30 Questions to Ask When Job Searching

 

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30 questions to ask when job searching what do i want who can help how can i present myself what do i need to do here are a list of questions for you to ask yourself when you start thinking about finding a new job 1 do i really need to change jobs ask yourself why you need to it needs to be a compelling reason for you and it needs to make sense to anyone that s going to employ you in the future the reasons that people want to change their job are hugely varied but it s best when we choose a job for positive reasons rather than running away from negative 2 can i get an alternative job in my current organisation ask yourself how much do i know about what my current employer does and what opportunities there might be for me do they advertise jobs internally and if so where it s easy enough to ask around where are the areas in the organisation which are expanding and where they may be opportunities for you so don t jump ship before you ve looked 3 what am i going to do this is probably the biggest question most often asked by people in their working life the answer to this question is therefore highly prized understanding what it is that you ve done in work and in your life that has given you the greatest buzz is always a good place to start when you understand the context that you are in and the skills that you are using you are at the beginning of a process that will lead you to define clearly what you re going to do in the future 4 where do i start start with what you enjoy most and also what you re best at think about the moments in your history when you have been most engaged most interested and when you ve enjoyed yourself most if you re not sure ask people that know you follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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look at your appraisal reports only go into the recruitment market when you re clear about what you seek to do if you go too early you may end up in the wrong place 5 who might help me think of people who you respect and who you know respect you this might include school teachers university lecturers ex-bosses people in the community who have status i.e doctors religious leaders all of these people can help you by being referees by giving you their opinion on where you are and what you might do which just generally can be helpful to you 6 where does my cv fit your cv is an important tool for you most people make the mistake of believing that the cv is the most important tool and put lots of effort into writing their cv early in the job search process or too early in the job search process the most important part of job search is being clear about what you want to do and then having a plan for how to go and find what it is that you want to do your cv comes as part of that plan 7 how good is my cv the cv is a subjective document and everybody including you will have an opinion on it anybody that looks at a cv will suggest amendments to it and after a while you can get frustrated that people are toying with your cv so when you come to an approach and a style that works stick with it good cvs tend to be shorter and if you are in need of a fuller supplementary cv that includes great detail in every job or a list of publications you ve written then make it a separate and supporting document your cv should be clear grammatically correct well laid out truthful and honest and reflect your life well 8 who can give me a view on my cv any professional career guide should be able to give you a view on your cv the most important view however is going to come from somebody who knows very specific markets that you re trying to put your cv into it is definitely horses for courses 9 how do i show experience if i have limited qualifications experience and qualifications are not really the same thing it is well known that some highly qualified people lack common sense and in the same way people who have had experience can often in situations be more valuable than somebody with qualifications a good example of this is the individual who has experience of working in the armed forces where training and development to achieve objectives in extraordinarily tough conditions can be highly useful when they leave the service sometimes these people have limited qualifications the experience can be superbly harnessed follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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10 how clear am i about what sort of job i want if you can get to a position where you are clear about the sort of job you want it makes getting the job through the job search process so much easier the most frustrating element of job search is when somebody is unclear about what they re trying to find and holding open their options for multiple sorts of job 11 which of my qualifications are most useful when you re clear about what you re seeking to do the qualifications and experiences that you ve had will speak volumes to you and give you the opportunity to focus your attention on those that are most useful and relevant 12 how do i align what i know with what i want most times what we re intending to do already links to what we know about even where there is a gap there are often skills and areas of experience and knowledge which can be transferred into new contexts the desire to change your situation so markedly away from what you know is just an element of personal risk and confidence 13 how clear am i about who i am and what i m good at this is clearly an issue of self-awareness the more you ve experienced good feedback in your life and maybe have the chance to get feedback from psychometric questionnaires the more likely you ll get a more rounded picture of who you are `what i m good at implies some sort of understanding of strengths this can come from your appraisals or it can come from people that know you or that have worked with you and it can also come from strengths profiles that you can buy online 14 who will find me valuable that is for you to find out you might think it is a challenge to work out what makes you valuable and it is the need for you to understand who will find you valuable enables you to know where the market is for you and also what the market value economically is for you at any moment in your career 15 how do i find out about my best strengths there are three ways the first way is utilise a strength profile survey they re many of them about within books and online one recommendation is to use gallup s `now discover your strengths which is available through amazon the second way is to ask people that know you this will be people who know you personally i.e family friends and workmates who have seen you at your best as well as at your worst thirdly ask yourself what you think you re best at we all have at least one thing that we think we re really really good at and would rate ourselves against anybody that we know very often it s not inconsequential and it manifests in lots of different ways follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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16 how do i acknowledge what i really like doing this is as much about gut feeling and your very personal intuition things that you really like doing rarely weigh heavily on you there are things you look forward to there are things that you probably find easy to do there are also things that you ve got good at and better and better at the more you do them if there are things that you do unconsciously or subconsciously that is when you can acknowledge that you re really good at something 17 how do i use my performance review history firstly make sure you always keep it either electronically or in paper form when you re-read it look for the themes and the patterns they help you to understand what it is that people are saying about you because you can use these strengths and maybe their words and phrases in projecting yourself to other people it is up to you whether you use all of the comments in an appraisal but one piece of advice is only focus on comments about your strengths and don t worry so much about comments on weaknesses and areas of development 18 what is an elevator pitch an elevator pitch is a short concise answer to a question about who you are and what you do so-called because you from the moment you re asked in an elevator or lift until you reach your destination floor it can only be a matter of 10 to 20 seconds 19 why might i need one being able to articulate clearly and concisely who you are and what you want is a great skill and will serve you well at any transition point 20 in what situation can i use one at any time in your life if you are in a job that you are thoroughly enjoying and someone asks you `so who are you and `what do you want to do you can use an elevator pitch to explain if you re in transition and you re looking for a new opportunity this is a key moment for you in which you can make a key impact on someone 21 what do i want to include in mine you want to include a statement about who you are in as small a number of words as possible include what the most important things about you are from the point of view of your academic or organisational record and current job status or description you can say very simply that you re working for so-and-so and specialise in such-and-such if you re seeking a role it is important to be able to name the particular type of work and particular type of organisation you re looking for so it s about being as specific as you can be about your own work follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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22 what preparation do i need to do on the organisations i m going to meet you need to treat the organisation that you re going to meet as if you re going to buy it so if you were to buy a washing machine what would you do what most people would do would be to research it research it online and look at the economic development of it what s it performance track record what s its reputation you want to really really get under the bonnet and understand this company what does it do why does it interest me why might i be of interest to it if you go in to meet people within it and you don t know that stuff why would you be of interest to them 23 what is the organisation s track record it s useful to know whether an enterprise is stable and static-whether it s growing or whether it s reducing in terms of its market share some organisations do stay still most don t because in vibrant markets companies are always going through change knowing where the organisation is in its business cycle is very useful you notice a palpable difference in confidence between businesses that are doing well and those that are under some stress or tension 24 how do i find out about the company if the organisation is in the public domain it should be easy to find so for plcs and limited companies financial information will be available in financial reports which will be online on websites information on public organisations is accesible at companies house and from the charities commission for charities the hardest information to obtain is for privately held companies where the shares are held by individuals or within a family and there s no regulation that requires them to put that data into the public domain 25 why are the organisation s principles important to me there s an old saying that people leave managers not organisations by definition managers are more senior and their behaviour can often drive individuals out of companies behaviour will be determined by the principles that underpin the way that people behave and are allowed to behave and what is condoned by managers ultimately therefore principles and values are the most powerful element of whether we feel comfortable confident and aligned to the business we re working in follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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26 how do i present myself as a candidate there are some very basic tactical things about presenting yourself as a candidate which include · · · · being on time looking smart being prepared not attracting any attention i.e yawning smelling of alcohol etc the most important of these is when you re in the key moment of a process and you are needing to be authentic and where those who you are meeting are impressed by you that s not about your performance because performance implies ego this is when your preparation and your genuine interest pays off 27 what do i know about the interviewers that i m meeting where possible find out who s going to be interviewing you just knowing their job position and their positional status can help a lot are they the decision-maker or influencer are they going to interview you because they can decide on giving you the job or not the more you know about them the more you have the chance to understand what they need the needs of a hr manager are very different to the needs of a hr director the things you want to be talking about with each could be different the types of question that you might ask them will be different 28 how can i be a good interviewee a good interviewee is one that applies the answer to the above question and stays very present listening well watching the cues taking a lead but not losing control it is a fine balance and you need to be really on your mettle ultimately a good employee is always well prepared for the process 29 how do i know what to wear for an interview where possible check out the website and look at what people typically wear at that organisation even if you need to go and see them as they arrive or leave work if you can t do that see if you can ask somebody that knows on balance you don t want to overdress or definitely underdress but go slightly above what is normal if in doubt go smart-casual if you intuitively feel it s more than that then wear a suit follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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30 what are psychometric tests psychometric tests are designed to measure your psychological attributes psychological tests typically are numeric verbal reasoning and spacial awareness they are applied to you under timed conditions so that those measuring you can look at your capacity and capabilities in those areas quite often psychometric tests are confused with psychological profiles which often look for your preferred behaviour traits these surveys don t judge whether you are right or wrong merely what your preferences are this checklist has been created by position ignition ltd one of the uk s leading career consulting companies and founders of the career ignition club please contact enquiries@positionignition.com for more information or to suggest additional resources follow us @posignition www.positionignition.com

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