4 Steps to Use Your Network to Land You Your First Job

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Landing your first job can be difficult if you will rely only on job search sites and referrals. There will be cases when it will take you months before you can land the job that you want. If you do get a referral or an interview offer, there is no guarantee you will be able to get the job.

However, if you know someone from the company, it will be easier to get in the job because they can refer you directly to the team and even let you know if the slot is open even before it is offered to others.

Considering this advantage, how can you utilise your network to help you get your first job?

Here are some tips to help you improve your network and use it to land your ideal job:

#1 Know your existing network and build it

Every person has a network of connections which grows each time one meets new people. These include classmates, friends, teachers, neighbours and others.

Some people may not see these people as great places to start with when asking for help in getting a job. Get to know them and see if they know anyone in the industry that you want to work on.

If your current network is not enough, you can attend networking events set by companies or your school. You can also use social media to build your network.

Read More: 6 Golden Tips to Build a Powerful Network Using LinkedIn

#2 Ask Properly

In networking, you don’t just add friends and hope they will help you out without taking time to know if they will respond positively to your messages.

Be clear about your inquiry, why you want to ask them and make it reasonable. You should also take time to word your message and show sincerity. Don’t just write a template email and blast it to 200 people. Call them out and invite them for coffee.

Nothing is worse when you suddenly ask a friend you haven’t spoken in 10 years for a job favour or any kind of favour. However, if you ask nicely, there is a chance that your contact is searching for someone to hire. Be humble about it and never demand an immediate commitment from your friend.

#3 Have a clear plan

Once you get your contact to agree to meet you, prepare what you want to know as if you are interviewing them for information.

Ask about how they got into their position and how you can also reach the same position as they have. They will take note of your interest and help you in the best way they can.

#4 Stay in touch

When it comes to networking, you don’t stop talking to them when you introduce yourself to them and spend a few hours with them during your first meeting.

If you want them to help you get the job you want, you have to stay in touch with them and get to know them better. This will make sure they don’t forget you and think of you when they hear about the job you want to apply for.

Remember, relationships are built over time. You need to nurture your network and it is easier now with social media to keep the connection alive.

Conclusion

Networking has a lot of great benefits if you manage to cultivate it as early and as best as you can. Your connections can open doors you never thought possible, especially if you show them what you can do.

If you have connections in key areas where you want to work into, don’t be afraid to approach your connections for help. You never know, they may be the people who can launch your career in the right direction.

Just remember when you do get the job, pay it forward.

Still looking for your dream job? Here are some helpful tips:
Best Ways to Prep for your Dream Job Interview
Top Job Site to Hunt Down Your Dream Job in 2019
A Word Of Advice: Why Is It So Hard To Land My Dream Job?

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Source: 4 Steps to Use Your Network to Land You Your First Job

How to Handle One-Way Video Job Interviews

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Face-to-face interviews have always been the norm for employers and job seekers who wish to get into the companies they wish to apply for. When an interview is scheduled, the job seeker will be meeting someone from the company, who will assess their worth as a future employee.

However, with the improvement in communications in recent years with the help of the internet together with the Covid-19 pandemic, video interviews are now being adopted.

A company’s HR can easily schedule an interview with a job seeker and interview them using a video call app as normal. Some companies are even doing one-way video interviews where the job seeker will have to answer several questions and record it for the employer to review.

If you are scheduled to have one of these one-way video interviews, you will definitely need to prepare like preparing for a traditional interview.

Here are some tips to help you with your interview and help you get that job:

1. Always read the instructions

If you want to clinch that job you are applying for, you have to show that you can work efficiently with the instructions given to you. Take some time to study the instructions given for your interview and ask questions accordingly.

Skipping this will definitely cause the employer to assume you don’t do well with instructions and aren’t meticulous enough. This will definitely leave a bad impression.

2. Take note of the deadline

One-way interviews involve you sending a recorded clip of your interview answers in a certain time frame.

Mark the date in your calendar and make sure that you complete your interview before it. The faster you do it, the better impression you will show to the employer.

However, rushed work does not mean you can hand in sloppy interview videos. Take time to rehearse your answers and prep accordingly.

3. Prepare your login information and your device for the interview

Speaking of prepping… Before doing your interview, make sure that you have everything ready and tested.

Check your internet connection, the device you will be using and the log-in details given to you. Do a sound check with another laptop (or with a helpful friend) to make sure he or she can hear you perfectly.

In case of technology breakdown, always have a second device on standby. You will never know when you need it and it makes you feel better than you have a contingency plan.

4. Review the job description

If you want to make the right impression for the job, you need to review the job description given to you.

As with every interviews, you should also take time to know more about the company, the people working for them, the products and services they offer and other relevant information.

Google your interviewer and chances are he or she will be on LinkedIn. By seeing his profile pic and understanding where he stand in the company, it will make you less nervous during the interview. But please do not stalk him on social media!

Read More: Social Media: Friend or Foe?

5. Prepare your answers in advance and practice

If you got the interview questions early, take the opportunity to prepare your answers so you can record your answers perfectly. Make sure that your answers are clear and concise.

If you are recording an interview video, practice many times so you can answer them in full confidence.

6. Dress accordingly

Even if you are not going to a formal interview, this interview will still count for your application. Dress like you are indeed going to an interview to make the right impression.

If you intend to dress up your top and lounge in your bottoms, do remember not to stand up and walk away from the camera.

7. Record in the right location

Aside from your clothes, you need to show to your employers you are taking this seriously. Record in a well-lit room and make sure your background is simple.

The best backdrop is against a white wall or a bookshelf. Some may say against a window but then again, if the sun beams into the window, your interviewer won’t be able to see you and also, you will not have any control as to whoever walk or fly past behind you.

No messy bedroom with clothes spewed all over the place, no misplaced dildos or water pipes or bongs. It doesn’t matter if weed is legalised in your states, just keep it away in a drawer.

Most importantly, lock your door! Pre-empt everyone that you are going to have an important video meeting in your room and they shouldn’t disturb you (unless the house is on fire). Lest, they keep banging on your door to be let in.

8. Be yourself

While recording your answers, be yourself and make the right cues to show that you are the one for the job. Practice and see what you have to fix if you need a boost.

If you are a funny guy, show some wit in your answers. If you are a data genius, throw in figures and numbers.

But don’t go overboard. If you are a die hard fan girl of Justin Bieber, don’t have your background plastered with his posters. Really, there is such thing as too much information.

Conclusion

One-way video interviews definitely changes the way we conduct interviews. However, even though you won’t be directly speaking to the employer on the other side does it mean you should not take it seriously. 

Always remember that you are applying for your dream job and your recorded interview will definitely make up a lot of points. Present yourself accordingly by preparing and you will definitely land that job you are applying for.

For interview tips and tricks, check out these articles:
10 Questions You Should Absolutely Ask an Interviewer
Best Ways to Prep for your Dream Job Interview
Should You Send A Thank You Note After Your Interview?

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
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Source: How to Handle One-Way Video Job Interviews

Covid-19: How to Stay Safe when You Come Home from Work

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If you are a frontliner working in key sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that you practice the right safety measures each time you come home from work. You are at a higher risk of contracting the virus because you may be exposed to the people who have it, especially if you are working in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

While those working in hospitals and healthcare facilities may have their own strict protocols, not all frontliners like our supermarket cashiers, Grab drivers even our Starbucks’ barista will have access to information.

To give you a short guide on how you can protect yourself and your family, here is WHO recommendations on how you can stay safe at home after work:

Before Work:

  • Always follow social distancing, especially if you are commuting to work
  • Remove your accessories and other loose items from your body. The virus can linger in some items for a long time, even lasting up to a few days.
  • Try to wear casual clothes to work, but have your work clothes ready in a laundry bag and shoes you can clean easily and leave in your office or car. Pack your casual clothes properly and make sure it is separate from where you packed your work clothes.
  • Use a disposable bag as your lunch box and throw it away accordingly when you get home or after you eat
  • Always hand wash and use a sanitizer or alcohol, especially if you touched various surfaces while on your way to work.

While Working:

  • Disinfect your computer, phone and other things you use for work regularly
  • Greet your co-workers/employees/clients without handshakes
  • Always practice social distancing even in meetings
  • Wear your mask even while you work
  • Clean and disinfect your office and lunch space regularly
  • Always wash your hands and disinfect your hands, especially if you held stuff other people touched.

After Working:

  • Congratulate yourself for a job well done and think of ways on how you can improve more in your tasks for the next day.
  • Disinfect the items you will be bringing home and leave the items you don’t need at your office desk.
  • Handle your work items which may be contaminated with the virus with care such as your clothes, shoes and bag.
  • Put your work clothes in a separate clothes bag and put it on your car’s trunk. When you get home, wash them immediately in your washing machine. You should also clean the laundry bag so you can use it for the next day.
  • Put your work shoes in a dirty clothes bag with your clothes or leave it outside the house.
  • Use a washable clean bag to bring your casual clothes and shoes and make sure they are separate from your work clothes.
  • Take a bath immediately when you get home.

Special Note:

You may think that the above measures may be a tad too much but safety comes first especially if you find yourself in these situations:

  • High numbers of infection in your country / city / area
  • You have elderly folks aged 60 years old and above living with you.
  • You have children living with you.
  • You are an elder aged 60 years old and above.
  • You don’t have access to quality medical care within your vicinity.
  • Your workplace has high human traffic.
  • Your workplace is in or near a hospital.
  • Your workplace has or is near a new infected cluster.

Your job in the frontlines is very important because without you, the country will definitely be left hanging. However, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to reduce the risk of contracting the virus both at work and at home.

With these simple tips, it will definitely make a difference in helping the country flatten the curve and protect everyone around you.

For more Covid-19 related articles, here are some of my latest ones:
What should we do to minimize COVID-19’s economic impact?
What to do If You Lost Your Job During Covid-19 Recession?
Lockdown from Covid-19: From an Expat’s Point of View

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Source: Covid-19: How to Stay Safe when You Come Home from Work