Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
JOB SEARCH / FEB. 20, 2014
version 6, draft 6

Put an End to the Endless Job Hunt

You may have been told that you should wait until right after lunch to be interviewed for a job, to ask someone for a favor or otherwise to grab someone's attention. By contrast, you have likely been warned that doing any of these things right before lunch was a very bad strategy. Why? Because, when people are hungry, they are deemed to be impatient and cranky; after they are fed, they are likely to be content and generous.

Get your job hunting strategy in gear…

Job searching is an exhausting experience, even more so than a full-time job, and when responses from employers delay in the natural tendency it discourages and slows down or even aborts the job search process altogether. It is vital to always maintain a proactive approach when job searching by establishing concrete goals and setting aside adequate time for job searching and applying.

Key factors for consideration

One area that may lack in individual job search is follow up

Most people just email the resume or submit the application while anticipating the reply, but to be successful you must be proactive. There should be at least some attempts to follow up including phone and email contacts. It should be much more than just checking to see if the resume was received. The voice mail message could be an abbreviated elevator speech, and the follow up letter could summarize all of the ways in which you are qualified. Every job sought requires research and its own follow up strategy.

Seasonal work

For those with an adventurous spirit or simply wanting to take a different approach to their job hunt, try seasonal work. One major benefit of a seasonal job is to be able to fully commit and try out a new field, location, or job without the full-blown expectations of accepting a year-round job with similar scope. You can do a job for three to six months and see if you like it. This type of work may also be a good fit for the recently laid off to fill in the gaps while looking for full time work. Seasonal jobs can play a major role in your work / career discovery process. Knowing that you are out of work and re-assessing your skill sets, this type of work might be just the ticket to send you on a new and exciting path.

Identify and research on companies or organizations

Never think about starting a job search campaign without first identifying and researching companies or organizations that will be a mutual good fit, so that you can build your brand and all your career skills around what resonates with them. If you do not know who your target audience is and you try to cover too many bases, your resume and other career documents will not hit home with anyone.

Before an interview, research the employer/company using all means available

  • Spend at least two hours preparing for a job interview by reading about the company goal, vision, and mission.
  • Search the corporate web site and search for articles in Google news to learn more about what's going on at the work place.
  • If you know the names of the people you are about to meet with, research at anything they have written professionally or any public information on their social networking profiles.
  • Lastly, be prepared to tell your employer why you are interested to work.

Stay up to date on employers’ demands 

Employers spend a great deal of effort trying to find the right candidate, but in this economy, it can be easy for you to forget that there are in fact many employers looking for you. It is imperative to stay up to date on where employers go to find candidates and develop a presence there. An open resume search engine is a great example of where employers search for employees. Because when such a resume is open, your resume can be accessed by many employers.

Create a list of all kinds of employers and opportunities that match your skills and interests

Have specific organizations and job titles in mind, where possible. If you know the type of place where you would like to work, but do not yet know the names of any specific organizations, use the list you have drafted to begin finding them and ask others if they know of an employer that fits such a description. When your contacts have a clear picture of the jobs and companies you are seeking, they are more likely to realize and share appropriate opportunities with you.

The key to successful job search is networking

With more than half of all hiring done through referrals, it's critical for job seekers to leverage their professional and social networks to get an inside track on a job. Taking advantage of social sites like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with employers, and to show off your unique skills and experience. Such online tools offer great resources for connecting with employers, or those who can put you in touch with them. Once connected on a social site, you can discover jobs based on your friend’s companies, interests, current or previous work titles and location - making it easier than ever to personalize your job search experience and network with friends and colleagues.

After an interview for a job that you think that you are uniquely qualified for, if you fail to get a response, you need to consider a range of things. Reflect on how you applied for the job, while paying attention to the following:

  • Do you talk about relevant outcomes?
  • Is your appearance age appropriate?
  • How is your energy level?
  • Do you 'explain' or relate your experience?

Employers look for your stories especially if your most recent accomplishments are comparable to their demands. Examine the job description – read and re-read every line, write down a relevant example with an outcome. This will put you ahead of other candidates and in line for a call back.

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