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Job Hunting Advice

August 20 2010 - There is an improving trend in recruitment for the third quarter of 2010, according to a survey by Canadian specialized staffing service The Creative Group. Nevertheless, with the risk of another dip in the economy, today's competitive market requires considerably more effort than in recent years.

The survey, based on over 500 telephone interviews with advertising and marketing executives, found that 18 per cent of respondents intended to increase staffing levels (up 5 per cent from the previous quarter) while 12 per cent anticipate a decline. The survey also found that an average of six applicants are interviewed before a vacancy is filled.

The report offers advice to improve the chances of job seekers meeting with potential employers:

  1. Do your prep work - Applicants with more than basic knowledge of the job and company are better able to comment on their potential contribution. The researchers suggest visiting the organization's website, Facebook page or Twitter feed; searching online and using your personal network for additional information.
  2. Put your best foot forward from the start - Be polite to reception staff, smile and behave warmly with everyone you meet. Resist the temptation to contact friends while waiting; you'll make a better impression by remaining focused.
  3. Be aware of body language - Factors such as eye contact, facial expression and posture will affect the impression you make on hiring managers. When practising for an interview, ask friends or family for feedback on any off-putting mannerisms.
  4. Have a good story to tell - Prepare appropriate examples of how you have helped solve business problems. Outline the challenge faced, your actions and the outcome achieved.
  5. Come with interesting questions - "This isn't the time to inquire about salary or paid vacation." Asking about aspects of the job you might not have anticipated or the process for collaborating on projects confirms your interest while providing information to help determine if the job and company is right for you.
  6. Be yourself - A hiring manager wants to experience a genuine person who is right for the position. Avoid rehearsed or contrived responses.
  7. Remain positive - If you are unsuccessful use it as a learning experience. If you have developed good rapport with the interviewer, request feedback on how you might improve. Accepting rejection graciously will leave a positive impression.

Lara Dodo, a vice president for The Creative Group's Canadian operations commented:

"Given the high calibre of talent currently available, employers are being prudent in their hiring and are weighing their options before extending an offer. By taking the time to thoughtfully prepare for the interview, including researching the company and substantiating previous accomplishments, job seekers can impress hiring managers and land the job."

The Creative Group is

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