Recent comments on my Job Search series from about a year and a half ago suggest that with the current high unemployment, job seekers could benefit from this information today.
I’ve been an entrepreneur or freelancer for most of my working life so my personal experience of looking for a job is limited. However, I hired many employees during my business career, so I understand hiring from the employer perspective. One of my clients is a career transition coach, and I have worked with her on resumes, cover letters, and job interview preparation for many of her clients in addition to individual clients of my own. I know this advice works.
As important as it is for you to know how to write a resume (or hire me or someone like me to do it for you), it’s even more important that you have the right mindset.
Here are seven tips to help you succeed in your job search:
- Realize that the job search is a process. You may have to submit many resumes to get one interview. Then you may have to go through interviews with several companies before you find a serious prospect, and you may have to go through several interviews with one company before you get the job. Generally the process is longer for jobs at the top executive levels, but you’re not likely to get hired immediately for any job.
- Remember that employers want to know what you can do for them. They aren’t going to hire you because you need a job but because you can solve a problem for them. Always think and present yourself in terms of what you have to offer.
- Understand that most jobs aren’t advertised. Network constantly and research the industry and companies you are interested in to find the hidden unadvertised openings.
- Stay in job search mode wherever you are. Be prepared to tell everyone you come in contact with what kind of work you seek and how you can contribute to an employer. Even when you’re not talking, always act as you would if your ideal boss might be watching you—because he or she could be.
- Recognize that networking is a two-way street. Often job seekers make contacts strictly to get help; help others first, and they’ll be more apt to help you. The more people you help, the more people you have willing to help you.
- Remain positive and confident. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’ve been out of work a while and all you hear on the news is how bad the economy is. But you’ll more attractive to employers, happier, and more successful if you remember past accomplishments and expect future successes.
- Smile and say “Thank you.” Smiles are contagious and make everyone—those who smile and those who see the smiles—feel better. We all like to be appreciated, and many job seekers don’t put forth the effort to show appreciation. Thank everyone who gives you a lead or a referral and everyone who interviews you—even if you don’t get the job. Hand-written notes are rare and will make you stand out among job seekers. And when you stand out in a positive way … you just might get that job!