Applying and interviewing for a job, whether straight out of college or in a career switch, is undoubtedly one of the most stressful seasons a person can go through in the professional realm. What part of the process ISN’T overwhelming? The job hunting process can be a stressful time. There’s not exactly a manual for how to find the perfect job. But with a little fine tuning, we could all become freshly interview-ready overnight. You never know when you will need to make a job switch!

See how prepared you are with this quiz!

Construct or Re-Think Your Resume

  • If it’s your first time searching for a job, particularly out of college or graduate school, you’ll need to open up a blank document and start there with your resume. But there are a lot of great templates out there to give you a headstart.
  • Alternatively, if you’ve made a resume before, it’s time to grab it from the recesses of your laptop and dust it off. Begin by adding any pertinent, additional information to your resume regarding your current or previous roles. Elaborate upon your current or past roles within your jobs by ensuring you’ve included as many concise details of your responsibilities as possible.
  • Regardless of employment status, keep your resume as current as possible. Refresh your resume monthly to prevent from forgetting details in the future, even if you aren’t actively searching for a job. List accurate dates of when you started certain roles, including promotions.

Know the Companies You’re Interviewing for

  • Before even applying to a job, confirm that your qualifications align generally with what the company is looking for. Some companies may want an identical candidate to what they have posted.. Other companies are more willing to teach certain, enthusiastic candidates any lacking skills once they start working. Just because you may not be an exact fit for a job doesn’t mean that a company won’t offer you an interview, so it doesn’t necessarily hurt to apply. Just go into the application with a realistic expectation.
  • Once you’ve been offered an interview, begin doing thorough research on the company. You can often get a good read on a company by looking up the employment profiles of the management team. This can bring awareness to the types of employees that certain managers may be looking for. A company’s website can provide more generalized details on the company and industry, but overall, researching the management team will likely convey more regarding the personal ins and outs of the company.
  • As a bonus: research employee reviews for the company. Knowing how employees feel about a company is going to be the closest indicator to how the company functions and treats their employees. If the reviews leave much to be desired, you may want to reconsider your application.

A Few Notes on Dress Code

  • Before you go out and spend $1000 on a suit, know that not every job interview requires the same level of dress etiquette. Depending on the industry you are interviewing for, you may not need to dress quite as upscale as you’d expect. Management roles or financial industries will generally expect a more polished form of dress, while startups or teaching positions orient more towards casual attire. See where your office falls on the spectrum. When in doubt, dress up and not down.
  • Consider what makes the most sense weather wise when you’re picking out your attire. During the winter months, a well-made collared sweater for men may work just as well as a collared shirt and is more seasonally appropriate. For women, a tailored midi length jacket or warm, fitted skirt is a great choice.
  • Do your research ahead of time so that if you need to run out and grab an extra layer or fresh pair of pants, you’re not crunched for time. Often times, thrift stores have an abundance of these essentials, and you can typically have them tailored for just a few additional dollars.

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Grace Boone has always loved to write. As an English major at Florida State University, her love of learning, reading, and writing took off. She's held a number of different positions, giving her a well-rounded view of the world.