Monday, September 28, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Conquer Your Job Search

So you’re apprehensive about your job search? With the present economic climate, more and more of us find ourselves ready to embark on the road to a new job but, unfortunately, that path can look trying. Whether you’re a recent college grad or a seasoned business professional, searching for a new job is by no means a piece of cake.

More than 4,600 Beyond.com Network members participated in a recent survey that asked. “What do you think is the hardest part about searching for a job?” As a result, more than 35 percent of participants reveal that merely getting started is the hardest part.

So, is it because most people just don’t know where to begin? Or is it the overall job search that causes many people to drag their feet? Regardless of the reasons why getting started poses the biggest challenge, here are ten easy steps to kick start your job search into high gear:

1. Get Organized – Making a structured plan is crucial to having a successful job hunt. Set aside time in your schedule specifically dedicated to your search so you can give it your full attention. In addition, creating a file system is a great way to stay organized. After you submit a resume, create a folder exclusively for that company. That way, when they call, you will be prepared with the information you need to answer any initial questions they have for you. This tells the employer that you are an enthusiastic and prepared candidate and will definitely land you an interview.

2. Find Your Passion – It’s much easier to commit to your job search when you’re pursuing your dream job. If you are like many of us—unsure about what you want to do in your career, consider employing the help of a of a professional career coach. On a budget? Consider a free online career assessment test to help point you in the right direction.

3. Do Some Digging – Now that you’ve decided what you want to do, its time to do some research. Being an informed job seeker is critical in a competitive market. Researching and collecting as much information about your area of interest, open positions, and potential employers is crucial to your job search. Access industry trends, trade publications, and company research tools to keep you at the top of your game.

4. Ramp Up Your Resume – At this point in your job search, you should be excited that you’re working towards landing a job you’ll love and are on the path to becoming a very knowledgeable candidate. It’s now time to take on the challenge of creating a powerful resume. Roughly 22 percent of job seekers say that updating/crafting their resume is the most difficult part in seeking a new job. According to CareerPerfect.com, landing a job is 70 percent presentation and 30 percent actual skills and abilities. But there is no need to panic; there are several ways to create the perfect resume. One of the easiest is to employ the help of a professional. An expert knows exactly what employers are looking for and will construct a resume that best presents you as a must have employee. On a budget? Access great tips from these helpful articles about crafting the perfect resume.

5. Utilize Your Friends & Family – Finding a great job can sometimes come down to knowing the right person and/or being in the right place at the right time. Spread the word to your friends, family, business associates, neighbors…etc to let them know that you are in the market for a new job. You’ll be surprised to find out how many people in your network are ready and willing to assist you in your job search. They can help you to find resources, build contacts and keep you on track.

6. Find Your Niche – It’s time to get specific! Searching jobs online by niche is the most useful way to truly target your job hunt. Niche sites permit both job seekers and employers to narrow down the search by channeling focus to specific locations and industries. This method not only speeds up the job search process, but also matches you to the positions that are your best fit.

7. Market Yourself – Taking the extra step in your job search to stand out from other candidates will only improve your marketability. Investing in a personal background check and creating video resume will set you apart from other job seekers. In addition, create your personal online career portfolio to make a great first impression on potential employers by showcasing your skills and abilities in a fresh and unique format. Taking the initiative to go above and beyond truly allows employers to recognize the passion, drive and commitment you possess and their organization needs. Looking for additional ways to stand out? Consider a featured resume listing or distributing your resume to thousands of potential employers.

8. Update Your Social Networking Page – Since social networking sites are now seen as a professional networking tool, it is important to remember that when participating in these sites, you are creating an online image that will make a good impression on someone who may be looking to hire you.

9. Master the Interview – More than 20 percent of business professionals say that the interview is the most challenging aspect of the job search. Shake those interview nerves by getting organized and practicing answers to common interview questions before the interview. On the day of the interview make sure to make a positive impact, ask the right questions and follow up with the interviewer to thank them for their time.

10. Stay Positive – Preserve your optimism! If you’re down during your job search interviewers can hear it and see it. So maintaining a positive outlook is extremely important. If disappointment arises, do little things to keep your spirits up like exercising, eating right, getting out of the house, and sticking to a schedule to keep you on track and feeling accomplished.

Although beginning the job search may seem strenuous and frustrating, there are many ways to simplify the process. By following these ten easy steps, you will be well on your way to landing your dream job. For more information on succeeding in your job search, visit our career resources.

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