How To Find The Perfect Job: 4 Steps

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woman at desk looks up thoughtfullyYou're worried about what people are going to ask you in interviews, but have you stopped to think about what you should be asking yourself –- before you even apply for a position? If you're smart, you're taking stock of what you want and what you offer before you ever hit the "apply now" button for any position.

Perhaps you're thinking, "Any job will do?" From your perspective, that may be the case, but you need to put yourself in your potential employer's shoes: The more focused and targeted you are when you apply for positions, the more success you are likely to have landing interviews and jobs.What questions should every job seeker ask before approaching employers?

1. What is most important to me when it comes to the workplace?
Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer a flexible job over a position earning more money. Or you might be willing to take a lower-paying job if you think the company is prestigious and would look good on your resume. Maybe upward mobility and a company that promotes from within is important to you. Or, you could be most interested in the work culture and or health benefits?

Choose what is important to you and research organizations that demonstrate the best fit. Use tools such as Glassdoor.com to learn about salary and culture, and follow companies on LinkedIn to learn if they tend to promote current employees or hire from other companies. Leverage your network and talk to people who either work at companies that interest you or those who already left those organizations so you can collect as much information as possible. Then, spend the majority of your job search hours targeting the most suitable organizations.

More:9 Things To Never Say In A Job Interview

2. What skills do I want to use in my next job?
Perhaps you have a well-developed skill set, but you hate doing that work. If you don't stop to evaluate what you want to do next, you'll wind up back in another job that makes you miserable. Make a concerted effort to focus on the skills you want to use when you apply for positions and search for jobs that emphasize those skills.

3. How am I unique and how does that relate to my target jobs?
Once you hone in on what you're good at and what you like to do, it's up to you to be able to explain why you'd be the best candidate for that type of position. Do you have any special qualifications based on past experience that you want to be sure to highlight? For example, if you are applying for a management job in a retail store, did you spend the early part of your career as a cashier? Can you describe why your background would improve your job performance as a manager?

Always consider the employer's perspective when you describe your unique value proposition (what makes you special). Make sure that you do some research to help you identify what your target employers value most in applicants. For example, if the employer's website uses the words "team" or "initiative" over and over again, think about how you can showcase your successful background as a team player and exceptional ability to demonstrate initiative.

More:Why Everything You Learned About Interviewing Is Worthless

4. How can I make a clear case that there's a good match between what I offer and what the employer wants?
Once you identify what's special about you as it relates to your target employer, it's time to dig deep and make sure that you demonstrate how and why you are a good fit. If you cannot make a clear connection between what you offer and what your target companies want, you're wasting your time applying. Do everyone a favor and study job descriptions and pick out keywords to use on your resume. Keep up with information that the company shares via social networks and use every avenue available to reach out to the organizations that interest you. Do not apply for any job unless you can clearly articulate why you are the answer to the employer's problem.

When you take this rigorous approach to each job application, you'll apply for less jobs, but the time and attention to each application will give you a better chance to land interviews. It's a win-win: employers get clearly qualified applicants and your applications don't go into the black hole of candidates who don't appear qualified, even if they could do the jobs.

More from Keppie Careers
How to answer the most common interview questions
How to decide what type of job to take
How to be ready for the interview


7 PHOTOS
Body Language Interview Tips
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How To Find The Perfect Job: 4 Steps
Our legs tend to move around a lot more than normal when we are nervous, stressed or being deceptive. As a result, try to keep them as still as possible during the interview. You should not cross your legs during a job interview, as it creates a barrier between you and the interviewer and may lead to fidgeting.
When you cross your ankle at the knee, this is known as the "figure four," and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross.

The handshake tells a story about each of us. Do you shake hands softly? Do you come in from the top and deliver a "bone crusher?" Aggressive people have firm handshakes; those with low self-esteem have limp, "wet fish" handshakes. A great handshake is a three-step process:

1. Make sure your hands are clean and adequately manicured.
2. Ensure hands are warm and free of perspiration.
3. Execute your handshake professionally and politely, with a firm grip and a warm smile.

What's considered an appropriate amount of eye contact may vary in different countries. In North America, 60 percent eye contact is a safe figure -- one that can give hiring managers a feeling of comfort about you.
Eye contact tips: When you meet the interviewer, look her right in the eyes, then think to yourself, "Wow, so great to finally meet you!" This will make you smile, and she'll pick up on your positive mood.
During a job interview, keep your eye contact in the upside-down triangle area of your interviewer's face: from the left eyebrow, to the nose, back up to the right eyebrow.

Posture is an important thing to master on an interview: Get your posture straight and your confidence will elevate with it.
Next time you notice you are feeling a bit down, pay attention to how you are sitting or standing. Chances are you'll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits breathing, which can make you feel nervous or uncomfortable.

When you want to feel confident and self-assured during an interview, keep your head level, both horizontally and vertically. Also assume this position when your goal is to be taken seriously.
Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other.

Arms offer clues as to how open and receptive we are, so keep your arms to the side of your body. This shows you are not scared to take on whatever comes your way.
Quieter people tend to move their arms away from their body less often than outgoing people, who use their arms with big movements.

Here are two common perceptions of hand gestures:
1. Palms slightly up and outward: open and friendly

2. Palm-down gestures: dominant and possibly aggressive

 
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