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A job search doesn't have to be a stressful event in your life. By preparing properly and ahead of time, you can be ready to ace an interview and be one step closer to landing your dream job! Below are five ways to help prepare you in the future. 

Keep Track of Accomplishments 

Be proactive and keeping track of your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, ahead of time. Many interviewers will ask about your greatest accomplishments and you want to have a well-prepared answer, rather than desperately searching for something to say. A helpful tip is to be intentional about writing down the goals that you have achieved as soon as they happen.

Apply S-T-A-R in Your Current Job

Almost in any interview you will be asked a behavioral question. They are a common approach to assessing a candidate's ability to critically think and respond appropriately to a related situation. STAR is a technique used for crafting a detailed story about past behavior and accomplishments (Situation, Task, Action, and Results).

Keep a sticky note near your work station with “STAR” as a reminder to apply a situation that so that you can easily retrieve it when you need to. 

Create a Comprehensive Resume 

Don't wait until you land the interview to work on your resume. It is easier to add information about your current job now, and edit it later. Make sure everything is current and all of your best attributes are highlighted. Once you have an up to date resume, you won't be scrambling around trying to get one together.

Get Feedback from colleagues and supervisor 

If you have ever struggled with identifying your key strengths and areas for improvement, enlist the help of those who can attest to your work performance on a daily basis – your colleagues and your supervisor. No need to let them know that you are passively preparing for a job search and instead use opportunities such as one-on-one meetings with a supervisor or casual trip to get coffee with a coworker to get a sense of your professional traits. 

You'll be glad you took the initiative to seek feedback from others. They can help you see yourself from the perspective of others, which can go a long way in preparing for an interview.

Make Time To Touch Base With Your Network – If you make the people in your network a priority, they will make you one as well. Nothing is more awkward than reaching out to someone you haven't spoken to in several years to ask about a job. Stay genuinely connected with your contacts and be consistent. It could be as easy as sending articles that you find interesting or inviting them to a professional event. The point is, let your network know you are thinking about them and be proactive in developing strong professional relationships.

Always be ready to market your skills and accomplishments, as you never know when a new opportunity will come up. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, being proactive now could mean saving you hours in preparing for the job search in the future. Work these good habits in now and you'll be a step closer to landing a position, and your interview skills will have you rising above the competition!

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