Best Practices to Ace Your Job Hunt

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One of the most challenging aspects of a job search, in a market as tough as we face today, is creating successful practices to enhance the opportunity to land an interview. How you handle different aspects of a job search can influence whether or not you hear about a potential opportunity, are referred for a position, land an interview or receive a job offer.

We have put together a compilation of tried and true advice for finding a job and keeping your confidence afloat in the process:

Are you are young and looking for a job? Do you share the same beliefs as the 44,000 that participated at the PwC NextGen survey, which has concluded the following?

  1. “Many Millennial employees are unconvinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life.”
  2. “Millennial employees are not alone in wanting greater flexibility at work. In fact, a significant number of employees from all generations feel so strongly about wanting a flexible work schedule that they would be willing to give up pay and delay promotions in order to get it.”
  3. “Millennials say that creating a strongly cohesive, team-oriented culture at work and providing opportunities for interesting work—including assignments around the world—are important to their workplace happiness, even more so than their non-Millennial counterparts.”
  4. Many—but not all—stereotypes about Millennials are untrue.” They want job security, even if they don’t see themselves working for one organization for their entire careers. They have a natural aptitude for electronic forms of communication, but they prefer the old fashion discussions when it comes to their managers and they are committed to hard working as their more senior colleagues.
  5. “Millennial attitudes are not totally universal, although there is significant commonality between the United States/Canada and Western Europe.”
  6. “While the same basic drivers of retention exist for both Millennials and non-Millennials, their relative importance varies, with Millennials placing a greater emphasis on being supported and appreciated.”

If the answer is yes to both questions this means you have to look for a company that offers:

  1. Values in sync with yours
  2. Great culture
  3. Work flexibility
  4. Work – life balance.
  5. Stability
  6. Career development and opportunities to get promoted
  7. Support
  8. Transparency and communication

More precisely you have to start researching. First Look at the company’s values, look at their CSR programs. Talk to a friend, that already works for the company, to see if this is the organizations where managers “walk the talk” and check the blogs that talk about the company and the latest news related to it.  This research will cover both values and culture. The culture you can also see and feel, first hand, at each touching point you have with it: when examining the company site, including the career page; when going through the recruiting process and see how you are treated. Don’t hesitate to opt out if what you experience is not what you want.

A major recognition program that uses social wisdom and crowdsourcing to offer regular recognition to the employees will be another indication of great company culture.

You can find out about the work flexibility and work-life balance offered by the company you are interested in also via research. Usually, you will find all this info spelled out on their site, but it’s also worth talking with a friend that works there or to check former employee opinions on the internet. First look at the total working hours than investigate if they have: employee assistance/ employee development programs, family assistance programs, wellness programs, convenience/concierge services or even their policy regarding leave of absence. Add to these flexible work arrangements and you will have the entire picture.

Here, at flexible work arrangements, companies can offer anything from flexible starting and ending work hours, to compressed weeks and telecommuting. Innovative companies in terms of HR programs are implementing now 4 days workweek programs and they say that these types of programs increase productivity and efficiency, so who knows maybe this will be the norm in the next years.

Let’s talk now about the busted myth!

You are young, but still looking for a secure and stable environment, aren’t you? Here a solid financial track record will indicate that the company is able to offer you with the type of environment you need to succeed. You can also look at specialized sites that tell you “what are the best companies to work for?” Fortune and Glassdoor are only two of these sites.

If you are interested in Career development and opportunities to get promoted look at the development and training programs the company offers, success stories from within are also proofs, even if just anecdotical. The depth of the induction/onboarding program is also an indication that you cannot look over. So are clear career paths, if presented to you during the selection stage. Transparent promotion criteria and a history of promoting from within are also rounding things up in this area.

The onboarding program also gives an indication about the support you will receive while working for this company. The managers’ attitude and the existence of coaching programs are other steady signs on this issue. Value put on teamwork and collaboration will also show if you will be supported in this journey or not.

All the above are only true in an environment that fosters communication and transparency. Again, you will experience transparency and the way this company communicates during the recruitment and selection process but you can also check with your friend within if you have such a source of information. An open-door policy, employee suggestion, and innovation program or the existence of an upward feedback program, all acted upon not just as diagnostic tools, will be a great indicator of improved communication.

Let’s add two more things to the list:

  1. Location
  2. Compensation and benefits level.

The Company location is important if the job doesn’t allow telecommuting or if such a program doesn’t exist for commuting can majorly influence the work-life balance. You have to add the commuting time to the working hours to see exactly how much time you have for yourself. Flexible starting and ending work hours can also help avoid the rush hours. So, as you see things are tied together.

Last, let’s talk about compensation and benefits level. Don’t forget this is the moment you have the highest negotiation power when you are about to be hired.

But don’t let all we have talked before go down just for an extra buck. Money is important but they cannot get you everything. Be sure you will be paid fairly and find out what are the rewards for performing well or very well. Look also at benefits beyond disability and workers compensation. Look at the pension plans, health and life insurances, meal allowances, housing, time off beyond what local legislation stipulates, discounted products or services, coverage of education fees and the list can continue. Usually, the benefits are listed in the job announcement and/or listed on the company site, so it is easy to find out what the company you are interested in is offering.


In the end, just another piece of advice, if you want to land your dream job you have to do your homework and research extensively. Don’t forget, the determining question will be not only “is the company the best fit for you?” but also, Are you the best person for the job? A yes, to both questions is a match made in heaven.