Competition is tough in a downturn, and for this recession it is not ending yet. So how do you maintain your morale and keep focused on getting that job. To be better than the competition you need to be proactive. Here’s some quick tips to help you on your way:
- Be specific in your job search. Narrow the search and only apply for jobs you really want and/or are qualified to do. Don’t waste your time. Use it wisely to ensure that you prepare tailored applications for roles you are interested in.
- Understand precisely what you want and what you can offer. Once you decide exactly what job you want you need to be very clear about what experience, skills and knowledge you can offer an employer. If you need to clarify this, do some simple analysis and draw up a couple of list including key words to help in the job search.
- Be objective and set clear goals. Long-term goal may be finding the right job but short-term goals will help you develop and maintain your motivation. Hold yourself accountable. Examples might be improve your networking and join a new professional group; contact your alumni and seek out advice or look to attend an event.
- Develop new strategies. Try a multifaceted approach. Don’t just job search on-line, develop relationships with recruitment agencies and use industry specific contacts.
- Reappraise your skills. Whilst you are unemployed you have an ideal opportunity to gain more skills, and there are possibilities of funding. Consider carefully what skills would enhance your existing skill set and what skills are missing that would make it worthwhile enrolling on a training course or continuing education.
- Research research research. If you find a suitable job vacancy and you are tempted to apply; do everything possible to stand out from the rest of the applications. Discover who is the decision maker, the hiring manager, the possible subordinates. Use LinkedIn for searching and make personal approaches to the right people. Include the organisation’s language and vision in your application.
- Keep your professional edge and keep up to date. You need to be reading current trade publications, industry specific media and contributing to online blogs and forums. This will ensure that you have something to talk about with interviewers and that you are fully aware of new developments, changes in legislation or technology; all of which could be relevant to your job search success.
- Build your online reputation. Use social media wisely, professionally and consistently. Having a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profile, populated with comments relating your field of expertise can position you as highly proficient. And recruiting managers are more than ever before likely to search your name online. Using social media effectively will bring up good results.
- Have your own website. Write a blog, showcase your talent in different ways. Use wordpress or similar to build your credibility and professionalism. It can be a cost effective way of marketing.
- Prepare prepare prepare. Keep practising for potential interviews and rehearse your answers. Use competency and behavioural examples. Remind yourself continually about your successes and achievements. Think about the situation, task you did, actions taken and the results and make the response fluent. You are the only person who can can sell yourself well. You must forget modesty and be prepared to shine.
Keep optimistic for as long as needed; looking after yourself and keeping focused will avoid the frustrations of the challenging job search. Join a career transition programme for support as maintaining a positive attitude will help you overcome and learn from any setbacks. It will be tough but it is achievable. Being proactive means you are increasing your chances of landing your ideal job.