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Foolish Tips to Get the Job You Want: Step 1 -- Before You Apply

By Motley Fool Staff - Feb 5, 2018 at 6:55PM

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There’s a fair amount of pre-gaming to do in the hunt for your next position.

In this episode of Motley Fool Answers, hosts Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp are focused on helping us all get healthier, wealthier, and happier. And one of the largest parts of that equation starts with where you work. A position with right company -- or the wrong one -- will deeply affect your mental and physical well-being, and, of course, your salary. So they've recruited Annie Healy and Cheryl Palting, who are in charge of recruiting and hiring at The Motley Fool, to provide some tips to boost the odds that your next job hunt will be successful.

In this segment, they begin with a review of their best advice for what to do prior to applying for a new job -- and in some cases, for before you even formally launch that job search.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Jan. 23, 2018.

Alison Southwick: Let's start off with before you apply for a job, what's one of the things you should do?

Annie Healy: I think when you're starting to look at jobs out there, you should really take the time to think about what you are looking for and know yourself a little bit better. We have career changers, a lot of times, who apply to us. They're coming because they've taken the time to sit down and figure out, as they're making this change, what will actually bring them the most happiness. I think there's a little bit of knowing yourself.

Also, even if you are applying to a similar job that you've done in the past, knowing certain strengths and weaknesses about yourself. Taking some personality tests. Here at The Fool we use a few different ones, like Myers-Briggs, VOPS, Kolbe, and Shrink Finders.

Cheryl Palting: Secondly, telling people that you're looking for a new job. Before you're applying anywhere, just let people know. Use your network. I know networking can be this "weird thing" that people have trouble doing, but it doesn't necessarily have to be scary. It can just be you telling your parents, "I'm looking for another job." They may know someone who is actively hiring, or know of a company that is looking for someone with exactly your skill set, or at least a skill set that you're hoping to build. So, telling people, using your connections, and just letting people around you know that you're looking for a new job can be really helpful.

Southwick: That's how I had to get a foot in the door at The Motley Fool. I ran into Dayana at NPR -- we were both doing an interview. I was like, "Hey, are you guys hiring?" She was like, "Hmm, no, but I'll ask. Yeah. Maybe. I don't know." She went and she made it happen for me. I had to work my network to get into the Fool to begin with.

Healy: That's how I got here, too, actually. I was sharing that I was ready for my next move and my brother-in-law had come here on the Speaker Series. He had been working at Dogfish Head. He came and saw the Fool. Got to talk to the HR team. He came home and was like, "You've got to work there." And I remember I stalked the culture blog for a while, and there was a recruiting coordinator position that opened up...

Southwick: Finally!

Healy: Finally. And then my brother-in-law reached out. I think Matt Trogdon, at the time, was doing the Speaker Series and passed my resume along.

Palting: And now you're featured all over the culture blog.

Healy: I know.

Southwick: Now you're famous and you're head of recruiting, so that's awesome.

Healy: Another thing just to add along those networking lines. The big tool that's out there for a lot of people is LinkedIn. I think it's really great to have that updated, too, even as you're just starting your search, because sometimes people might reach out to you. Companies might reach out. A lot of times you get the emails that say they're looking for people like you, and that's because something in your resume that you posted on LinkedIn has matched something in the job description. Having that updated -- even if you're not actively looking -- you can be a passive candidate and companies and jobs will reach out to you.

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