As you search for a new job, you’ll be scanning through posts and submitting your resume in pursuit of opportunities that appear on your screen or within the web of your social network. Some will align perfectly with your skill sets, and these are the jobs that will probably attract most of your attention and interest. After all, its human nature to seek out the jobs where we’ll be needed, compensated, and praised for our talents. But as you look for an employer who can use your skill sets, don’t neglect another crucial aspect of your future happiness: company culture.

If you excel at that tasks that are assigned to you, that’s a plus… but in order to truly thrive in your workplace, you’ll need to get along with your bosses and coworkers. And that means you’ll have to like them, not just convince them to like you. Here’s how to increase your odds of success by choosing a cultural match in the first place.

Perform an Honest Assessment

Do some soul searching and try to describe the kind of culture in which you complete your best work and bring out the best side of your personality. Do you enjoy a fast pace, or a laid back atmosphere? Do you prefer to compete with your teammates or work together to achieve success? Do you mind extensive travel or long hours? Would you rather have security and predictability, or a new and unexpected adventure every day? Answer these questions before you continue your search.

Look for Keywords and Tone

As you read through a job post or skim a company website, look for evidence of a match in keywords and general tone. Does this company consider itself a “fun” place to work? Is this organization known for being innovative or traditional? Will you be able to be yourself in this place, or will you be expected to tow a company line that doesn’t mesh well with your personality at all?

Ask Plenty of Questions

The real clues to a company’s culture will probably surface during your in-person interview, but only if you ask the right questions. Be direct and grill your interviewer as much as she grills you. If you know what you want, you’ll be better able to articulate meaningful questions that can help you find it. For example, feel free to ask your interviewer if he considers this place competitive or collaborative. Any answer he provides can help you draw your own conclusion.

For more on how to target your job search and improve your odds of long term success, reach out to the career management team at Expert.

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