11 + 2 Bonus Tips to Speed Up Your Job Search
There are a number of things to take into account during a job search. Following these 13 tips will put you ahead of the competition and speed you on your way to landing your new job.
- Check your attitude. Being out of work can sometimes be demoralizing and depressing, but as long as you view yourself in those terms, that’s the image you’ll project. Having a strong, positive, energetic attitude is 98% of the battle. Be aware of attitude during your search – if you act uncomfortable, anxious, or panicked, the people you meet will not be too receptive to you. Desperation is the world’s worst cologne and perfume.
- Network, network, network. Nothing beats networking to help a job search. And you need to be everywhere, both online and in person. Remember – successful networking is figuring out what you can do for other people, not what they can do for you.
- Put a professional face out to the world. If your email address is OnTheBeach@hotmail.com, or LoveToGolf@yahoo.com you have probably already lost the job. If your voicemail features a drunken impression of a celebrity, or your dog barking hello, you’ve probably been deleted. Change your email to JohnSmith@gmail.com. Change your voicemail message to: “You’ve reached John Smith. Please leave a message and the best time to call you and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.” Is adding another email address a pain in the rear? Yep. Do you want a job, or do you want the freedom to express yourself totally uncensored? And, really…how long does it take to check a gmail account — two minutes, three times a day? You’re so busy being unemployed, you don’t have six extra minutes?
- Create a professional looking resume. Don’t rely on a generic resume template. Research the positions you’re applying for and build your resume around the job requirements, using the same keywords that are used in the job descriptions. If you’re not getting any nibbles on your current resume, spend the money and have a professional resume writer look it over. Save your MS Word document using your name; “John Smith Resume 2012″…..not Resume – final draft?
- Use social networking. At a minimum, you need to have a 100% profile on Linked-in and create a resume on Visual CV. You might consider adding Facebook and Twitter – but these are not necessary for job search campaigns. Don’t just throw up a profile on these sites and then sit back and wait. You need to engage people, see what you can do to help them, and get known for your expertise. Also, consider starting your own career and industry related blog to express your thoughts to demonstrate your function and discipline knowledge.
- Utilize executive search firms. Once your resume is developed properly, research search firms using The Directory of Executive Recruiters. It’s available in local library to reference for free or you can purchase at a local bookstore or access online for a fee. Make sure your profile on LinkedIn is updated because it’s the #1 tool for executive recruiters to locate qualified candidates for their client company search projects. Remember this: Recruiters don’t find good jobs for people – They find good people for good companies.
- Join professional associations. Check in your local area for professional associations in your field, then get out there and start participating. If there isn’t a local group, join Toastmasters or start your own networking sub-group. Attend local chamber of commerce events. Many service providers go to these events in search of customers and they also have deep Rolodexes and are usually well connected.
- Volunteer your time. Find a cause you believe in and volunteer your time and expertise. First, it’ll get you out of the house. Second, you’ll feel good about what you’re doing. Third, it’s something new to add to your resume. Finally, it’s a good way to meet people and add to your contact list.
- Use all available resources. Check with your local employment office, or community college to see what they have available for job seekers. Contact your college alumni office. Join several groups on Linked-in. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job – you never know who knows someone who’s hiring.
- Subscribe to recruiter job posting sites. www.ExecuNet.com and www.RiteSite.com are fee based but well worth money and added visibility to executive search firms with confidential and hidden jobs. Create search agents on these sites to alert you of newly posted jobs that meet your search criteria. Job-site notes: ExecuNet runs a free trial for first time members and also sponsors local networking events in most big cities near you. RiteSite offers 6 extra months membership at no charge when you enter this referral code = 1396.
- Save time using aggregator job posting sites. Simply Hired and Indeed are FREE one-stop-sites that scour most of the free internet job posting websites like Monster and Career Builder for your job titles and preferred geographic locations.
- Say thank you. Everyone likes to be appreciated, so be sure to hand-write personal thank-you notes to everyone who helps you. This includes receptionists and admin assistants, as well as the interviewer, whenever you score an interview. A hand-written card or note will make a huge impression and will make you stand out as an exceptional candidate.
And finally, the most important…
13. Be good to yourself. Your job search is important, but don’t let it consume your life. Take time every day to be good to yourself. Go fishing. Take the dog for an extra-long walk. Start that new diet, lose some weight and exercise more! Visit a museum. Go to a movie you wanted to see. You’ll discover there is more to life than a 9-5 job and get reinvigorated and ready to take on the world again.