Put All The Pieces in Place
Job hunting is easier if you make a plan. Here is a check list to get your job search off to a good start. Remember: If you don’t get a job it doesn’t mean you have been rejected as a candidate. There are often many qualified people applying for the same job.
Resume: Make sure your resume looks good and is easy to read. Tell your story quickly. Ask yourself: when it arrives on the desk of a busy person will he or she take a moment to read it?
Networking: Some jobs are advertised in the classified ads, but many are filled by word-of-mouth. So tell everyone you know, such as friends, family and the corner grocer, that you are looking for a job.
Phone Calls: After you have made a list of people you want to talk with, practice what you are going to say. Try it out on a friend. Learn to tell your story briefly and in an interesting way.
Cover Letter: Develop a letter to mail out with your resume. Tell employers what type of job you are looking for and something about your training and skills.
Put in Time: Take job hunting seriously. Treat it like a job. Plan to spend several hours each day making calls, writing letters, and researching jobs.
Before an Interview, Get Information: Find out something about the company or organization that has the job opening. If you know someone who works there, call them directly. If not you can go to the library for information or go to the company and ask for a brochure.
Practice Interviewing: Think of four or five reasons why you should be hired, based on your skills, education and personal qualities. Get a list of questions frequently asked at job interviews; practice answering them with a counselor or a friend.
Expand Your Horizons: Sometimes it’s possible to get a job near home, but there may be more money and more opportunity if you are willing to travel. Make sure to look into opportunities outside your neighborhood.
Dress for the Part: Always look businesslike for a job interview. For women: Wear a suit, a tailored dress or blouse and skirt in subdued colors, with not too much jewelry or make-up. For men: You should wear a suit or jacket and a tie. When in doubt, be conservative.
Be Positive: Job hunting is an uncertain business, but it’s important to be as upbeat as possible. Ask friends and family for support. Keep in touch with a friend who is also job hunting, to exchange ideas and help keep up your spirits.
Remember: If you don’t get a job it doesn’t mean you have been rejected as a candidate. There are often many qualified people applying for the same job.
Tips for Your Job Search in This Tight Job Market
- Keep in mind that you are dealing with a very tight job market. Therefore, be prepared for the possibility that the job-search process could take longer than usual.
- Have a job-search plan and keep good records of your contacts and resources.
- Your resume is your marketing tool. Revise your resume and make sure that you target your resume to the position you are applying for. Avoid using a resume that is too general.
- Don’t mail your resume without a cover letter. Your cover letter should be well written and should briefly and effectively highlight the strengths that are critical for the position you are applying for.
- Don’t limit yourself to one single job-search approach. Use different methods such as: direct employer contact, resources such as directories, newspapers, online postings, etc. Also remember, networking is an effective job-search technique. Use your support systems, such as: family contacts, friends, past and present internships and employment contacts, etc.
- Thoroughly research the organization before you go for the interview.
- In the interview, always stress your skills, accomplishments and strengths as they relate to the job you are interviewing for.
- Be flexible and have reasonable expectations of both position and salary. If you see a future job potential, sometimes it may be helpful to consider a temporary or part-time position.
- Learn how to deal with rejection in your search. If you get rejected for a job, use the experience to prepare yourself better next time. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself or blaming others. You should always ask yourself: what did I do wrong and how can I improve on that next time?