Election season is over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Whether you loved or loathed the presidential candidates it’s fair to say they both gave their best efforts over the last 20 months. And while just one candidate gets to walk away victorious, a lot can be learned from the process.
Let’s take the candidates’ campaigns, for example. Both fought long and hard for what they believed in, never losing faith along the way. This is the kind of mindset needed for a successful job search as well.
Winning over America’s vote may be slightly more challenging than say, winning over a hiring manager but many of the same principles apply. Let’s review them shall we?
Do Your Homework
Whether you’re thinking about applying for a job or you’re about to enter the interview chair, you have to be “in the know.” No one wants to elect an uniformed president just as no one wants to hire a clueless job candidate. It’s important that you’re familiar with the company and up to speed on the trends and best practices that will help you succeed in the job.
Be Prepared…But Not Scripted
This is especially important during the interview. It’s never a good idea to shoot off the cuff without fully knowing the point you’re trying to make. As Donald Trump learned during the debates, you’re likely to get a better response if you have a well-thought-out plan. But, it’s also smart not to sound scripted. Hillary Clinton was heavily criticized on her robotic stature throughout the debates which kept her from connecting with her audience. While practicing your interview points will help calm your nerves, never sound canned.
Highlight Your Strengths
When campaigning for presidency, candidates must always explain why they’re the best person for the job. The same goes for you. Whether it’s on your resume or during an interview, you should always lead with your strengths. But pointing out your skills and accomplishments isn’t enough. You’re competing for a job after all. If you can find an angle that highlights how your uniqueness makes you the best candidate for the role, you’re likely to win the job.
Use the Law of Large Numbers
It’s common knowledge that candidates hot on the campaign trail have to make as much contact with voters as humanly possible. The more hands they shake, the better their chances are at winning. Use the law of large numbers when applying to jobs. Yes it’s redundant. Yes it’s exhausting. And yes, it’s not for the faint of heart.
If either one of the candidates gave up whenever they hit a bump in the road the election would have been forfeited a long time ago. Any good job worth having is worth working for. Realize that you may put a ton of time and effort in to applying for a job only to never hear a peep. You may also get as far as the fourth and final interview and then lose the job to someone else. If you begin your job search knowing there will be some rejection you can prepare yourself for the long and arduous road. By staying steadfast and positive , you will catch your break. It just takes time.
Social Media has never been as prominent in a presidential race as it was this year. Trump was a clear winner when it came to having a social media presence but Clinton wasn’t too far behind. There are many advantages to using social media in your job search.
For example, TechCrunch recently reported that employers will soon begin promoting their jobs on Facebook. You can easily market yourself as employable by updating your profile with your past and present work experience. Just be aware of the shortfalls of the platforms and keep your posts clean.
Living in the New Media age allows for us to receive and release information in real time. Just as social media has become an integral part of a presidential campaign, you should adopt all modern forms of the job search. While it’s likely you’re already using your phone to look for jobs, take it up a few notches.
There are plenty of mobile job search apps that let you apply to jobs directly from your phone. Increase your chances of standing out and speed up the application process by having a mobile optimized resume. Also take the time to set up a professional profile on LinkedIn. Many employers are now requesting this in the application process.
Build a Strong Network
Networking is one of the most discussed topics when it comes to finding a new job and for good reason. A strong network or support group can open the door for new opportunities, provide references and give guidance and advice. In Trump’s acceptance speech he humbly gave credit to his family and GOP allies that helped him get the win. By nurturing your network, you will find yourself with a group of individuals who help you succeed.
There’s no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness was an issue for her while campaigning. Trump too had his fair share of falsehoods. If you’re even considering lying on your resume to get a job just don’t do it. The stakes are high enough when you’re vying for a new position. Don’t risk burning bridges by forging your qualifications.
If there’s anything to take away from this election process and the new President-Elect it’s that you don’t have to have the most experience. You don’t have to be the most articulate. But if you put in the work, surround yourself with smart and supportive people and above all, be uniquely you, you can accomplish anything.