Job Hunting AdvicePosted Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at 1:59 AM
Whether you're looking for a new job in your field or entering a new field altogether, finding a good job requires a bit more effort, knowledge and wisdom than it ever did before. The combination of job availability, economy and competition can make the task of finding a job a challenge. Give yourself a leg up on the competition by incorporating these tips into your job search techniques. The responses you receive to your job search efforts will occur in proportion to how well you present yourself as a complete package to potential employers. When it comes down to it, you must sell yourself to a potential employer by using your job search techniques to show him or her exactly why you are the best candidate for the position.
Where to Search
Be as inclusive as possible when searching for job openings by utilizing all the possibilities around you, including internet searches, newspapers and face-to-face methods. Look for and apply for jobs in your area by going into businesses that interest you or are in your field. There doesn't need to be a "Help Wanted" sign in the window for you to ask if they have any job openings. Occasionally, job openings are created for the right people. Go in, ask to speak to the hiring manager and offer your resume. This can open the door to a job application or even interview. The worst that can happen is they say "No, thank you" and you move on to the next place.
When applying for jobs online, through the mail or by leaving your resume for the hiring manager, your resume serves as your first impression and can get you entered into the running for a job opening or cause you to be eliminated from the race. Professional or expert help sites, such as Jobacle or Resumehelpblog, can help you create a polished and professional-looking resume that helps you stand out from the competition and get you to the next phase of your job search-- the interview.
Once you've secured an interview you must present yourself with confidence and professionalism. Shake hands with your interviewer and make eye contact. Speak about your experience or lack thereof in a positive manner. Don't ask questions about pay or benefits, but do express an interest in the company and what they are looking for in an employee. When asked to talk about a negative experience in the workplace, answer in regards to how it was a learning experience for you. Employers are looking for people who are positive, not those who might be prone to whine and complain.
After you've snagged an interview it's important to pay attention to your interview attire. Even if the job you're applying for requires you to wear only jeans or khakis, it's vital that you come to your interview in dressier attire. Men should wear dress pants, a dress shirt and tie, at the very least. Women should wear dress pants, a dress shirt and nice jacket or sweater. You get one chance to make a first impression. Make yours a good one.
Most people think that once they're done interviewing they needn't do anything but sit back and wait. But what you do after the interview is yet another chance to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Take a few minutes to email or fax a thank you note to the person you interviewed with. Thank them for the interview and state that you're very interested in the position. Keep it short and to the point and send it the same day. This small gesture can be the effort that puts you ahead of the competition.
Searching for a job is a process that involves far more than filling in an application. It begins with where and how you find job advertisements and continues through to the last "thank you" or "I'm very interested in the position". Be consistent and follow through with all of these steps with each job application. Once you get in the habit of incorporating these tips, they will flow more smoothly and you'll find you've gained more confidence in yourself and in your ability to find the right job.
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I am a master's level career counselor. I am internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International and has been recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
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