We talk a lot about how important networking skills are when you conduct a job search. And it’s true, networking with former bosses, past co-workers, local business leaders, and even family members and friends can help you find a job in today’s challenging hiring environment. But if you’re spending all your time asking your business contacts and friends, “Help me get a job,” you’re missing an important point: Yes, networking is critical to finding work, but there are also plenty of steps that you have to do on your own to find that next job.
First, you need to work at your job search; treat your efforts to find employment as a full-time job. Just as if you were heading into the office each day, you need to set a schedule for your daily job search activities. And then you need to follow it.
Don’t waste your morning watching TV talk shows. Don’t get dressed at noon. And don’t waste valuable job-searching minutes on sites such as the Huffington Post and TMZ.com.
You might be unemployed, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a job: You are now a full-time job hunter and that position requires a lot of work.
Finding a job today is a challenge. There are often hundreds of competitors for each open position and many of these competitors are just as qualified as are you.
To convince hiring managers to consider you for their open positions, you need to set yourself apart from your competitors and one way to do this is to create resumes and cover letters that paint you as not only an expert in your field, but as someone who has helped their former employers succeed.
Instead of simply listing your career stops, spell out on your resume your achievements at your past employers. If you created a marketing plan that resulted in a sales boost of 30 percent, be sure to mention this. If you switched vendors and saved your previous employer thousands of dollars a year, include it in your resume.
The more specific you can be about what you can bring to a company, the more likely you are to earn an interview.
The Video Resume
Technology truly is changing the way people job search today. Want to stand out? Consider creating a video resume and posting links to it on your personal website.
A video resume – in which you speak about your past career accomplishments, your talents, and your career goals – can help employers get a good feeling for you before they even call you in for an interview.
Make sure, though, that your video resume is professional. You don’t want potential employers to see a sloppy, amateurish product. Hire a real videographer to help you craft a successful video resume.
If you need help finding a job, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our career counselors will help you craft a successful job search.