With unemployment at a stubborn 9.4% in Illinois, the quest for a new job is still a challenge for most. The U.S.unemployment rate is at 8.3%; considerably lower, but still not an acceptable number for most Americans. This economy is poised for a slow recovery, with the number of jobs lagging behind corporate profits.
Many of you have been out looking for a new job for many months with few interviews and no job offers. It is a frustrating process, at best, and one that challenges your self-esteem and finances. So what can you do to get a job? What are you doing wrong? Where do you start?
What many people don’t realize is that looking for a job is like landing a large account. It takes many steps to perform before you actually are in a position to close a deal; getting that job.
Here are some tips to accelerate your efforts:
1.) Organize yourself. Buy a notebook that you will be using for your job search. Everyday write your calls and information in this book, so you can keep track of what actually you are doing. You’ll have all the information you need in one place. It’s like keeping a diary. This will help you stay organized. I use this on all of my projects. Believe me, it works.
2.) Create a spreadsheet of all the companies you are targeting and interviewing with, Including contact information, follow up dates and notes. You may even consider getting a whiteboard and hanging it on the wall in your work area.
3.) Create work area in your home that you use for strictly job search. It’s best if you are working in a quiet space rather than drinking mocha at your local Starbuck’s. You need to really think about what you are doing when you look for a job to help you set up strategy.
4.) Use LinkedIn as your on-line tool for networking with people in your industry. Join a number of pertinent groups. Get involved in the dialog and make comments. Set up a discussion. You will make many contacts in a very short time.
5.) Avoid using Facebook to find a job. It really should be used as a social site for others to get to know you. Facebook is not a good use of your time when looking for a job.
6.) Check out www.jobsminer.comThis new site gathers open jobs from all social media sites that are discussed in an open forum. It is an efficient method to find out about a job even before it is posted.
7.) Set up networking meetings at 3pm after you have done your research, phone calls, follow up e-mails, ECT. Pick a place that you can talk without interference from large crowds and chaos.
8.) Make sure to get exercise during the day. Take a 20-minute walk to refresh and regroup.
9.) Create a résumé package that includes a well-written résumé, cover letter and clips, and articles written by you or about you. You may even try video taping yourself, explaining what skills you bring to a company and a brief summary of your experience. Create your own personalized website with your own information using Wordpress.
The job candidates I have met with lately are quite savvy in their approach to looking for a job. In this highly competitive world job market, it is essential to be organized, focused, and creative in your job search. Don’t let others distract you with their own branding. Spend time on developing yours.