9 Keys to Job Search & Career Success

In recent months, the job market has become increasingly competitive. But even as the economy slows, and there are increasing numbers of job seekers in the job market, there are many professionals who have been incredibly successful in conducting fast, effective job searches. These former job seekers have achieved new jobs that are personally, professionally, and financially rewarding. What do they have in common? How are they doing it? Here are nine tips to speed your own job search and drive it to a fast, successful conclusion.

Know what you want and go after it. Starting a job search without knowing what you want will almost certainly end in frustration. Think about it: If you don’t know what you want and what your job target is, how will you know who to contact and how to conduct your search? If you are uncertain about your career goals, it is critical that you spend some time and energy now – before launching your search – on self-introspection and analysis. Knowing what YOU want, what YOU are passionate about, and what YOU bring to the table will provide you with a confidence that simply can’t and won’t be matched by many of your competitors in the job market. This is the crucial first step to any job search and is essential for long-term career success as well.

Know and sell your personal brand. When you think about your next career move, how would things be different for you if employers and recruiters actually sought you out? Personal branding (the process of clarifying and communicating what makes you and your unique value proposition different and special) allows you to make a name for yourself. It differentiates you from your peers and helps to position you as a leader in your field – as a specialist and an authority who knows how to do a job and fill a particular niche in the workplace better than anyone else. Once you are clear on your personal brand, you can use it to project a cohesive brand image and value proposition throughout all your job search activities, and do so in a way that addresses the specific concerns of your target audience. By knowing and promoting your brand, you achieve instant, precision-like focus that positions you as the ideal candidate for the specific type of opportunity that interests you. You gain immediate competitive advantage.

Be able to clearly articulate who you are and what you have to offer. While this may feel uncomfortable to you, the simple truth is that a job search is a sales and marketing campaign: a sales and marketing campaign in which YOU are the product. Through the process of personal branding (recommended above), you must identify what differentiates you and paint a compelling portrait of your unique value proposition. But, don’t stop with just promoting this in your resume and then become tongue-tied when someone asks about you and your candidacy. You will hear the “what do you do?” or “tell me about yourself?” questions over and over, both during your job search and throughout your entire career. Don’t wing it! Preparation is the key to confidence and the key to making a lasting, positive, and memorable first impression. Be ready with a 30-60 second pitch that immediately and confidently conveys to the listener who you are as a professional and what it is that you offer.

Make their first impression your best impression. Take a hard look at your resume. Like it or not, your resume is your first introduction to most employers, and your only chance to make a good first impression. Effective resumes are highly focused marketing pieces that are strategically written and designed to sell YOU as THE best solution to a potential employer’s needs and problems. Your resume should be written to convey and illustrate your unique value proposition, with succinct “stories” that differentiate you from your competitors in the job market. Does your resume accomplish these goals? Is it focused effectively? Does it accurately present you in the way that you wish to be presented? If not, it is time to rewrite.

Network, network, network…and then network some more. The statistics are very clear, and while they vary slightly from survey to survey, they are also remarkably consistent. It is safe to say that at least 80% of all the jobs are found through the “hidden” job market, also known as the “unpublished” job market. These are jobs typically landed through word of mouth and referrals as opposed to the hit-or-miss method of answering ads, posting your resume to internet databases, or other techniques meant to target the remaining 20% of all jobs in the published market. It stands to reason that if the vast majority of the jobs are to be found in this hidden market, that you should spend the majority of your job search time working to crack it. There is no more effective job search technique than networking. So, even if it feels a little uncomfortable at first, just get out there and do it. Make networking a part of your daily routine and plan to spend the majority of your job search time on networking activities (approximately three-fourths of your time is a good estimate). The more you network, the faster your current job search will come to a successful conclusion and the faster and more successful any future job searches will be.

Plan and execute a multi-pronged job search campaign. Yes, networking is essential, but other job search techniques are also important. An effective job search campaign is a multi-pronged one that includes the strategic, planned, methodical use of a variety of job search approaches. Answering ads alone is almost never enough. Neither is working with headhunters, using internet job search sources, or researching and targeting specific employers. But, when you combine all these approaches with networking, carefully evaluate and prioritize the approaches based on relative effectiveness, and then launch an integrated, multi-pronged job search campaign, you will always come out ahead. The best job search is one in which the job seeker approaches it as if it was a job itself.

Build a support team. While your preparation will certainly ease the whole process, job searching can be a grueling and very stressful experience. So, I want to remind you that you don’t have to go through it alone. You should build a support team around you of people who can help you stay motivated and on track while giving you honest feedback and helping you stay accountable to the goals you set for yourself. Family and friends, past and present managers, your peers and colleagues, financial advisors, and professionals in the careers industry such as career counselors, coaches, and resume writers all make excellent people to add to your team. By assembling a good mix of people to support you, from a diversity of backgrounds and professions, you will receive a variety of different perspectives, ideas, and insights that can be very helpful. You should consider joining a job search support club or group – a local one if one is available or an online one. If you have been provided with outplacement services by your former employer, by all means take advantage of the office space and resources offered. The point is that you don’t have to and shouldn’t conduct your search in isolation. Surround yourself with a team that will help and support you. Above all, recognize when you need support and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance and guidance.

Always follow up. Following up on all of your contacts and your activities can do more to influence your success in achieving your job target than anything else. A hand-written thank you note or a more formal, typed thank you letter after speaking with a networking contact, attending an informational interview, or after attending an actual job interview can make a lasting positive impression that gives you a distinct competitive advantage. A follow-up phone call on every resume you send, whether it is a resume sent cold, in response to an ad, or based on a referral from one of your networking contacts can make all the difference in whether your resume is actually read and considered or not. A consistent method of follow up is key and you must make the time in your schedule to do so. Follow up will positively influence decision-makers, it will help key the process moving along, it will show your interest and your professionalism, and it will position you above the competition.

Adopt a “failure is not an option” attitude and make finding a job a job itself. Celebrate your accomplishments daily and weekly, but recognize that a successful job search requires persistence and consistent effort. The more “feelers” you put out, the more contacts you make, the more resumes you put into the hands of hiring authorities, and the more face-to-face interviews you go on, the faster you will achieve your job target. It can be difficult to remain motivated when you don’t immediately see results but remind yourself that job searching is a process and that it takes time. Reward yourself not just for the results, but for the effort.

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Nationally certified resume writer, career marketing expert, and personal branding strategist, Michelle Dumas is the founder and executive director of Distinctive Career Services LLC. Through Distinctive Documents http://www.distinctiveweb.com and her Executive VIP Services delivered through http://www.100kcareermarketing.com Michelle has empowered thousands of executives, professionals, and managers all across the U.S. and worldwide with all the tools and resources necessary to conduct a fast, effective job search. Michelle is also the author of the popular e-book 101 Before-and-After Resume Examples.

To learn more about her job search products, resume writing services, and career marketing programs, and to sign up for many other free resources, visit her websites.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Author: Michelle Dumas
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Finding The Right Employment Opportunity – Putting Up With The Long Wait

pan006295Those who have ever indulged in finding the work knows that getting the right employment opportunity is a rarity. It starts a leisurely activity where in you search through the newspaper advertisements but slowly this search goes on for weeks and weeks without giving the right break. Though applying online sounds viable but it has over the period of time as become a common practice. After applying for greatest employment opportunity, there comes a long wait for the reply from full in anxiety. The people wait and wait and ponders when they would receive a call.

This wait in between can be a testing times for the individuals. Hoping around from one employment opportunity to next time is really tiring and discouraging. But one can do a lot of good if he fills in the gap with productive measures during this wait and this will surely increase the individual’s chances of getting hired. An individual may either sit idle in between the gaps or the other option is to take the help of career counselor or career centre to hone the interviewing skill and brush up the resume. This will be reflected in the next interview when one will display confidence and focus during the interview and this will be surely taken note of by the employer.

The career centre or the counselor can also help to locate the employment opportunity that cannot be found anywhere else. The companies usually advertise online or in newspaper but these career centre or career counselor establish associations with the companies that give them inside information of the openings on varied positions existing in local companies. Thus it gives individuals a chance to display new skills they have learned during the time in the interview. Even if the interview is not successful one time or the job seems misfit the same skills can be tried and put into use in the the next scheduled interview.

Though the wait for right employment opportunity is tiring but it is important for an individual to keep himself busy in other useful things and a person should always carry a positive attitude. This will help him to keep him on level. One failure in the employment opportunity doesn’t mean that it will lead to another failure. One should try to fit in the job which matches his skill. The misfit job will again force an individual to look for another employment opportunity. But mean time a person can take a temporary job and wait for the some bigger openings. This job is usually something a person will not mind quitting once the position they’ve been waiting for opens up.

Author: Abhishek Agarwal
Article Source: EzineArticles.com


Cover Letters – The Five Essentials to Writing a Knock ‘Em Dead Cover Letter

hand_penOK my friend, you now have completed that resume and it looks great. But what about a cover letter? Is this still a wise business practice or have cover letters gone the way of pet rocks? No sir, if you plan on succeeding in the business world, you must have a great cover letter that serves as a basic introduction to the resume that follows. As with the resume, there are certain guidelines that help to separate a great cover letter from the pack. So without further ado, here are some basic tips to help you craft that introductory document.

1. Cover letters shouldn’t be complicated, in fact, try to keep it short and simple using bullets if possible to structure the document. This also helps the reader keep your strong suits in mind when perusing the page.

2. Get the contact person’s name and title in the company. Avoid if at all possible a generic title such as hiring manager or human resources. Also using “Mr. Jones” instead of “Dear Sir” will give you an advantage over your competition since it is clear that you did your homework on the company.

3. Use the first paragraph to grab the employers attention by putting one of your best accomplishments or positives that you bring to the company. By putting yourself in a favorable light, it is clear that you have the confidence necessary to succeed.

4. The next paragraph should provide example of how you can help the company. Try to cite prior examples of how you turned around a poor situation at a prior stop. This will show that you are willing to work.

5. In the final paragraph, make sure that you list your preferred contact information and state that you would like to make contact as a follow up to the correspondence. This can be done through phone call or email, whichever you prefer.

By constructing a winning cover letter, you are giving your resume an advantage over the others because human resources personnel already have a good idea that you have what it takes to fill the position. Make sure to follow through each of the steps confidently and you too will have a great cover letter. Good luck!

Author: Brian G Chadra
Article Source: EzineArticles.com