When job searching, there seems to be an undeniable truth to the phrase "practice makes perfect". Whether that means polishing up a resume, perfecting the art of cover letter writing or surviving the interview, every first impression counts.
"The reality is that there is immense competition for job seekers," said Paresh Mistry, whose job it is to help link applicants to the right opportunity for them. The firm, David Aplin Group, is one of Canada's largest and accomplished recruiting firms.
"Those entering the market need to have the mindset of a marathon, not a race," said Mistry. "Be prepared to go on many interviews, and try to look at each as an opportunity to learn."
Even though it may seem the market is continuing to make monthly gains, the reality is there is still immense competition, Mistry added.
Last month, Canada's economy created 34, 000 new jobs, but that mostly came from part-time positions, according to an August job report released by Statistics Canada.
But speaking figuratively, when you are on the job hunt, one of the biggest suggestion Mistry makes is to keep practicing one's interviewing and interpersonal skills.
"Although it does vary from each individual, the most common obstacles tend to be getting an interview and doing well on it," said Mistry. "Not getting an interview could be due to many factors, including lack of specialized skills and credentials, a poorly written resume, as well as increased competition in the job market. With respects to doing well on an interview, it ultimately does boil down to practice."
From his experience, Mistry noted he has seen even experienced communicators having known to perform poorly during a job interview. His advice is to keep at it as much as possible.
The same is true of applying for jobs online and having to transition into the interview once a job seeker has been contacted.
"Job seekers must polish their interviewing skills once their resume gets noticed, " he said. "Their ability to interact and communicate with the interviewer becomes paramount."
For some, improving their skills could be as simple as rehearsing in front of family or friends, or downloading commonly asked interviews to use as a template, Mistry suggests. But, as with each applicant, everyone is different. The point is not to remain discouraged and remember the more you try, the sooner the search should end.