10 Secrets to a Successful Job Search
It’s one of those things we’ve all had to go through at one time or another: the job search. But what makes us anxious has less to do with the actual job search itself, and more to do with our fear of the unknown. Eliminate that, and searching for a job becomes infinitely less intimidating. Read on to learn 10 secrets to landing a job as a household professional, straight from the experts who place them at Town + Country Resources.
1. Know What You Want.
One thing is certain: If you don’t know exactly what it is you’re looking for, you’ll never find it. Defining your ideal job is a critical first step for any job hunter. To get started, answer the following questions:
- What city do you want to work in?
- Would you be willing to commute? How far?
- How many children are you comfortable working with?
- Are you looking for full-time or part – time work? If part time, which days and hours work best with your schedule? Are you willing to work evenings? Weekends?
- Are you willing to take on any additional responsibilities? Is light housekeeping okay? Driving carpools? Meal preparation? Knowing your limits – and stating them upfront – is the best way to avoid frustration in the future.
2. Keep Your Past Perfect.
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t burn your bridges.” Nowhere is this more important than with employment. Your next job will only be as good as your last recommendation, so always be professional and courteous, and stay in touch with past employers so they remember you come reference time. And don’t forget to keep accurate records of your employers’ full names and telephone numbers, as well as the dates of your employment.
3. Have Your Papers in Order.
Potential employers will want to see that your driver’s license and car insurance are up-to-date. You don’t want to lose out on a great job just because you’ve let them lapse. Documentation for other relevant courses and certifications, such as CPR and First Aid, will give you an edge over other candidates.
4. Don’t Keep Secrets.
Your mother was right: Honesty is the best policy. If there is an unfavorable incident in your past or on your driving record, it is always better to reveal it upfront and explain the circumstances openly and honestly. When it is uncovered later as part of a background or reference check, it casts a shadow of doubt as to why you didn’t disclose it in the first place.
5. Be Prepared.
Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Be ready to answer questions about yourself, including reasons why you want this particular job and what your goals are for the future. Always do your homework on your potential employer; knowing the names and ages of the children shows that you are not only intelligent and responsible, but that you are interested in the family.
6. Directions: Don’t Leave Home without Them.
Getting lost on your way to a job interview not only makes you late, but extremely frazzled by the time you arrive. Before the day of your interview, get good directions and a map. It also doesn’t hurt to do a trial run beforehand to make sure you know exactly where it is.
7. Ace the Interview.
First and foremost, be on time. Your dress should be neat and clean—avoid excessive jewelry, perfume or makeup. During the interview, highlight your accomplishments and skills through storytelling. Describe some activities or a fun event you have planned to show your commitment and excitement. Also, don’t hesitate to talk about yourself—your background, family, interests. The more they know about you as an individual the more likely they are to make a connection.
8. Ask Questions.
Remember that the meeting is also an opportunity for you to interview them. Find out what it will take to be successful in the job, and ask about their communication style. Keep your ideal job in mind, and ask questions that will help you determine if this one is a good fit.
9. Give Thanks.
The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Be sure to follow up with a thank you note that expresses a genuine interest in the position.
10. Communicate with Your Placement Counselor.
Think of your Town + Country placement counselor as your biggest advocate. The more responsive you are, the better job he or she can do on your behalf. So return calls promptly, let them know as soon as you need to reschedule, and check in frequently to keep your information up-to-date. Also, don’t be afraid to give your candid thoughts and impressions after an interview – it’s the best way of finding the right match.