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The Dos and Don’ts of Job Hunting

Updated: Aug 14, 2023


Job interviews are a two-way street. Not only are you interviewing the company to see if it's a good fit for you, but the company is also interviewing you to see if you're a good fit for them. It's kind of like a first date; you're both trying to put your best foot forward and make sure the other person doesn't run away screaming before the night is over!


During the interview process, it's important to be on the lookout for red flags that may indicate that the company is not a good place to work.


Granted one could argue that these are common sense. However, as a member of Generation X, I believe that your life experiences will give you heightened awareness and the ability to identify red flags ahead of time. This is similar to a football team learning from past losses and incorporating that knowledge to create better plays and strategies for the future. Your life experiences will give you the wisdom to identify potential problems and prevent them from becoming larger issues.


Application Stage


Dos

  • Make sure your resume is current. If you are qualified for different roles, you should tailor your resume and cover letter to each role.

  • Apply to as many companies as possible. Even if you don't think you qualify 100%.

Don'ts

  • Don't lose sleep over keywords. None of the positions I received an offer were based on the keywords used. All of them were actually read by hiring managers.

  • LinkedIn Premium plan's "Jobs You'd be a Top Candidate" is crap. Save your money.

  • Most jobs advertised on Google Jobs are dated or expired. Be sure to double check the company's career site or their LinkedIn page.


Interviewing Stage


Dos

  • Accept the initial phone screening right away and get on their calendar. Use this to practice for the phone interview. Thus accept the ones that aren’t on your top 10 list.

  • Checking the initial screening recruiter’s background is a must. Here is why. Most of them are young, newly college grads to say the least. Their job is to screen people with backgrounds they know nothing about. They will take notes of everything you said. Thus, make sure you speak slowly and check if any clarifications are needed periodically. You need to help the young recruiter to do their job right.

  • Be sure to ask about the entire interviewing process, the number of rounds, etc. It is now 2023, and if they still ask for references, let them go. Some companies are so old school and they refuse to grow. By the same token, they wouldn’t know how to help their employees grow either. Next!

  • Before accepting round 2, and that’s normally with the hiring manager, put on your Sherlock Holmes cape and do your homework:


ZoomInfo

  • Check their Zoominfo page (just google [company name] Zoominfo). It’s important to see where the company stands compared to its competitors.

  • Numbers of funding received.

  • See if the company is in equity financing or debt financing.


Glassdoor

  • Start by filtering the most recent reviews. Look for recent layoffs.

  • Also look for patterns such as all awful reviews to all glowing reviews. Companies have asked and some bribed employees to submit fake reviews.


LinkedIn

  • Search for people with similar job titles as you, then document their employment length

  • Search for people with the similar job titles who USED to work there and document their employment length and the current job title to determine if it’s a promotional hop. It is a huge red flag if most of the employment length is under 6-8 months.

  • Check C-Suite peeps, especially from your department, qualifications. You’ll be surprised to see how many of them are hoppers. Always avoid working for the ones who did not climb up the ladder because these people tend to be talkers, not doers. Most of them religiously follow the mantra of “over promise and have my team killed to deliver the impossible.”

  • Be sure to check out the Jobs tab and see if they’re doing a massive hiring. That’s NEVER a good sign.

  • And of course, check out all the interviewees you’re going to meet. Knowing their background can help you to ask some great questions during the interview.


Don’ts

  • Depends on your desperation, but unless you’re a programmer, QA, or similar role, skip the ones that ask you to take an assessment. Especially if your role is on the creative side, these assessments aren't applicable. Such a gesture tells you the company isn't open-minded or willing to grow. Even if their company page says otherwise.

  • Again, depending on your desperation, you should also avoid the ones asking for a take home assignment bullshit.


Negotiation Stage


Dos

  • In most scenarios salary is discussed at the beginning of the interview. But if you believe the pay is too low, do some research before you ask for a higher salary.

Don’ts

  • Every now and then you might run into potential employers lowballing you. Strongly advise you to counter or ask for more PTO instead. But do it skillfully without getting all emotional.

  • If the employer isn’t willing to negotiate, best to walk away. This shows how they treat their employees or a potential hidden financial issue.

 

While it is important to be on the lookout for red flags, it is also important to keep in mind that not every red flag is a deal-breaker. Some red flags can be remedied or may not be as big of a deal as you initially thought.


For example, a company that is not very organized may just need a little help getting their act together. If you're qualified and the company is otherwise a good fit, you may be able to help them out and turn the company into a great place to work.


Please feel free to post your questions below and one of us will get back to you. Also feel free to post any tips you’ve encountered to help others.



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