Build Your Job Search Skills

Learn to tell your story: networking and interviewing

Job search activities that require us to interact with others can feel intimidating. Practice, especially with a mentor, will help.

 

 

👉 Networking is an essential professional tool we recommend you do regularly, but for most of us those skills are rusty. 

👉 Interviewing success is largely related to coaching and practice. Mock interviews are one of our most popular offerings.  

👉 Storytelling (or being able to communicate your prior successes) is an important component of both of these interactions.  

 

Networking

Networking is a MUST for all job seekers. The prospect of networking often causes anxiety, so people procrastinate. We can help you learn how to network with much less stress, and turn the idea of talking to a stranger from anxiety-producing to energizing. 

Our Networking 101 Skill Builder Workshop is a deep dive into why networking is essential and how to do it effectively. Definitely plan to attend a session online in addition to reviewing the PDF, you will have a chance to ask all your questions! Plus, there are usually great discussions among job seekers about their own experiences.

LinkedIn 101 (optimize your profile) and especially LinkedIn 201 (use LinkedIn to cultivate connections) are invaluable resources. 

Other online communities can also help you to find people to advance your search. Use this site to find online Facebook, Reddit and Slack communities. 

This presentation with comprehensive Networking Tips will give you lots of specific advice about how to network more effectively.

The Ultimate Guide to an Informational Interview is another comprehensive networking resource that you may find helpful.

Stumped about what to ask? This long list of possible questions will inspire you to come up with a shorter list of your own.

Smart-Peeps is a local newsletter with a list of online and in-person networking events (click Sign up today on the site).

Don't forget to track your networking efforts! Use our downloadable spreadsheet (search "tracker on our site) or create your own system. You'll be meeting with many people and it's easy to forget who, when, and what you discussed. 

Interviewing

Interviewing is the area that probably requires the MOST skill building. Most of us interview infrequently, and are intimidated by the prospect. If you work with a mentor you will have an opportunity to do one or more mock interviews which are the absolute BEST way to prepare yourself. 

Here are a number of additional resources that can help:

Make a good first impression by being prepared - this interview preparation plan includes important considerations such as your attire and computer setup and this article has research-based tips for making a great first impression

LinkedIn has a fantastic interview prep section with a long list of potential questions, suggested answers from recruiters and coaches, and even an opportunity to practice and get feedback. 

Other free AI-assisted interview tools: check out these tools from Riveter Works, Yoodli Speech Coach (endorsed by Toastmasters), and Google Interview Warmup.

Indeed has a guide to behavioral interview questions with sample answers that explains what companies are trying to ascertain. Your SOAR stories will be essential here. They also offer a good guide to video interviewing, including tech setup.

Make a good "last impression" too by having great questions to ask at the end of your interview. 

Don't forget to track your interviews! Use our downloadable spreadsheet (search "tracker on our site) or create your own system. The process can take a while and you'll want to remember who you met with and what questions were asked. 

Storytelling

Learn the basics of storytelling in the Resumes 101 Skill Builder Workshop. Review the PDF here, then be sure to practice your stories with someone else so that they feel natural. It's not bragging if it's true! 

Here is a worksheet to use to record your stories

Don't just take our word for it! Read this Harvard Business Review article about one job seeker's experience of the power of storytelling. 

 

 

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