by Kayla McDonald
March Madness is a symbol of basketball history for sports fans in the U.S. There’s over 64 college basketball teams each who compete in both the NCAA Men’s & Women’s Division I Basketball Tournaments. Each sharing a common goal of making it into the NCAA Final Four and winning the national championship. As the season ends, the tournament is narrowed down to two basketball teams who compete for the national championship. March Madness begins soon and since basketbalI is my favorite sport I wanted to discuss how it relates to your job search.
Just like March Madness, searching for a job comes down to the final seconds of the game. Once you’re invited to the tournament, the focus is no longer on your past experiences. Let’s face it, only a handful of teams get invited to the NCAA Division I Men's & Women’s Basketball Tournament and even less job seekers get invited for an interview. Similar to the athletes who made the cut, the next step in the hiring process is to receive a job interview. While your application may have passed computer algorithms and job assessments, you still need to convince the managers to hire you! The NCAA Selection Committee is very selective about which teams are chosen similarly the same is true for employers. Most job applicants don’t pass the resume screening algorithm because of simple errors in formatting or grammar. Be sure to proofread your resume and check for spelling errors, inconsistent fonts or text sizes before submitting.
Now that you’ve been invited to participate, it’s time to demonstrate your expertise. These athletes will continue to compete and show off their basketball skills during March Madness, just as job seekers must do for interviews. Regardless if some teams have all star players or won more games than others, it all comes down to performance on the court. Most people have impressive career profiles but they fold during the job interview. Hundreds of candidates, all get asked the same set of questions.
How will you standout from the crowd? Simple...with preparation. When the interview questions get tough, it pays off.... if you are prepared. Research the company in advance to understand the job requirements and potential interview questions. Ask the recruiter what type of questions may be asked and search the internet for best answers to behavioral or stress interview questions. Don’t be afraid to practice with others, it could help improve your interviewing skills. However it will be your individual performance that produces the end result.
When the Final Four games are played, there’s only one team from the NCAA Men’s & Women’s Tournament that can win each year. In a way, you could say it’s just like a typical job search, where only one candidate is hired. However that’s where the comparison breaks down. Because you’re not limited to competing in one BIG “tournament,” one time a year... companies are hiring year round!
So when one opportunity closes its doors, many others will be open. And some employers want to hire more than one candidate. In other words, all you need is one more shot to win the game. I believe anyone is talented enough to develop skills, earn money and start a meaningful career! The perfect job opportunity is out there waiting for those who keep searching. Your challenge is to find the best side gig or work from home job. And we’re here to help along the way!