references only tofind out they’re no longer reachable at the number you provided.8. If you plan on using your former employer as a reference, make sure you know whatthey will be saying about you. Request copies of your files so you will know what’s inthem. When you know what you’re facing you can do damage control, or create a planof action to improve weak skill sets. Knowing what’s in your files puts you in a betterposition to address any potential negatives.9. If there are items you can’t erase from your history, deal with them head-on. You will berespected and even commended for not trying to hide faults. Often this level ofdisclosure will elevate you as a trustworthy candidate. Try to show what you learned inthat previous situation and what strategies you will use to ensure it is not repeated.10.Above all, be honest in your interview and on all documents you provide during thehiring process. This ensures there are no discrepancies in the details of yourexperience when your potential employer conducts your reference check.Tips for Researching Companies1. Research is a critical component of your job search efforts. Ideally, you should beginyour research well before you begin submitting applications. Learn about companies inyour field or industry. If you are planning to relocate, research companies in the areayou’re moving to. When you are ready to submit applications this research will beinvaluable because you will know which companies you really want to work for orassociate with. At a minimum, if you missed the opportunities for early research, do athorough review on any company that invites you for an interview.
  10. 10. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 10TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20132. Research is a purposeful, goal oriented, targeted activity. This process of discoveryhelps you identify companies that will be a good fit for you and you for them. So inaddition to checking for potential job openings, also try to answer these questions: Whatdo you like to do? What are you passionate about? What qualities would you like to seein your employer? What qualities will dry you absolutely crazy? What is your personalstance on varying social issues? How important is it for the company you work for toshare those views?3. There are many places to find information about a company, not least of which is thecompany’s website. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are just some of the search engines youcan use to search the company online. Also scout news items for industry information,or for stories about the company.4. Schedule an informational interview with individuals within companies you are interestedin learning more about. An informational interview helps you get inside information fromsomeone who already works at the company. This is an extension to your networkingactivities.5. Be very planful about what you will ask in the informational interview. Remember youare the interviewer in this case. Ask questions that will help you understand thecompany and how employees really feel about working there. This list of questions is agreat place to start.6. Informational interviews also allow you to understand the company’s needs, itsweaknesses, or areas of opportunity that you might be able to help them improve in.7. Consider job-shadowing. Any job seeker, whether mid-career or recent collegegraduate may use this particular research tool. Job-shadowing opens up opportunitiesto learn insider information about a company’s culture or about an industry that you canuse in making your career advancing decisions. Not all companies offer this type ofopportunity though, so some research is essential.8. Select someone in a role you aspire to, or a position you would like to hold. Job-shadowing experiences can last anywhere from a few hours to a week or more. Try tomake this time as meaningful as possible so you can apply the lessons you learn to theopportunities that are within your current reach. In other words, don’t try to shadow theCEO if you are not ready to jump into a CEO role.9. Invite the person you are shadowing out to lunch to show appreciation for their time.This strategy will also help to reveal the “lunchtime culture” of the company, whethermost people go out to lunch, or most bring a lunch with them to work.10.Treat the job-shadowing experience with respect. Arrive on time, dress appropriately;be courteous, attentive and enthusiastic. Ask of questions about your observations, but
  11. 11. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 11TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 2013be mindful that the person you’re shadowing is actually working so you may have toobserve and save questions for later.Salary and Job Offer Negotiations41. Salary Myth: Asking for a Lower Salary Will Improve Chances of HireReality: You know what you’re worth, so don’t be intimidated when it comes time to askfor what you are worth. By requesting a lower salary for yourself, you set yourself up forfailure (either in not even being considered for the position, or, if hired, struggling toovercome the low salary).2. Salary Myth: Negotiating Salary or Other Parts of Job Offer Is Frowned UponReality: Unless the employer clearly stated that negotiations are not allowed, beconfident in your negotiation as long as you’re being realistic and reasonable andrespectful to the process. Employers generally respect your desire to receive the bestpossible offer.3. Salary Myth: Accepting First Offer is Safest Strategy for Job-SeekersReality: By the time the employer makes you an offer they have carefully consideredthat you are the person they want to hire. So don’t feel pressured to accept the offer theminute it is placed before you. Take some time to understand the offer before youaccept. This is critical when you are reviewing multiple offers, but is equally importanteven when it is your only offer. Don’t simply accept, but always take a day or two toassimilate and evaluate what is before you.4. Salary Myth: Negotiating Salary in a Weak Economy is a Bad IdeaReality: A weak economy typically results in fewer opportunities. But the opportunitiesthat do exist remain competitive. Don’t make the assumption that you have to expectless pay if you’re job-searching in slow economic times.5. Salary Myth: Believing That Everything is Negotiable in the Job OfferReality: This depends entirely on the actual situation. Sometimes the employer will notallow any type of negotiations. In such cases any attempts on your part to negotiate arelikely to result in them rescinding the offer. In other situations it depends on the level ofthe job. In a lower level job, there will be less room for negotiation. Higher executivelevel jobs may allow for more negotiations.6. Salary Myth: Asking for Offer in Writing Will Offend the EmployerReality: You should always expect written notice of the offer. There are no exceptionsto that rule. This typically comes in the form of an employment contract or job-offerletter. When you receive a job offer during an interview or over the phone, the beststrategy is to ask when you should expect the offer in writing.4
  12. 12. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 12TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20137. Use data from research to determine your market value. This is critical information youshould know so that you can justify and negotiate a better salary. Keep in mind theharder it is to find others with your qualification, the more valuable you are to theorganization, and the more leverage you will have to negotiate.8. If you dislike the negotiation process and decide not to, keep in mind that future raisesare based on your starting salary. If you are promoted to a higher position within thecompany, your new salary may not be comparable to that paid to an external candidate.The higher your starting salary, the better your raises will look as you advance in thecompany.9. Never bring up salary during the early stages of the interviewing process. Furthermore,you should not bring up the topic until and unless the employer brings it up. Unless youhave a strong sense that you are the top candidate and that an offer is imminent, alwayslet the employer make the first move when it comes to the salary discussion.10.Be willing to walk away from negotiations or from the job offer if that’s what isnecessary. Don’t get trapped into thinking you have to take the job whether or not itmeets your needs. If the salary turns out to be something you can’t work with, it is OKto say thanks but no thanks. However note that if you have no other offers on the table,you will be back to square one.Work-Life Balance Tips1. Research employer policies for implementing work-life balance strategies. Moreemployers today understand the need to balance work with life outside of work. Askpeople in your network who work for the company you’re considering about suchpolicies.2. If you are currently employed with the company, research if there are company policiesin place and how the company handled previous requests for consideration. In somecompanies work-life balance strategies are implemented on a department bydepartment basis. Make sure the department you are considering feels the way you doabout work-life balance.3. Don’t assume that your company will frown on the idea. If you are still new in yourposition, you may want to build your case so that you can clearly show how you will beeven more valuable and productive if these concessions are allowed.4. If you’re struggling to balance your life in your current career, and work-life balancestrategies is not on the radar, you might want to consider a career change. “Somecareers are more stressful and time-consuming than others. If you need more time foryourself or your family, now may be the time to explore careers that are less stressfuland more flexible.”55
  13. 13. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC 13TheTOP100TipsforSuccessfullyLandingYourNextJoborPromotion 20135. In some instances you may simply need to find a different and less stressful role withincurrent career field and/or company.6. Learn strategies for better time management. Often times, the stress you feel from yourjob or workload is a direct result of poor time management and being disorganized. SetSMART goals for yourself and set out to achieve your goals according to a realistic timetable.7. You can also achieve balance in your life by simply taking the control reigns back.Learn prioritize, and be OK with using the word NO. Note: You might want to be in yournew job for a little while before you start wielding that “N” word, however!8. Be realistic about how much time it actually takes to complete a specific task. If it reallytakes 2-hrs to do it, schedule 2-hrs since 30-mins will not be enough!9. Be O.K. with “putting off for tomorrow what you CAN’T do today.” Yes, that’s a twist onthe old adage. Look. You are not super human! No matter how hard you try, you willNOT be able to fit it all in one day! Set yourself up for success and let some things wait!10.Dont Sweat the Small Stuff. Sometimes people get bogged down with things that don’thave an impact on the big picture. Balance looks different for everyone, and it changesfrom day to day. So, learn to let some of the small things go sometimes. Whether theybe work related, or at home some things will not get done every day, and you need to beOK with that.Works Cited:Katharine Hansen Ph.D., Randall. S. Hansen Ph.D. (2013). Retrieved from QuintessentialCareers: