Did your previous year's job search come up empty? Did you land interviews but not a job offer? The new year is a great time to seek feedback from trusted sources to gain insights on how you can improve your search strategy and interviewing skills so you can get your next job in 2019! It can be intimidating to ask for critical feedback, yet it is a necessary skill employers value. Read the tips below to get started.
The best people to target are those you trust will provide honest and candid feedback. This is not the time to ask your mom. Ideally, you would get feedback from those who have interviewed you previously. (Note: some companies have policies against this.) Still, it is good to ask to show you are open to feedback and interested in becoming a better candidate. Your best source for feedback is likely to be mentors from both your professional and personal networks. It could also be a co-worker or former boss that can help provide some insight.
The time is now. Do not wait to ask for feedback. Respond to the rejection letter or call with a request for feedback. You do need to be ready for some tough conversations. If you are talking with your current boss, annual reviews or quarterly meetings can be a great time to ask for feedback. The key is to find a time that is immediately following an important meeting or project. The timing creates an opportunity for the person to provide critical feedback.
Make a request to set a meeting to discuss critical feedback. This will give you both time to prepare for the difficult conversation ahead. You can suggest a 30-minute call or coffee meeting so you have privacy and an allotted time expectation. When you make the request, be specific about what you would like feedback on. For example, you could request feedback on your job search strategy, interviewing skills or your qualifications for targeted jobs. You can ask questions like “What am I doing well?” and “What can I improve?” Tell them you value their advice and would appreciate feedback and guidance.
It can be tempting to be defensive and immediately respond to the feedback. Do your best to only listen and then ask if you can take some time to reflect on their feedback and follow-up at a later date. If you receive feedback that you do not agree with, this will allow you time to ask someone else you trust to weigh in on the topic. This is a very vulnerable process so take your time and talk to as many people as you can.
Now that you have read through the tips, your next step is making your list of trusted people and reaching out to ask to schedule a feedback conversation. Your AthLife Advisor is available to help determine who you can target and the questions you can ask. It can be a difficult process to get critical feedback but the insights you will gain are worth it and will set you up for success in the year ahead!