What you need to know:
Learn how to customise your CV to match the style of each company you apply to.
Get to interviews early — no excuse is ever good enough for being late.
But there’s no point even turning up if you haven’t done your homework properly.
And if you’re being interviewed by more than one person, make sure you make eye contact with everyone.
The world economy is getting unpredictable again, which means job losses are inevitable.
But don’t panic. Because if you’re well prepared and the worst does happen, you’ll find a new job pretty quickly. And quite likely a better one.
But you must take action now. Start by constantly building on your skills. Especially those valued by employers everywhere: Accepting responsibility, managing your time, problem solving, working well in a team and contributing to discussions.
Work your network so you hear about problems at your workplace before they affect your job — and opportunities elsewhere before everyone else does.
Learn how to customise your CV to match the style of each company you apply to. Perfect paper, typing and layout. Keep it tight, and focus on your most important achievements, not just your history and qualifications.
Write a covering letter that addresses the selection criteria for the job.
Get to interviews early — no excuse is ever good enough for being late. But there’s no point even turning up if you haven’t done your homework properly. Because if your background, skills, experience and style aren’t right, you’re not going to get on well even if you do get the job.
Think too about your core values. Like if you’re okay with cutting a few corners, and your target company is known for its integrity, then you won’t get on well. So only apply for jobs where the fit’s pretty good.
And make sure you know everything you should before you arrive. What the organisation does. What the job involves. Who’s who, especially the boss.
Work on your interview technique. Especially the first few minutes, because first impressions are everything.
Like make sure you know each organisation’s dress code. Because they’ll only offer you a job if they can visualise you working there. So choose clothes that say you’ll fit in.
Stand tall, and give a firm, dry handshake. Make good eye contact, and smile warmly. Practice your opening words so you can introduce yourself well. Mirror the "body language" of your interviewer. Especially how you sit and use your hands.
Be alert and look confident, even if you don’t feel it! Ease your nervousness by talking to someone — the receptionist, a secretary — just before the interview. It’ll get your brain in gear.
And if you’re being interviewed by more than one person, make sure you make eye contact with everyone. Listen closely, speak clearly, and show by your gestures and facial expressions that you’re receptive to the interviewer’s line of thought.
Answer their questions as honestly as possible, never bluff, and don’t ever be tempted to slag off a previous employer.
They might have been awful, but choose something else to talk about! It’s a huge turn off.
Above all, make sure you actually enjoy the whole experience! It’s not often you get a chance to talk about yourself with someone who really wants to know.
And your pleasure will tell the interviewer you’re right for the job …