In these tough economic times, I know too many good people who are between jobs. It’s a noisy, competitive job market and as I observe the chaos, two things become apparent:
- Too many people are clamoring for the same few jobs.
- Only a small minority of those people are doing a good job of marketing themselves.
Having been in a job search myself, I feel great empathy for job seekers. From my personal experience, I’ve learned more about career transitions than I ever cared to know. Therefore, I’m often asked to network with job seekers to help them brainstorm strategies for a job search.
I’m always willing to share what I’ve learned if it can help someone else along the path. Most of my advice, though, can be summarized in the following 10 items:
- Think of yourself as a “product” to be marketed in a noisy, competitive marketplace.
- Have a personal marketing plan.
- Differentiate yourself. I can’t stress this enough. Be memorable. Be unique.
- Be findable. Create a large digital footprint by using sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Profiles.
- Know who you are. Develop an effective “elevator speech” or “30-second commercial.”
- Know where you are you going. Describe your destination so others can visualize you once you’ve reached your destination.
- Let people know how they can help. Be specific. Generalities usually do not generate the desired results.
- Use stories to describe your achievements.
- Talk about the benefits you offer, not the features described in your resume.
- Believe in yourself (or no one else will).
Okay, I’ve shared lessons I learned along the pathway, and I’d like to hear from someone who has navigated a career transition. If you’ve successfully emerged from a job search, what did you learn? What worked for you? What advice would you share?
On the other hand, if you have recently hired someone, what additional wisdom would you share with a job seeker?
Duane, excellent advice – nice & succinct! Great tips for surviving in this tough job market.
Duane, You are right on the money. I want to thank you for taking your personal time and willingness to share these great ideas with us all.
As I am in the middle of my new career journey, I have a couple of other ideas to share. I have been investigating and attending associations, conferences, training,and volunteer opportunities in the industry of my goal position (Emergency Management). These options open the door to new contacts, knowledge growth through subject matter experts, and self-satisfaction in participation of these efforts.
In addition, I am recognizing the administrative tasks for this position search process. Beyond creating a resume and cover letters, I have built a spreadsheet to track the following: web sites to check regularly for new job postings, details about jobs I have applied for (to follow up), contacts I have made to stay in touch, websites that I have built profiles for pushing jobs to my email, career fair links, associations I have joined, etc. I have also joined a job club.
I hope this helps others as well. Thanks again Duane!!
The one who seeks, always finds. And the sooner, the more information sources are used. Try calling the suitable companies or organizations. Probably, one of them has been searching for an employee and your call will be most timely. Tell your friends and acquaintances you’re looking for a new job. Perhaps, they have the contacts you need. Besides, you’ve got a variety of job search papers and Internet. Study them at least three times a week.
Interview is the first step. Depending on your right replies in the interview, you’ll be either hired or have to visit some more interviews.
So, you should predict the questions of an employer, and using your replies create an impression of an ideal employee as he/she sees it. Not only replies but questions as well matter a lot. Interview is a preparation for a long and mutually beneficial bargain. Discuss your working day, your duties and rights, an opportunity of the career growth, training, salary and remuneration package if there is any.